The Ducks were headed for an important victory over San Jose, one that would have vaulted them past the Kings in the Pacific Division as the playoff race tightens. Instead, the Ducks blew a 2-0 lead Sunday, with the last goal coming with under one minute left, and then they lost in the shootout. Here's what we learned:
Andrew Cogliano could have padded the lead on at least three different occasions. The diminutive winger somehow missed an empty net at the midway point of the first period. Josh Manson's point blast caromed off the boards, and Cogliano was there to collect it, but the shot from in close was errant.
And then there was Cogliano's breakaway, a wrister that easily gobbled up Martin Jones.
In the third, it was Cogliano again, all alone in front for the rebound, but as he went to shoot it, he was planted to the ice by Justin Braun.
"We had lots of chances in the hockey game," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle stated. "We had our fair share of opportunities to put this game more than a 2-0 lead. But we didn't get the job done and as I stated, we lost a point."
Carlyle didn't have his shutdown pair on the ice in the final minute, and it cost the Ducks. The Ducks coach was asked if he wanted Hampus Lindholm and Josh Manson out there for the critical minute, with the extra attacker on for the Sharks. Instead, it was Cam Fowler and Francois Beauchemin, a combination that wasn't together when the game started. And it was Fowler who allowed Timo Meier to break loose and score the game-tying goal.
"I know that we had capable people on the ice, it's just that the situation that we're in, in my mind, we should have had more of a push on the guy that passed the puck and we should have had better coverage from the guy who tapped it in backdoor," Carlyle said. "He was wide open and you can't allow that to happen."
Ondrej Kase continues to perform at a high level, creating chances with his speed and relentless forecheck. The winger has been a revelation in his second season, and he opened the scoring Sunday with what he does best.
He was able to burst into the zone with the puck, power past the defense while protecting the puck with his body, and then fired it from the bottom of the faceoff circle, a sharp-angle try that Martin Jones couldn't get ahold of.