ANAHEIM, Calif. — John Gibson showed up on time for the start of the hockey game. His Anaheim Ducks teammates decided to wait until the second period to really get into the game.
Gibson made 38 saves and the Ducks beat the New York Islanders 3-2 on Wednesday night, ending a four-game losing streak to New York.
Andrew Cogliano, Rickard Rakell and Patrick Eaves all scored for the Ducks, who won despite being outshot 41-30.
Ryan Getzlaf rocketed a pass from the far boards to Josh Manson on the opposite side of the ice. The defenseman’s shot ricocheted off the pads of Jaroslav Halak to the front of the net. Corey Perry and Nick Leddy both whiffed on their attempts to corral the puck, but the on-rushing Cogliano backhand attempt beat the goaltender to give the Ducks their first lead in the opening period this season only 37 seconds into the game.
Brock Nelson tied the game tipping Scott Mayfield’s blueline shot through traffic up and over the glove of John Gibson.
“We’re going to have to find another formula as far as trying to stimulate our group from the start of the game,” Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle said. “We scored our goal, killed a penalty, and then we go flat. We relied on our goaltender to bail us out. Your goaltender can only do that so many times. That has to change with our group. We played better after the first period and got ourselves back into the hockey game.”
Beyond the opening flurry, the Islanders controlled the play in the first period, outshooting Anaheim 21-6.
“We weathered the storm and got out of there tied,” said Gibson. “It wasn’t something to be proud of, but we got out of it.”
Midway through the second, Anaheim took a 2-1 lead. Cam Fowler ripped a shot from the top of the circle towards the net. Rakell deflected the puck down the ice and it bounced through the collapsing five-hole of Halak.
With Ryan Kesler out of the lineup for the foreseeable future, Rakell made the move from wing to center, between Cogliano and Jakob Silfverberg. The shift hasn’t put a damper on the offensive output of the group.
“My whole line is playing pretty well, said Rakell. “I had five shots tonight. Silvy (Jakob Silfverberg) had five shots tonight. Cogs had some shots, too. We’re generating a lot of scoring chances.”
Shortly after Anaheim killed its fifth penalty of the game, Eaves put the Ducks up by two. Eaves returned to the lineup after missing the entire preseason and the first three games of the regular season with a lingering lower-body injury.
“I just shot it as hard as I could,” said Eaves of his goal. “I wasn’t really aiming. I didn’t have a great angle, but Mans (Josh Manson) laid a flat puck out there for me so I could get a lot on it.
“It was just off a set breakout. He lugged it in, took it behind the net and I was finding the soft spot.”
New York responded 90 seconds later.
Brock Nelson scored his second goal from just a few feet in front of the Ducks goaltender. Gibson had his glove outstretched and the puck flew right over it.
Anthony Beauvillier was sent off the ice for holding to give the Ducks their fourth power play of the game. Derek Grant appeared to score.
Islanders head coach Doug Weight challenged the goal asserting the Ducks were offside. After review, the goal was overturned.
“It was a good catch by the guys upstairs and the guys in the room,” said Weight. “There was no doubt it was offside so it was a big call for us and it gave us a chance to get back.”
NOTES: Ducks F Ondrej Kase, injured in Monday’s game, is day-to-day with an upper-body injury … Both the Ducks and Islanders are 0-for-15 on the power play through four games this season … During second period TV time-out, Ducks honored 20 Orange County residents who were injured, or acted as first responders during the Las Vegas mass shooting.
Islanders: Visit San Jose on Saturday night.
Ducks: Visit Colorado on Friday night.
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