It could’ve been the best comeback to date early in the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs. But it didn’t work out that way.
The Anaheim Ducks fell behind the Detroit Red Wings by three goals early in the third period of Game 2 of that Western Conference quarter-final on Thursday, before staging a courageous comeback attempt.
The Ducks scored three times in just under 10 minutes to tie the hockey game, sending it to overtime. Ducks’ forward Bobby Ryan scored the equalizer with 2:22 remaining in the third period.
However, not much time was passed before jubilation turned to heartbreak for Ducks’ fans.
Gustav Nyquist scored a power play goal just 1:21 into the extra period to give the Red Wings the 5-4 victory.
The series is now tied at 1-1, as it shifts to Detroit.
“We lost an opportunity to put a stranglehold on them in the series, and we let it get away,” Ryan told NHL.com.
“The team has been resilient all year in coming back in those opportunities and we believed. We almost pulled it off.
“You lose that home-ice advantage, right? Now they only have to take care of their building. I don’t know. I don’t think we were going to win in four games anyway. We knew we were going to have to win in their building. Now it’s paramount to do it earlier.”
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.
Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.
The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.
According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”
Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:
The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.
Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.
In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two: