Friday night, Anaheim faced off with the newly revamped Atlanta Thrashers, with the Ducks falling, 5-4, to the Thrashers in overtime.
Atlanta struck first just 17 seconds into the game with Anthony Stewart scoring his first of the night. Before the halfway point of the period Corey Perry scored on the power play for his second of the season, and second in as many games.
The second period would turn in Anaheim's favor shortly before the 10-minute mark, with Toni Lydman scoring his first goal in his first game as a Duck. Shortly thereafter, Atlanta tied the game up with a power play goal and with just under a minute left in the second period Selanne tallied another goal for the So Cal team. After two periods of play, Anaheim was up 3-2 and had only had to struggle with one penalty kill. Undoubtedly, a step in the right direction for the Ducks.
The third started with Anaheim carrying the momentum and scoring off the stick of Ryan Getzlaf just 6:35 into the closing period. However after that last goal, Anaheim would be silenced while Atlanta scored twice more in the third both from Stewart, who had a hat trick in the game. With those two goals, Atlanta tied the score at 4 apiece, forcing the game through a scoreless overtime and into a shootout.
Perry was the first shooter and missed the net entirely—accuracy could definitely be improved on for the entire Anaheim roster. Evander Kane, Getlzaf, Rich Peverley, Teemu Selanne, Bryan Little and Saku Koivu all then shot in turn and were turned away by each goaltender they faced. Nigel Dawes decided the Atlanta win with a shot that got passed Jonas Hiller.
So with the 5-4 loss, Anaheim walks away with more than just one point to their name allowing them to jump above two more Western Conference teams ranking them 12th in the West. The Ducks saw the emergence and blossoming of Lydman, a newcomer to the team. Anaheim also saw the big names continue to step up with Perry and Selanne each with three points (one goal, two assists) and Getzlaf with two (one goal).
Sunday, Anaheim faces off against the Phoenix Coyotes at 5 p.m. Pacific time. Hopefully the Ducks can pull out another two points with a win and jump up even higher in the Western Conference, proving they can be a playoff contender.
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