Ducks Finally Win Shootout and Continue Dominance of Chicago

Apparently three times the charm for Anaheim in the shootout.  After two failed attempts at earning the extra point, the Ducks made sure to get it right against Chicago on their third straight attempt.

The 3-2 victory against the Blackhawks continued the Ducks dominance against Chicago, having won the previous five match ups.   For whatever reason, the Ducks just seem to have the Blackhawks number and manage to find ways to win when playing against them.

Chicago, who is at the top of the NHL standings, was playing the second of back to back games.  They had also lost their previous two games and this was their first three game losing streak of the season.

Things could have gone differently were it not for Jonas Hiller, who made 23 saves. 

"I thought the best one was in OT, on the back door," said Hiller. "I thought I had a few good saves there. I wasn't happy with the first goal, but I felt I played a pretty solid period and I think everybody was working hard. That's why, in the end, we deserved to win."

The Ducks did get on the board first with a tip-in from Corey Perry at 3:20 of the first period.  Perry showed he was willing to take some punishment in front of the net and it paid off.  After being knocked around a bit, Perry got up and still managed to get a stick on Ryan Getzlaf's shot. 

Chicago quickly tied up the game :45 seconds later on the goal Hiller wished he had back.  It was a softie, at best, and he should have had Ben Smith's shot.  He didn't, so the game was 1-1.

Getzlaf, who now has a ten game point streak, put the Ducks ahead once more at 10:05 of the second period with a power play goal.  It snuck past Antti Raanta, who was in net due to the back-to-back game situation for Chicago.

Kris Versteeg's power play goal at 17:48 meant the game was tied once more.  It was the first power play goal that the Ducks had yielded in 26 attempts, proof of a much improved penalty kill.

The Ducks continued to get their chances in the third period as fatigue started to show with Chicago.  The best opportunity was Teemu Selanne, snakebit for far too many games, getting a breakaway, shooting the puck between Raanta's pads and having it go off the post, staying out of the net.  Selanne can't buy a goal, it seems.  

With the score unresolved after regulation, the game went to overtime for the third time in a row for Anaheim.   It was a wild back and forth affair with great saves and unusual happenings at both ends.  

It appeared the Ducks had won in overtime when defenseman, Mark Fistric, tapped in a rebound at the side of the net.  It would have been his first goal as a Duck, and only the fourth of his 293 game career.   However, the goal was immediately waived off by the referee, who deemed that Raanta could not play the puck because he had been interfered with.  The replays showed that Brent Seabrook had clearly cross-checked Saku Koivu into Raanta, and therefore the goal should have stood.

"It's depressing, because those don't come very often for me," said Fistric.  "To be out there, when I don't normally get a shift, and get the goal and have it disallowed, it doesn't feel great.  What does feel great is the two points.  That's really all that matters."

The game went to a shootout, but instead of being on the losing end, karma vindicated the overruled goal and the Ducks won the game. 

Nick Bonino and Kyle Palmieri were both successful against Raanta, who was only playing in his fourth NHL game.  Hiller did not stop Jonathan Toews shot, but stopped the rest to earn the win.

"It's just a point in the end, but it's still winning and losing, and winning is definitely more fun," said Hiller. "It was nice to have the guys score a couple up front in the shootout, and it was nice to finally win the shootout."

The Ducks now get their own second of back-to-back games in St. Louis on Saturday, with the aim of two more points in mind.

About Karen Francis

Just a diehard Ducks fan since 1995, when the team filled the hockey shaped vacuum in my heart.