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The Anaheim Ducks battled back once again for a win last night, defeating the Vegas Golden Knights 4-2 for their sixth straight victory.
Alex Killorn made his regular season debut with the Ducks on the third line, while Ryan Strome returned to the lineup and both Max Jones and Bo Groulx were scratched. John Gibson got the start in goal.
The Ducks had a bit of a slow start, getting outshot early then finding themselves down midway through the opening period, with Ivan Barbashev finishing off a pass from Jack Eichel. While Anaheim did get a bit more going later in the frame, they still ended up being outshot 10-6 in the period and remained down by one after the frame.
Anaheim did have an excellent opportunity to tie the game in the second frame, as Mason McTavish made a great pass to set up Ryan Strome for a one-timer, who soared the puck over the net. Then the other way, Jack Eichel flew down ice and after nobody picked him up, he walked right in towards the goal and roofed a perfect shot over Gibson, to extend Vegas’ lead.
Both teams had chances after that, with Trevor Zegras being denied by Logan Thompson at point-blank range, before the Golden Knights had a series of chances late in the frame, off a couple turnovers from Anaheim. But neither team could convert, and it remained 2-0 through 40 minutes.
However, the Ducks managed to get back into the game on a power play early in the third period, with Adam Henrique just spinning around and putting a puck on net to beat Thompson. Then midway through the frame, the Ducks capitalized off a turnover, and Sam Carrick was able to slide a puck through Thompson, tying the game for the Ducks.
After battling back with yet another third period comeback, Anaheim managed to pull ahead late, with none other than Mason McTavish shoveling a pass from Frank Vatrano into the net in-close, to give the Ducks their first lead of the game.
While Vegas pressed after that, Sam Carrick managed to score an empty netter on a clearing attempt, securing a 4-2 win for the Ducks.
Obviously, falling behind and having to erase deficits isn’t an ideal way to play, but the Ducks continue finding ways to battle from behind in a lot of their victories. After a somewhat lacklustre first period, the Ducks got better as the game went on, gaining momentum each frame.
Mason McTavish is also building a reputation as a clutch player. While he’s already at six goals and 13 points in 11 games, McTavish consistently seems to be able to score or make a play at key times to lift the Ducks to a win.
Alex Killorn looked good in his debut as well, slotting in really well on the third line. While his stats didn’t show it – posting an expected goals percentage of just 18 percent at even strength, according to NaturalStatTrick.com – Killorn is a great addition to the top-nine. With Killorn in and Max Jones out, the Ducks’ forward group actually looks a lot more complete.
As usual, goaltending was key for the Ducks too, with John Gibson making 30 saves in the win. Between Gibson and Dostal, Anaheim has benefitted from great goaltending as a pretty large part of their success.
So with the win, the Ducks have won six straight games, now holding a 7-4-0 record. With three games remaining on the homestand against struggling teams in the Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers and San Jose Sharks, Anaheim has a real opportunity to continue building momentum.
The Ducks will continue their homestand tomorrow against the Penguins.
OTHER ARTICLES FROM NOVEMBER
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- Ducks win fifth straight with overtime victory against Coyotes