Like a big diesel, the Ducks took a while to get started, but were then hard to stop. The Canadian started his Californian tour with a 2-1 defeat against the Ducks on Tuesday night at the Honda Center.
Rickard Rakell and Cam Fowler scored in the win, while at the other end, John Gibson proved to be imperial, yielding only in the end of the game on the 39th home run. At a time when we were beginning to wonder if his deputy, Jonathan Bernier, should not play more, Gibson chose his time to close the door.
Gibson had to stand out at the start of the game as his team was besieged in his territory, while his teammates had to wait five minutes before getting their first shot at goal. And another four minutes before leading a second on Carey Price!
In fact, each CH trio has alternately buzzed in the opposing zone, but when the real chances of scoring appeared, the Montrealers were unable to take a free shot. This was the case of Alex Galchenyuk, for example, well served by Shea Weber at the mouth of the net. The puck finally went straight. In the second period, Alexander Radulov was alone in front of Gibson, but the good work of his roofers prevented him from shooting properly.
The indiscipline that hurts
The Canadian played a good first period, spending more time in the opposing area than in his own territory. But a punishment of indiscipline Shea Weber has come to cut its momentum.
Weber had just been overthrown by the fiery Ryan Garbutt when he wanted to take revenge. But his beating did not go unnoticed and he was punished for his reply.
During the punishment, the amazing Rakell opened the mark, well posted to the right of Carey Price. The Swede, who stood up to the Ducks early in the season due to a contractual deadlock, has already scored nine goals in 14 games this season.
Fowler doubled the bet for the palmipeds in the middle. His shot just diverted on Galchenyuk’s stick, but nevertheless made Price look bad.
That said, the Canadian masked man recovered beautifully in the final seconds of the period, frustrating Corey Perry and Sami Vatanen to keep his team in the game.
But Gibson also had some good bank stops … and a bit of luck. Let’s take the case of Galchenyuk after five minutes in the third period. The puck seemed destined to finish in the goal after his nice shot on reception, but his shot finally ended on the outside net.
Andrew Shaw put a bit of suspense at the end of the game with a goal with two minutes to play, but he would then spoil the attempt to climb his own by taking another punishment in the last minute. As he did in Carolina two weeks ago, he made a fool of himself by hiding his frustration …
The Canadian will resume action Friday for the third of five stops during this trip. A duel with the Sharks in San José awaits him.