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The Anaheim Ducks overcame a two-goal deficit against the San Jose Sharks yesterday, picking up a shootout win.
The Ducks found themselves down early as just four minutes into the game, Kevin Labanc’s cross-ice pass on a rush deflected off John Klingberg’s stick and in, putting San Jose ahead. Anaheim continued to be outplayed after giving up the first goal but midway through the frame, Brett Leason managed to tie the game with a tap-in in front, on just the Ducks’ second shot of the game. Then later in the period, Trevor Zegras found Max Comtois after an entry and Comtois beat James Reimer, putting the Ducks ahead 2-1 after 20 minutes, despite being outshot by a brutal 21-4 margin.
San Jose did manage to tie the game in the second frame, with Timo Meier taking a pass in the slot to one-time a shot past Anthony Stolarz. Then later in the period, San Jose took the lead on a power play, with Tomas Hertl finding Luke Kunin with a difficult pass in front for a tip-in. By the end of the second period, Anaheim found themselves being outshot 34-10, despite only being down a goal.
Tomas Hertl extended the lead midway through the third period, roofing a shot past Stolarz to make it a 4-2 game. However, in an unlikely turn of events, the Ducks staged a late comeback, first off a goal from Mason McTavish on a breakaway with only about four minutes left in regulation. Then with about 1:30 to go, Henrique managed to jam a puck past Reimer in close, tying the game 4-4 and sending it to overtime.
Anaheim then had some really good chances from Adam Henrique and Cam Fowler to win it in overtime, but they couldn’t capitalize and the game continued to a shootout.
With Anaheim and San Jose both going 1-for-2 with their first two shooters, Nick Bonino scored as San Jose’s fifth shooter, putting the pressure on Anaheim. However, Mason McTavish extended it, making a quick move to the forehand to beat Reimer. Then as both shooters missed in the fourth round and Timo Meier couldn’t convert as San Jose’s fifth shooter, Adam Henrique had a chance to win it for Anaheim. He came in, went to the backhand and roofed a shot past Reimer, securing a 5-4 shootout win for Anaheim.
Obviously, it was far from Anaheim’s best game, being completely outplayed by San Jose in the first 40 minutes and outshot 52-25 in the game overall.
That said, it’s great to see the Ducks battle back once again. They’ve shown they won’t quit despite being down in the third period a few times this year and it’s a huge positive.
Anthony Stolarz came up huge for the Ducks, stopping 48 shots and three of five shootout attempts in the win. It’s somewhat questionable at this point as to why he’s not getting more frequent starts, after being the better goalie last season and factoring in a slow start for John Gibson this year.
The Ducks have now won three of their last four games, improving to a 4-7-1 record this season. They’ll be right back in action tonight, when they face the Florida Panthers.
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