When you're hot....
A few days ago the Ducks were demolished at the Shark Tank by the Sharks 5-2. That game seem to be the wake up call the Ducks needed as they then won three games in a row which included a game winning goal with about 2 seconds to go. Last night the Ducks found their way back to the Tank hoping to continue their streak. Could they do it against a Shark team without a suspended Joe Thornton?
The Sharks scored within the first two minutes of the game during a line change which gave most Ducks fans the feeling of “here we go again”. To further illustrate that point George Parros and Frazer McLaren dropped their gloves to fight just like in the last game. The Sharks continued their attack and almost got a 2nd goal but the ref called Dany Heatley for a high stick which was debatable but not from the refs point of view. Which was a nice surprise. I mean how times do the Ducks get those calls in their favor? The momentum seemed to swing to the Ducks favor after that and they tied the game up when Jason Blake redirected a blast from the point. The Ducks only has two shots in the 1st period. In the second both teams played well but Corey Perry was able to give the Ducks the lead over a fallen Antero Niittymaki.
Once the 3rd period hit, it was all downhill for the Ducks. It just seemed like the Ducks stopped playing. They looked nothing like the team in the first two periods. They were out shot 22 to 6 in the 3rd and they couldn't even get the puck out of their own zone half the time. Devin Setoguchi scored just as the Sharks power play expired and the Ducks were gassed not to mention that Corey Perry and Andreas Lilja both had their sticks broken, so it was not surprising Setoguchi scored. The only reason the Ducks forced overtime was because Jonas Hiller played like he did during the Ducks upset as and 8th seed over the 1st seeded Sharks a few years ago. In overtime it was more of the Hiller show. But the Ducks won in the final seconds of overtime off of a blast from Lubomir Visnovsky after a face-off win and some nice screening in front.
A game like this makes you wonder. But despite how bad the Ducks played in the 3rd and really should have lost the game, they managed to grind out the win and extended their winning streak to four games. These are the top of games that good teams find a way to win. So dare I say the Ducks are a good team? Well they are above .500 for the first time this season and they seem to find ways to win games in the closing seconds. Tonight they go back to back at home with the Islanders who are struggling. They have a very good chance to make it five in a row. The Ducks also assigned Matt Beleskey and Dan Sexton to the AHL. Both assignments should just be temporary, as both players are recovering from their injuries.