Ducks still searching for first regulation win this season

The Ducks started off the weekend with their second win over the San Jose Sharks in the span of one week.

The Ducks started off the weekend with their second win over the San Jose Sharks in the span of one week. Both wins came in the shootout and both came with backup Anthony Stolarz in net. In fact, Stolarz set a new career high in saves (48) in Saturday night’s 5-4 win.

“I feel like every time he’s in (net) he stands on his head for us,” said forward Adam Henrique after the game. “We had full confidence in him keeping us in the game and we (wanted) to pull that one out for him.”

Anaheim clawed back not once but twice against the Sharks, erasing one-goal and two-goal deficits in the first and third periods, respectively. After Kevin LaBanc gave San Jose the first lead of the night, Brett Leason scored his first goal as a member of the Anaheim Ducks to equalize. Max Comtois scored his third goal in as many games several minutes later.

Nov 5, 2022; San Jose, California, USA; Anaheim Ducks left wing Max Comtois (44) and center Trevor Zegras (11) and right wing Brett Leason (20) celebrate after a goal against the San Jose Sharks during the first period at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Robert Edwards-USA TODAY Sports

The Sharks would get one back courtesy of Timo Meier off a set faceoff play and then Luke Kunin would give San Jose the lead on the power play toward the end of the second. The goal was reviewed for offsides as it appeared Alexander Barabanov may have still been on the ice while changing lines but the goal was upheld.

A defensive breakdown from the Ducks allowed Tomas Hertl to extend the lead to two midway through the third. It seemed bleak for Anaheim as the clock ticked down to the final minutes of the period, but they found a bit of life when Mason McTavish scored on a breakaway straight out of the penalty box after the puck hopped over the stick of Matt Nieto.

With Stolarz pulled for the extra attacker, Henrique tied it up with 1:28 remaining. It was a timely opportunity for one of the veterans to get on the scoresheet after most of the night’s scoring for the Ducks had come from their under-23 group.

Nov 5, 2022; San Jose, California, USA; Anaheim Ducks center Adam Henrique (14) scores the game winning goal against San Jose Sharks goaltender James Reimer (47) during the shootout at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Robert Edwards-USA TODAY Sports

Stolarz stood tall in the shootout, allowing just a singular goal to LaBanc, and Trevor Zegras and Henrique both deposited backhand attempts past James Reimer to seal the win.

Ducks turn back clock for matchup against Florida

Anaheim debuted their new Reverse Retro jerseys on Sunday, the first of two home games in which they’ll don their new sweaters this season. John Gibson stopped 41 of 45 shots but it wasn’t enough as the Ducks fell 5-3 to the Panthers. Florida, who was missing Matthew Tkachuk due to a two-game suspension, got goals from four different goalscorers.

Anaheim came close to taking the lead several times, especially after they canceled out a two-goal hole in the second with two goals of their own in 27 seconds from Henrique and Ryan Strome. However, a slow start to the third boxed them in and Sam Reinhart potted his first goal of the season to give the Panthers the lead. Sam Bennett doubled the lead five minutes later.

Nov 6, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA; Florida Panthers center Sam Bennett (9) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the third period against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

Isac Lundestrom drew a penalty shot with just under two minutes left in the game to bring the Ducks within one, but it always going to be an uphill task while on the penalty kill. Reinhart would get the empty net goal with one second remaining in the game.

With an assist on Sunday, Troy Terry extended his point streak to five games. Henrique is also one goal away from 100 as a member of the Ducks after his two tallies this weekend.

The Ducks are still searching for their first regulation win 13 games into the season while sporting a 4-8-1 record. Their minus-22 goal differential is second-worst in the league with only the Columbus Blue Jackets faring worse than them. Anaheim’s next chance to secure a regulation win will be at home on Wednesday against the Minnesota Wild.

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