The Anaheim Ducks took on the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday night. It was a very nice game for all hockey fans but it made you wonder about the state of each team. There are starting to be some trends with these two that can’t be ignored.
The Anaheim Ducks won this game by a final score of 4-3. Early in the game, the Pittsburgh Penguins took a 1-0 lead thanks to the goal scored by Erik Karlsson. Eventually, Jakub Silverberg tied the game for the Ducks and that is how they’d finish the first period.
In the second period, Frank Vatrano scored his NHL-leading ninth goal of the year to give the Ducks the lead. In the opposite fashion to the first period, it was Pittsburgh tying it this time as Evgeni Malkin got on the board.
In the third period, you’ll never guess what happened. Yep, they exchanged goals again. Radim Zahorna scored just 1:25 into the final frame. But, a few minutes later, Mason McTavish scored at 3:01 to get it back tied.
It stayed tied until the final stages of the third period. It really looked like the game was going to overtime when Mason McTavish scored a shorthanded goal with 13 seconds left on the regulation clock. Just like that, the Penguins didn’t even get a point and the Ducks won.
Are the Anaheim Ducks good or are the Pittsburgh Penguins bad right now?
Are the Anaheim Ducks good? They are now 5-4-0 which is good for 10 standings points. They are in the top Wild Card spot right now but they have the same amount of points as the Los Angeles Kings who are in third place of the division.
Can the Ducks keep it going and eventually be a playoff bubble team? Maybe. With the way that they’ve played this year, it should be a very fun year. Despite being a bad team, they were entertaining last year and it is even better this year. Maybe some wins will follow now.
As for the Penguins, they are going in the opposite direction. The Ducks are trying to come out of their rebuild while the Penguins haven’t even started yet. They made some big additions during the summer so they are trying to keep the Sidney Crosby/Evgeni Malkin era going strong.
Pittsburgh is now 3-6-0 for six standings points which is dead last in the entire Eastern Conference. They have a much better roster than this record suggests but they have to play better. Are they bad? We don’t know yet. It isn’t looking good.
The Ducks, trending upward, play against the Arizona Coyotes who are also trending upward. That should be loads of fun with all of the youth in that game.
The Penguins, trending downward, are now off. They are now headed to California for a few games there. They are off until Saturday when they take on the San Jose Sharks who still don’t have a win yet. Playing a team like that is just what the doctor ordered for the Pens.
Next Tuesday, the Penguins are going to be playing the Ducks once again. These two teams will meet for the second time in an eight-day span but this time it will be in Anaheim. It should be a lot of fun to see them play again.