James O'Brien

Elation, highlights, drama: Ducks-Panthers finish had it all

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In the waning moments, it looked like the Anaheim Ducks would suffer another gut-wrenching defeat.

Instead, they won in one of the most thrilling finishes you’ll see, besting the Florida Panthers 3-2 via a shootout.

Things really started to ratchet up as the Ducks pressed over and over again to tie the game, yet Roberto Luongo made some real highlight-reel saves. It was pure elation when Corey Perry scored his first goal of 2015-16 in a dramatic fashion, tying it 2-2 with less than six seconds remaining.

There was some controversy about the penalty Perry drew to set up that situation, yet some might chalk it up to the Ducks finally getting some breaks.

The 3-on-3 OT span was a real heart-stopper, with Luongo and Frederik Andersen making some jaw-dropping saves, including Andersen thwarting a 2-on-0.

(This post will be updated when the NHL posts a full highlight package, as words can only do so much for such great action.)

With that, the Ducks have now won two games in a row and continue a schedule that’s home-heavy until mid-November. Will we look at this night as one of those turning point moments?

Penguins just keep winning (and this time, Crosby scored)

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The Pittsburgh Penguins haven’t always looked so hot … but the standings argue to the contrary.

Pittsburgh saw a 3-0 lead evaporate into a tense 3-2 situation against the Vancouver Canucks, but they managed to hold on nonetheless.

With that, the Penguins are now on a five-game winning streak, even with four of five on the road.

Going a little further, Pittsburgh has wins in eight of nine.

One big relief comes in Sidney Crosby scoring one of Pittsburgh’s goals, which prompted many to make jokes about “big boy pants.”

Honestly, Marc-Andre Fleury has been the go-to guy for the Penguins more than anyone else, and he had some strong moments in this one (albeit with the rare hiccup).

Let’s also face the fact that Eric Fehr‘s game-winner was the beauty of the game, which you can see above the headline.

Is everything perfect for the Penguins? Not necessarily.

Even so, it’s early, so the Penguins have time to work out their perceived issues. They have to be happy piling up points in the process.

Quick note: Daniel Sedin seemed shaken up late in the contest, so that’s something to monitor.

Hits keep coming: Ducks lose Rakell to upper-body injury

Rickard Rakell, Andrew Shaw
AP

When the Anaheim Ducks aren’t losing games, they’re losing players to injuries.

(Sometimes both.)

The team announced that Rickard Rakell will not return to Wednesday’s game against the Florida Panthers thanks to an upper-body injury.

It’s not yet clear how Rakell was injured – feel free to provide additional insight in the comments, if you have any – and it’s not obvious if this will be a short or long-term issue.

This is the closest thing we have to information on it so far:

The Ducks were already hurting down the middle with Ryan Getzlaf‘s surgery situation, and many were lauding Rakell’s work in his wake. Anaheim’s a little thin at center, as much will be expected of Ryan Kesler.

Jiri Sekac and Simon Despres are also out of the Ducks’ mix, so these are tough times even beyond the standings.

On that note, the Ducks have some work to do, as Florida currently holds a 2-1 lead in tonight’s game.

Ouch all around.

Just like that, Blues are hot and Blackhawks are not

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It’s not always pretty, but more often than not, the St. Louis Blues are finding ways to squeeze out wins. Even if the story isn’t always the same.

On Wednesday … it was all just kind of wacky, wasn’t it?

The first period was the wildest span of the game, as we saw goalie collisions, fake and real goalie changes, penalty shots and a staggering seven goals.

The Chicago Blackhawks came out of that first 20 minutes with a 5-2 lead, and when you consider the fact that the Blues were closing off a back-to-back, it would be reasonable to expect Chicago to chalk up a win.

Not much was reasonable about this one, however.

Instead, the Blues stormed back in the second period, scoring three unanswered goals to tie things up.

After a third period that inspired some cheesy “What, no goals?” jokes, the contest went deep into overtime, and it all ended in a fitting way.

Vladimir Tarasenko inspired jokes of his own for failing to score a point among the 10 goals scored, but he generated the most important one of the contest. It only makes sense that he missed the net earlier in that sequence before scoring the overtime game-winner.

Picking up the pieces

Looking past the dizzying game we saw, the Blues to improve to 9-3-1 on the season as they’ve won three of their last four games, including two victories in overtime.

The Blackhawks are stumbling a bit on their own account, as they’re now 7-5-1 and have dropped three of their last four games.

Both teams have their issues to work out, yet would anyone be that surprised if Wednesday proved to be a preview for another playoff series?

If so, it could stand as must-watch TV.

***

It was a costly game for the Blues injury-wise, as Steve Ott suffered an upper-body injury and Brian Elliott was shaken up by a collision with Jonathan Toews. Not much update-wise after the game on either front …

Video of Steve Ott’s injury, which ended his night early

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The St. Louis Blues announced that Steve Ott won’t return to Wednesday’s zany game against the Chicago Blackhawks after suffering an upper-body injury.

Upper-body injury is the official term, but it seems like it would be arm/wrist/hand related. Ott hurt himself while delivering a hit on Blackhawks blueliner Brent Seabrook.

You can see for yourself in the video above.