ANAHEIM - Undoubtedly the most entertaining game at Honda Center this season unfortunately had just about everything but a Ducks victory.
Despite countless chances to overtake the visiting Islanders, the Ducks got a point with the help of a late Rickard Rakell goal but ultimately suffered defeat in the 14th round of a marathon shootout.
"We're not getting a lot of bounces right now, but I thought our guys did a good job of battling back and getting a big goal in the end," Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said. "We came away with a point. I thought we deserved more."
Anaheim scored four potential game-winners in the shootout, all of which were answered by the Islanders, including a controversial one by Thomas Hickey in the 12th round in which he appeared to push goalie Jonathan Bernier's leg pad to force the puck over the stripe. A lengthy replay review upheld the call on the ice of a good goal, though a confusing announcement by referee Gord Dwyer initially had the home crowd thinking it was waved off.
"I take this loss on my shoulders," Bernier said. "I need to come up with the big save at the right time. Every time we scored, they found a way to score."
The shootout finally came to an end in the 14th round - a Ducks franchise record - when Nick Leddy got Bernier down and lifted the puck over him. "I need to stay patient and wait for them to make the first move," Bernier said. "A couple times I overreacted before they even made a move."
Of the controversial Hickey goal that kept the shootout going, Bernier said, "I think it was pretty obvious. I made the save and my skate was going right to the post where I wanted it to be. He pushed me in."
Said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle, "I was under the understanding that you can't score a goal in the NHL today by pushing the goaltender's pad with the puck underneath it over the line. I guess I was proved wrong again tonight to much of our surprise. The explanation I was given was that they called it a goal on the ice, so they couldn't determine that the puck wasn't in the net under his pad. It was inconclusive, so they definitively couldn't tell if the puck was in the net or not."
After chance upon chance went by the wayside in regulation, the Ducks finally tied it with 10:52 left in the third period on the rush when Corey Perry fed Rakell for the one-timer past diving goalie Thomas Greiss. It marked Rakell's third straight game with a goal and his seventh in 11 games.
Video: NYI@ANA: Rakell buries feed from Perry, ties the game
Rakell even looked like he might be the hero in the tiebreaker, converting in the fourth round only to see John Tavares prolong the shootout at the other end of the rink.
And so it went four different times before Kevin Bieksa missed his chance badly at the top of the 14th and Leddy slammed the door.
The Ducks had a number of opportunities to pot the game-winner after Rakell's goal, but they were victimized by the post on a Ryan Kesler shot just after killing a penalty late in regulation, and Greiss stood tall.
Anaheim continued to have a number of scoring chances in the 3-on-3 overtime (outshooting the Islanders 7-1), but couldn't get the puck past Greiss, leaving the home crowd exasperated and giving way to an even more strenuous shootout.
Among those right on the cusp tonight for Anaheim was 21-year-old Ondrej Kase, who hit the post twice in search of his first NHL goal (in just his fourth game) and converted a would-be clincher in the eighth round of the shootout, only to see it spoiled.
The Ducks went in front early in this one, on the power play, when Cam Fowler's slapshot from the point deflected off winger Cal Clutterbuck's skate and snuck by Greiss. It was Fowler's sixth goal of the year, four of them on the man advantage.
Video: NYI@ANA: Fowler hands Ducks the lead with early PPG
Fowler also had one of the Ducks goals in the shootout and said, "It's exciting, for sure. It's not often I get my number called, but it was fun. Coach said try not to get too high after a shootout win and try not to get too low after a shootout loss. We'll move on and get ready for Friday."
The Isles tied it a few minutes after Fowler's first period goal when an Adam Pelech shot and snuck under Bernier. Pelech's first career goal was originally credited to John Tavares, who looked as if he tipped it in front, but replays dictated a scoring change that was announced during the second intermission.
New York went in front with 3:18 left in the period on a Josh Bailey one-timer from the right wing on the power play. Neither team found the net until Rakell finally broke through, but the Ducks couldn't get the one more goal they needed in taking a second straight loss.
"Both coaches would like their teams to play a little tighter, but we're going to try to build off the momentum," said Carlyle. "We did a lot of good things tonight. We need to find ways to win the specialty teams battles. Tonight we lost the specialty teams battle in the sense that we lost in a shootout."
Anaheim will finish off a five-game homestand with its traditional Black Friday matinee against the Blackhawks at Honda Center.
Video: NYI@ANA: Rakell beats Greiss with toe drag in SO