By Nolan P. Smith
(Anaheim)– On Friday night, the Honda Center in Anaheim was the place to be in Southern California, as the Anaheim Ducks looked to bounce back as they battled the New York Islanders in front of a sold out crowd of 17,174 fans in attendance. But it would be the Islanders who crushed the hopes of Ducks fans everywhere as New York won 4-1.
The game opened as the audience stood in a moment of silence for those lost in the tragic terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday.
The first period was off to a rocky start for Anaheim, as the Islander’s Brock Nelson scored first at 6:36, with assists by Kyle Okposo and Mikhail Grabovski. The crowd was fired up after the first goal, eager for Anaheim to strike back. The Ducks suffered two penalties in the first period, as Ryan Getzlaf was called on cross-checking, and Kevin Bieksa for high-sticking. But to the Anaheim fan’s excitement, the Islander’s Johnny Boychuk would be penalized in the first as well for hooking. The first period would end at 1-0 in favor of the Islanders, as the Islander not only outscored the Ducks but outshot the Ducks in shots on the goal, shooting 14 times in the first, opposed to the Ducks, who shot half that number with 7.
In the second period, the Islanders made it a 2-0 game when Cal Clutterblock scored at 9:35, with assists by Johnny Boychuk and Calvin De Haan. But the Ducks would strike back, as Anaheim’s Corey Perry scored on a Power Play with his 301st career goal, with assists from Rickard Rakell and Ryan Kesler. That goal propelled Perry to surpass Paul Kariya’s second place spot on the Duck’s All-Time list. At the end of the second period, the Ducks trailed the Islanders 2-1.
The third didn’t start in the Ducks favor either, as the Islander’s Frans Neilsen scored at 2:47 with assists from Josh Bailey and Anders Lee. The plan for the Ducks seemed to always be just short of what was executed on the ice. The third also brought a couple of amazing stops by the Duck’s defense, stops that were much needed as the last period winded down. However, Islander’s Neilsen could not be stopped, as he scored once again in the third, his second goal of the game, with an assist by Anders Lee. Shortly after, fists were flying as members of both teams began to duke it out by the Anaheim goal, a fight that took three officials to break up. The Duck’s Kevin Bieksa and the Islanders’s Matt Martin received the penalties for fighting, receiving 5:00 each, enough to keep each out for the remainder of the game. By this time, many of the fans already marched out in defeat, as the Ducks would lose it 4-1.
This game was important for the Ducks, as they looked to bounce back from a 4-3 loss to the Edmonton Oilers earlier in the week, which ended in overtime.
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