ANAHEIM – John Gibson returned to the Ducks’ net Wednesday after taking a five-game break after testing positive for COVID-19. But their reserve goalkeeper, their top scorer, their top two left flanks and half their six-man defensive legion were sidelined when the Colorado Avalanche visited the Honda Center.
It hardly looks like a fair fight.
Then suddenly, unexpectedly, it was one.
Nicolas Deslauriers engaged in a protracted, spirited fight with regular dance partner Kurtis MacDermid of the Avalanche at 13:03 of the first period, a signal that the Ducks won’t simply roll over and accept his fate. The Ducks were full of fire but in the end failed to score a goal.
Samuel Girard scored the only goal the Western Conference-led Avalanche needed to win late in the second half and goalkeeper Pavel Francouz saved 34 shots as Colorado beat the Ducks, 2-0, for a fourth straight win. Ducks lost fourth in a row.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough firepower,” said Ducks coach Dallas Eakins.
COVID-19 has devastated the Ducks’ roster since their return from the Christmas break on December 29. Five players were still using the NHL’s COVID-19 protocols on Wednesday, including the player. their top scorer Troy Terry, their top defensive pairing Cam Fowler and Josh Manson and reserve goalkeeper Anthony Stolarz.
Complicating matters, left wing Adam Henrique (lower body) and Sonny Milano (upper body) are sidelined due to injury. Henrique and Milano skated on their own Wednesday, but Eakins could not say when they would be fit to play again. Milano is likely to return “sooner than later,” said Eakins.
The absences of Fowler, Henrique, Milano and Terry played a key role in the Ducks’ struggle to score, especially as they drew 0 to 4 thanks to their strength play, which placed fifth. in the NHL when entering the match. Eakins has assembled two units together of players who haven’t played together much.
This is only the second time the 0 ducks have eaten 4 in a power match in 2021-22.
“That’s where we wanted to burn them,” Eakins said.
Instead, the Ducks’ scoreless streak was extended to 133:54, since Trevor Zegras’ goal in the third half following a 7-3 loss to the Minnesota Wild last Friday. They were then beaten 3-0 by Marc-Andre Fleury and the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday before empty-handed again on Wednesday.
“Everything was great,” Eakins said of the Ducks’ overall play. “We just need more firepower.”
Now, about the fight, a contender for the match of the season so far…
Deslauriers knocks MacDermid’s helmet off his head and then lands a punch straight into his opponent’s face. MacDermid also has some rights. They pulled it out for a long stretch, lifting their teammates and Honda Center fans to their feet. Deslauriers shouted as he made his way to the box.
Both players suffered bruises and bleeding at their knuckles.
“I have to shout out Nic Deslauriers for standing up for me,” said Ducks guard Kevin Shatenkirk, who received a hit across the board from MacDermid that ended the fight. “That’s the kind of hockey we’ve been playing all year. Looks like we’re back to that tonight.”
Strongly inspired, the Ducks launched a powerful test during the Battle of Avalanche. Play with the ball, read the terms of the game, serve the Duck well. Taking a defensive stance and allowing Avalanche to play with the puck is never a winning formula.
Any questions about Gibson’s readiness after such a long layoff were answered when he saved Colorado’s Cale Makar with a gloved save in the first minute of the game. Gibson hasn’t played a game since the Ducks’ win over the Philadelphia Flyers on January 4.
Gibson made 26 saves, but he couldn’t stop Girard’s save, which hit the post at 18:29 in the second half. Colorado believes the goal was scored at 8:49 in the third half, but Mikko Rantanen is said to have thrown the ball out of Gibson’s glove and into the net after the whistle.
The Ducks pressed to get the lead in the final minutes of the game, but the pitch was empty.
Colorado’s Nazem Kadri made it 2-0 with an empty net in the 1:09th minute.
“We just had to find a way to get him first, get those cheaters and get the ball in the net,” said Ducks guard Hampus Lindholm. “We are all capable of scoring. We just have to go a little further, really deep, to get that ball into the net. At some point you need to score goals to win games, and we’ve done that in the past. We just have to go back to it. ”
https://www.sbsun.com/2022/01/19/ducks-show-plenty-of-fight-but-cant-score-in-loss-to-avalanche/ Ducks show a lot of fighting, but can’t score against Avalanche – San Bernardino Sun