Sam Carrick gets a pair–of goals, Wednesday, to go along with his pair of fights on Monday night. He featured in many plays throughout the night. But this game was also about what the Ducks got, and didn’t get, as of Monday 12pm local time, trade deadline day.
One person the Anaheim Ducks won’t be getting—Evgenii Dadonov, whose trade from Vegas was invalidated by the league because his no-trade clause was not adhered to. New GM Pat Verbeek said during Wednesday’s TNT broadcast that he was disappointed, because he wanted Dadonov to play in his top six. Really he meant top three, because he mentioned Dadonov playing with Zegras. Could he be shining one on in hopes that things will still be consummated, sooner or later?
Two people they got, Zach Aston-Reese and Dominik Simon, were in the lineup Wednesday, the task of inserting them perhaps made easier because Jakob Silfverberg, Sonny Milano, leading scorer Troy Terry, and Ryan Getzlaf all find themselves injured. The most hurtful by a points-lost measure is obviously Terry, who was coming off scoring his thirtieth goal of the year Monday night in a 6-3 loss to Nashville.
Aston Reese played with two guys who are said to be auditioning for spots, Sam Carrick and Buddy Robinson, though I explained Monday why I think that’s unfair to Carrick, who has done nothing for two nights but fight (twice, Monday) and score (the opening goal Wednesday night, off a nice feed by none other than Robinson, and another late).
Dominik Simon found himself on the top line with Trevor Zegras and Derek Grant, and man, did that pay off, if not in points, at least in chances and speed. In period one, Simone spotted Grant cutting diagonally to the net and fed him a perfect pass. Goalie Kevin Lankinen exploded from his left to his right to make an amazing pad save. In period two, Grant returned the favor, feeding Simon from behind the net as Simon came straight down the slot. Simon got a shot off to the goalie’s right, blocker save and a good one.
The Ducks started out on their heels, with the Blackhawks scoring an early PP goal before Carrick tied it. And they did themselves no favors on their own man advantage, with no zone entry, a turnover by Zegras, and the best play being a save made by John Gibson on the Blackhawks, who outshot the Ducks while shorthanded, 2-0.
Carrick tied it, and that was period one. In two, Patrick Kane got his 20th goal of the year, on a one-knee one-timer from exactly on the right dot, again on the PP. They took another penalty in the form of Gerry Mayhew, his second in his two Ducks’ games thus far after being a waiver pickup from Philly, but Chicago didn’t score. Meanwhile, Simon made a lovely drop pass to defenseman Andrej Sustr, who took a backhand for an easy save by Lankinen.
Zegras them stole the puck off a failed backhand pass right in front of the Chicago net, deked in, and put it low for a save. This was very late in the period, and he was on with Steel and Comtois, but it may have been the result of a line change. Comtois had earlier appeared with Mayhew and Henrique, Steel with Lettieri and Lundestrom, and Zegras with Simon and Grant.
Next turn, Zegras appeared with Grant again and Comtois, and Henrique with Mayhew and Lundestrom.
The second period ended with the shots 18 Ducks to 16 Chicago and the score, as described, 2-1 for the Blackhawks.
Period three saw Carrick pot another goal to tie it, his first two-goal game in what is now a 100-game NHL career. Unfortunately, he was also in on the Chicago third goal, which came off a shot-pass from Stillman to Strome. What was Carrick’s part? He was covering Strome out of the right corner, and he let him go, and Strome got a stick on the puck right in front of the net to redirect it past Gibson. The Hawks would add an empty-net goal late to make it 4-2.
What was interesting to see is that Coach Eakins didn’t take the mistake out on Carrick. In fact, he was out with Zegras and Henrique when John Gibson was pulled, and he stayed on the ice most of the rest of the game, with Grant, Zegras, and Henrique. After the Ducks used their timeout, there those four were again, trying to even the score. Carrick didn’t get the clean win of the faceoff they wanted, and the puck ended up on the Chicago sticks and was slapped into the empty net from center by DeBrincat, his 35th goal of the year.
Shots ended up at 29-28 for Anaheim.
The Blackhawks next play Thursday night in LA. The Ducks go to San Jose for Saturday night.
Please listen to Duck Calls on AM 830 and online after Saturday’s game. I’m Josh Brewster’s guest.
Brian Kennedy is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers Association