You could describe the game between the St. Louis Blues and the Anaheim Ducks with a lot of phrases and words. Wild. Unpredictable. Back and forth. High scoring. Error filled. Wacky. The ones the coaches would use would be more colorful.
The most important description? Ducks win 6-5 in a shootout.
From the way it began, you would not have guessed that was how it would end up.
St. Louis continued to dominate with their deadly power play. They have a 36.6% success rate thus far – scoring more than one in three attempts. Against the Ducks, they were two for two.
Their first opportunity with the extra man got them on the board with Alexander Steen slipping his shot through Viktor Fasth's five-hole at 6:21.
Anaheim, who spent the first half of the period playing in their own end, finally leveled a shot on goal at Brian Elliot at 11:09. The puck went in the net and Bobby Ryan had tied up the game.
David Backes helped St. Louis take back the lead at 15:30 and David Perron gave them a two goal lead at 19:26. It was the first time Fasth had relinquished more than one goal in a game.
In the second period, the Blues continued to come out swinging and then things tilted for the Ducks. Knowing that Elliott has been less than stellar in net, Anaheim took aim and fired.
Teemu Selanne scored at 12:40, Andrew Cogliano at 13:25 and Ryan got his second of the game at 14:21 to not only tie the game up, but take the lead for the first time. There is a reason that Elliott has a .853 save percentage and 3.51 goals against average. No wonder the power play has had to be spectacular for the Blues!
With a final period to go, don't think the scoring would be over. T.J. Oshie batted in a weird goal at 3:21 to tie up the game again.
It looked like the game would be headed to overtime before Saku Koivu helped Anaheim take the lead once more at 13:41. Would the Ducks get two points in regulation?
Of course not! Although the referees were pretty quiet with their whistles for most of the game, they did call Ryan Getzlaf for a cross checking penalty. Two for two when Chris Stewart was successful at 15:26.
The game did go to overtime, and with less than a minute left, the Blues thought they had won the game and the extra point when Ian Cole put another piece of rubber behind Fasth. However, Patrik Berglund was in the crease and could not avoid hobbling Fasth from stopping the puck. Berglund was bumped in by Francois Beauchemin, but Blues fans were livid with the "no goal" call.
"I was pretty excited. I blacked out for a second … I don't know what happened," Cole said. "I usually just score one goal a year, so that's it. I'm done now. You go from a pretty high to I guess shock almost. You're like, 'Wait, what just happened?'"
So a shootout it was meant to be. The second one of Fasth's young NHL career. And considering Elliott's play of late, the Ducks had a good chance.
Fasth stopped the first two St. Louis shots and could have won the game then and there by stopping the third, but Perron put one in, forcing more rounds. At that point, nothing was being stopped by either goaltender. In the sixth round, after Berglund missed his shot, Nick Bonino got his first shootout chance and nailed it behind Elliott.
Ducks win and the points count, not matter how strange the game was. They now get a couple of days rest before tackling the still undefeated in regulation Chicago Blackhawks.
"Huge," said Ryan after the game. "To drop two and then go into Chicago and Detroit and Nashville, three ugly buildings to go play hockey in. We needed these two points. They were essential for us to start building to this road trip."
Three down, three to go. It doesn't get any easier.
In other notes: Jeff Deslauriers was called up from Norfolk to back up Fasth, an indication that Jonas Hiller is not doing particularly well. Sami Vatanen and Jordan Hendry were sent back down to Norfolk. Selanne had three assists in addition to his goal and that gave him 1,420 career points, tying him with another former Duck, Adam Oates.