ANAHEIM - In a game where they couldn't get much going offensively, the Anaheim Ducks were forced to be content with a point in yet another overtime defeat.
This time it was to the St. Louis Blues, who held the Ducks without a goal for much of the game, and ultimately vanquished Anaheim just 51 seconds into the 3-on-3 overtime. It was then that Patrik Berglund snuck behind Ryan Getzlaf backdoor and tipped through a Jaden Schwartz feed for the game-winner (his second of the game). The Ducks fell to 1-8 in overtime this season.
Anaheim had tied the game at one goal apiece five minutes into the third period on Rickard Rakell's 18th goal of the year (tying with Ryan Kesler for the team lead).
As both teams looked for the tiebreaking strike, a late high sticking call on Nick Ritchie forced the Ducks to kill a Blues power play down the stretch in regulation and for the first 23 seconds of OT. Anaheim erased that penalty, but it wasn't long afterward they gave up the dagger.
"(The comeback) gives us confidence," Rakell said. "Going forward, we can take this with us. Just stay confident. We created chances. I thought we played a pretty good game. We can't get too down."
The Ducks managed just 23 shots in the game and came up empty on three power-play opportunities, dropping them to 1 for 25 on the man advantage the last eight games.
"Hopefully, our young guys learn from this game that this is how you have to play," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "This was a big, physical hockey club. It's a tough break in overtime. We missed an assignment, but we'll move on."
The Ducks were coming off a brief two-game road swing in Colorado and Arizona in which they won both games (including last night over the Coyotes), giving them three straight wins and seven of eight since the calendar changed to 2017. Getting to OT at least gave them a point in 11 of the last 12 games and kept them atop the Pacific Division standings at 24-13-9.
"There were a lot of confrontations, battles, wall work, chipping, hitting. A little bit of everything," Ducks defenseman Kevin Bieksa said. "I thought we played well. It came down to overtime again, and obviously we know what happened."
After a scoreless opening 31 minutes, the Blues got on the board with 8:57 left, as John Gibson couldn't cover a puck in the crease near the right post and Berglund poked it under him.
Gibson made a huge save on Vladimir Tarasenko on the rush about two minutes into the third to preserve the lead, sprawling out to rob Tarasenko alone on the doorstep.
About three minutes later, the Ducks got a long-awaited goal, tying the game when Rakell backhanded in a rebound off a Getzlaf slap shot. The Ducks got a break just before the play when three Blues collided with each other, allowing Anaheim easy access into the attacking zone.
Video: STL@ANA: Rakell buries rebound to tie the game
But they couldn't manage to get another one, failing in their bid to win a fourth straight game for the first time this season. They'll look to start a new streak Tuesday night against the Lightning.
"We've played a lot of hockey and we're going to continue playing a lot of hockey for the next few weeks," Bieksa said. "It's a grind. The objective is to get points every night. We'd like two, but it's nice to get one."