Based on the Ducks’ last nine games, the smart bet is an Anaheim win tomorrow in San Jose.
The Ducks failed to win back-to-back games again Friday, this time at the hands of the current cellar-dwellers of the NHL standings. An inspired effort by Jason Blake resulted in the game’s first goal, a second-chance power-play tally at 8:07 of the second period.
That was the first, last and only time the horn wound sound inside Honda Center. Jamie Langenbrunner answered at 10:39 by sneaking a short-side shot between Jonas Hiller and the goal post to even the game at 1.
The game-winner proved to be Patrik Elias’ one-timer at 1:54 of the third period. Alexander Vasyunov created the scoring chance by intercepting a long Danny Syvret pass in the neutral zone and teeing the puck up for Elias in the high slot.
Hiller finished with 25 saves, but Martin Brodeur turned in a vintage 27-save perforamance. The Ducks held the offensively inept Devils to 27 shots, the second-fewest by a Ducks opponent this season.
“We turned the puck over, especially in the first half of the game, far too many times,” head coach Randy Carlyle said. “We knew the New Jersey Devils were going to play that typical trapping style in the neutral ice. We forced pucks into that area too many times. Consequently, they had a good margin of play in our zone for about half of the game.
“We started to get away from it, were putting pucks in and got our forechecking game going. We seemed to play better, then we made a costly turnover early in the third period and they scored a goal.”