Ducks Inch Towards the Top
The Ducks were not the first team to hand the Chicago Blackhawks their first loss in regulation, but they did the next best thing. They went to Chicago and won the game in a shootout 3-2.
After a scoreless first period, a cross-crease pass from Ryan Getzlaf to Corey Perry was intercepted by Brent Seabrook during the Ducks power play. To the Ducks delight, the puck was intercepted into the net.
It took 30 seconds for Nick Leddy and Brandon Saad gave the Blackhawks the lead in the middle of the second period, the latter scored as the net was in the process of coming off of its moorings. You know it was controversial by how loud Ducks television analyst Brian Heyward dissented. In fact the sounds waves from Chicago should just be arriving to Los Angeles right about now.
As time was ticking away, the theme of the season popped up: not being able to clear the puck out of the zone. Chicago wasn't able to do it, and Andrew Cogliano was there at the net waiting for the initial shot from the right point by Ben Lovejoy. Two minutes, 40 seconds remained in the game, and the Ducks had new life.
There is no truth in the fact that Lovejoy is related to Reverend Tim Lovejoy.
Last year the Ducks defense was awful. Their defensemen did next to nothing to back up the forwards, and goaltender Jonas Hiller was left to fend for himself. This season is a completely different story.
The Ducks faced almost four minutes in the penalty in the five-minute overtime period and was able to limit the Blackhawks to three shots on goal. Goaltender Viktor Fasth turned aside all three, 28 total in the game.
Nick Bonino and Corey Perry scored the shootout goals.
The Ducks are now sitting very pretty, second in the Western Conference behind the Blackhawks and ahead of the San Jose Sharks in the Pacific Division by two points. And frankly this Ducks team looks the best they have looked since they won it all in 2007. Of course that's subject to change.
Meanwhile the Lakers escaped with a 91-85 win over the Phoenix Suns.