Hats rained down on the Jobing.com Arena and the Consol Energy Center as the 2005 NHL #1 and #3 draft picks (Sidney Crosby and Bobby Ryan) netted hat tricks for their respective teams on Saturday the 27th.
Crosby, who had a chance to attain Mario Lemieux’s elusive 5 goals, 5 different ways, missed his penalty shot against the Calgary netminder early in the game, ending that possibility. The trio was Sid the Kid’s 6th hat trick, his 200th career goal, extended his point streak to 12 games, and it propelled him into first place above Steven Stamkos and Alex Ovechkin in the goals race for this season. The Pens also extended their win streak to 7 games – their longest on the season thus far.
Although Bobby Ryan’s hat trick didn’t come with as many accolades as Crosby’s, his three goals ended the Ducks’ 6 game losing streak against division rival, Phoenix Coyotes. A feat that’s invaluable in a division currently separated by, at most, 2 points.
This was the first time the Ducks had seen the Coyotes since Shane Doan broke Cam Fowler and Dan Sexton’s noses on the 17th of October. Both Sexton and Fowler were back in the line-up, but the Ducks were without Selanne (groin injury) and Visnovsky (back spasms). The Ducks didn’t get their feathers ruffled, however. Down 3-1 in the second, the Ducks came back to score 5 unanswered goals, including Ryan’s hat trick. Ryan Getzlaf had 4 assists, and Corey Perry and Cam Fowler had 2 assists each as well. Ryan’s hat trick was the first hat trick for the Ducks since Ryan’s January 2009 hat trick.
The Ducks needed the win versus the Coyotes to get them some momentum for an always exciting game against their freeway foes, the Los Angeles Kings. Tonight, when the rest of the United States was trying to get over their turkey hangovers from the holiday, the Ducks and Kings went to work at the Honda Center for their first of 6 match-ups this season. Coming into tonight’s game, both teams had lost their last 6 of 7 games with the Ducks allowing 4 goals per game in each of their last 4 games. The Kings were equally struggling only having scored 4 goals in the last 3 games.
The first period was thrilling and fast-paced, with each team having 7 shots on goal, and the only penalties coming off of a hearty brawl between 19 year old Kyle Clifford and bruiser, Aaron Voros. The second period looked to play out the same way until about halfway through when Drew Doughty took two trips to the sin bin within less than 2 and a half minutes of each other. On Doughty’s second trip, Cam Fowler, who lights his birthday candles on Sunday, lit the lamp for the game’s first goal. Fowler was assisted by Selanne who won the face-off draw and dropped the puck to Visnovsky who fed Fowler for his second goal of the season.
After a huge save by Jonas Hiller on Kings’ star, Anze Kopitar, with 3 minutes left, in the 3d, the Ducks rallied for one more goal when Jack Johnson turned the puck over in the Ducks’ zone leading to a two on one with Jason Blake and Teemu Selanne. The 2-0 shutout was the 7th career shutout for Hiller and it was the 4th straight loss for the Kings who were once again, unable to generate enough offense, despite outshooting the Ducks 27-19.
The Ducks and Kings play again on 12/26. In the meantime, the Ducks will have a 3 game home stand, playing host to the Florida Panthers, Detroit Red Wings, and Phoenix Coyotes.
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Written by KARLY TAMBARA