Headed to San Jose to take on the league-worst Sharks, the Ducks had a great opportunity to find themselves with a win. Things started off very slowly for both sides, as a scoreless first period and scoreless majority of the second period left fans thinking that it was going to be a scrappy, low-scoring affair. However, the teams managed to score 5 times total in the final five minutes of the period, with San Jose heading to the third holding a 3-2 lead. Jan Rutta would open up the third with his first goal of the year to push the Sharks lead to 4-2, but Mason McTavish responded to cut the deficit back to one. Anaheim would fail to come up with the equalizer, and one more empty-net goal for the Sharks helped them secure a 5-3 win.
Here are three takeaways from the game:
Jackson LaCombe scores his first career goal
In what was his 43rd career game for the Ducks, Jackson LaCombe finally found himself with his first score. The second-round pick for Anaheim back in 2019 got the Ducks on the board in the second period just seconds after the Sharks had taken the lead.
While it wasn’t initially known for sure if he had gotten the puck across the goal line, a review from the officials helped to confirm the score and secure a big milestone for LaCombe.
The 23-year-old defensemen will only look to become more involved as the season progresses, and could come around to an even larger role soon depending on the Ducks’ ability to try and turn things around. Nonetheless, LaCombe will enjoy the goal as the one silver lining in a tough loss.
Ducks fail to make the most of their shot opportunities
Despite only coming away with three goals in the loss, the Ducks were definitely able to get their fair share of shots in the contest. They managed to tally 34 of them compared to the 19 that the Sharks were able to come up with. It goes to show that the team will need to do a better job at managing the quality of their shots going forward, and coach Greg Cronin spoke on the matter after the loss. “It doesn’t matter how many shots you have, it’s the quality of the shots. We actually had quality shots we didn’t take, give them credit.” While the aggressiveness is certainly appreciated from Anaheim, who has not been able to record a particularly high shots per-game average this season, the quality of those shots is equally important. After a rough road trip, Cronin and his team will head home to try and get back to work with some improved shot quality.
Alex Killorn to miss extended time, placed on IR
Before Saturday’s game against the Sharks, the team announced that Alex Killorn would be sidelined for four to six weeks. He will need to undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, which is scheduled to take place next week.
Killorn, who is in the midst of his first season with the Ducks, had logged six goals so far this season. He played a big part in the team’s comeback win over the Panthers, as his two goals and overtime game-winner helped lift them to victory. His absence comes as the most recent addition to the IR, with players such as Trevor Zegras and Pavel Mintyukov also on the shelf. Anaheim will need to find a way to try and fill his role until he gets healthy again, and some depth pieces on the roster will have to step up.