The Ducks lost in a heartbreaking shootout against the Philadelphia Flyers, 5-4, in a very emotional game. The Ducks were an offensive force to be reckoned with, but couldnt hold their lead.
In front of a record-breaking sellout crowd, the Ducks fought to break an almost constant tied score throughout the game, but failed to defend their net. Twice in the second period, the Ducks went ahead of the Flyers, but almost immediately after they scored, the Flyers returned with a goal of their own.
The competition reached new heights as emotions took hold. Lately the Ducks have been struggling with energy levels out on the ice, but that wasnt apparent tonight as fights and vicious hits appeared throughout the game. Towards the end of the first period, George Parros and Philadelphia player Riley Cote dropped their gloves and went at it. Seconds after they were broken up and play resumed, Steve Montador took up the fisticuffs with another Flyer. All players involved were awarded 5 minute major penalties for fighting.
Typically a tough period for the Ducks, the second period of this game was perhaps the most exciting in a long time. After Corey Perry tied the score at the end of the first, Rob Niedermeyer and rookie Andrew Ebbett gave the Ducks two goals to put them ahead of the Flyers 3-1. The Flyers were quick to respond with two goals of their own. Exactly one minute after Flyer Braydon Coburn scored to tie the game, Ryan Getzlaf found the back of the net to put the Ducks ahead by one, 4-3. Fourteen seconds after that, the Flyers tied the score once again, ultimately sending the game into a shootout.
The PK unit was tested tonight as the Ducks earned 8 penalties throughout the game, four of them in the third period alone. With Montador and Parros each earning 5 minutes for their fights in the first, the Ducks recieved 3 hooking calls, one roughing call, one call for holding the stick (isnt that what you're supposed to do in hockey?) and a double minor for high sticking. The penalty kill unit defended all but one penalty.
Scott Niedermeyer earned his 500th career assist tonight after the second goal of the night, a milestone not often reached by hockey players today.
The Ducks will have to walk away from this game with only one point to their credit, despite having one of the best games of the season. This is the only point out of a possible four for the last two games at home. They will have another opportunity to win at home against the Phoenix Coyotes on Sunday the 4th.
Elsewhere in the NHL, the Boston Bruins have officially taken the lead, with 62 points over the Shark's 61. The takeover is hard for some Sharks fans that have gotten comfortable with being in the lead for most of the season. Looks like it may not be the year for championships for San Jose after all. =)
Lets Go Ducks!