Chances aplenty, but nothing to show for their effort. It was that kind of game for the Ducks, who came up empty in a 4-0 loss to the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena. They fired 29 shots on Canucks goaltender Jacob Markstrom, and the veteran netminder denied each one. It's unfortunately been a problem all season for the Ducks, who finished their four-game road trip with a 1-3-0 record. They scored just six goals in those games, though four of those goals came in the opener.
"We got off to a good start," said Jakob Silfverberg. "We had some pressure on them and had a couple chances. We didn't manage to find the back of the net. All of a sudden, we get a shot blocked and off they go to score."
With just 20 games remaining in the regular season, tonight's lineup featured a healthy dose of young players. The latest, a 21-year-old defenseman named Brendan Guhle, whom the Ducks acquired yesterday along with a first-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for defenseman Brandon Montour.
The 6-foot-2, 196-pound blueliner skated alongside Korbinian Holzer and led the Ducks with five shots on goal in 18:15 TOI. The Edmonton, Alberta native nearly got his first career NHL goal when he one-timed a pass from Ryan Kesler from the left faceoff dot. Tonight marked his third game this season and the 24th of his NHL career, having spent the majority of 2018-19 with the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League.
His Grade-A chance was among the many the Ducks had tonight. Corey Perry had a rebound bank of his chest and trickle past the left post. Rickard Rakell had a glorious opportunity in the crease in the final seconds of the second period. Rookie Max Jones, still in search of his first career NHL goal, had a seemingly wide open net and shanked a shot wide. Derek Grant had the whole net to shoot at and his shot clipped the outside of the post.
On the other hand, the Canucks delivered on the few chances they had. They scored three goals on their first eight shots, the first coming from Nikolay Goldobin at the 8:04 mark of the first period. Vancouver doubled its lead on a goal from Alex Biega, who fired a low slap shot that skipped underneath Kevin Boyle's stick and between his legs with 3:20 remaining in the opening frame. Bo Horvat made it 3-0 when he found space along the nearside post for a power-play goal in the opening minutes of the second period. Horvat scored again in the third period to put the game away.
The Ducks will return to action on Wednesday when they host the Chicago Blackhawks in the opener of a three-game homestand.