It’s never good when the opposing team scores on you just 14 seconds into the first period. But that’s what happened when the Ducks hosted the Sharks tonight for their fourth meeting of this season. Perhaps still groggy from the All-Star break, Hiller and the Ducks watched as Dany Heatley wrapped the puck around the net, collected his own rebound, and lit the lamp before the Ducks even had a chance to get out of breath.
Seven minutes later, Ben Eager took a slap shot from the blue line using Visnovsky as a blocker and put another one in the net without Hiller even batting an eyelash. Jason Demers would add one more goal for good measure. Looking like they were continuing where they left off the night before against the Coyotes, the Sharks had three unanswered goals before the first period ended. The League leading goalie and All-Star, Jonas Hiller, (tied with Carey Price/Habs) was pulled at the end of the first period for McElhinney.
Attempting to avenge their poor play of the first period, the Ducks answered with a goal from Joffrey Lupul (his first since the end of December) and another thrilling goal from the tenacious rookie, Cam Fowler. After being denied three times by Niemi, Fowler managed to get a goal on his fourth attempt after Perry put a low shot in which deflected off Niemi to Fowler’s awaiting stick. The Ducks, however, were only able to get one more goal in the third period from Bobby Ryan, his 23rd and ended up with an uncommon home loss.
With only 29 more games left in the season, the Ducks have to play all 60 minutes of the game if they want to move up from 5th in the Western Conference. The good news, though is, although they went 10-3 without their Captain, Getzlaf was on the ice today practicing for the first time since suffering his nasal fracture on 12/28 and is expected back in the line-up before the next home game.
In other non-game discussion, the Ducks have teamed up with Pinnacle Landscape for the “Pinnacle Landscape Green Goal Shootout,” wherein each time the Ducks win in a shootout this season, Pinnacle Landscape will donate a tree for the landscaping around the new tower being built at the Children’s Hospital of Orange County. Considering how often the Ducks have had to go to shootouts this season, this seems to be a promising venture.
In less optimistic news, the NHL is investigating claims made by minor leaguer player, Jason Bailey, against the Ducks organization, alleging systematic and repeated abuse while in the farm system simply because he is Jewish. Bailey played for the ECHL Bakersfield Condors after being selected 63rd overall in the 2005 NHL draft. He played under coaches Martin Raymond and Mark Pederson, whose letters of apology are being used as evidence of such abuse.
As for my Penguins, how is it that Sidney Crosby is STILL out with a concussion? That just seems a bit long, if you ask me. But how bad a$$ was Brent Johnson sticking up for Matt Cooke tonight against the Islanders when Netminder, DiPietro clothes-lined Cookie while he skated by.
The Ducks have a four game road trip, starting Saturday against the Avalanche and will be back at the Honda Center in two weeks on the 16th versus the Capitals.
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Written by KARLY TAMBARA