A Ducks offense that had been snake bitten for so long came to life this afternoon in one of the most entertaining games of the season. Five different players scored in regulation, and Jakob Silfverberg delivered the game-deciding goal in a thrilling 6-5 shootout victory over the New York Islanders on Saturday afternoon at Nassau Coliseum. It marked the first time the Ducks scored five goals or more in a game since a 7-4 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Oct. 29.
The Ducks bent, but didn't break, and neither did the Islanders. The game was tied five different times, and featured three power-play play goals and one shorthanded marker. But in the end, the Ducks prevailed with shootout goals from Max Comtois and Silfverberg in the second and third rounds, and a 28-save performance from John Gibson, who also turned aside two of three Islanders in the shootout. They were able to pull off the victory without their captain, Ryan Getzlaf, who missed the game due to illness.
Anaheim snapped a two-game losing streak and improved to 15-17-4 (34 points). The Isles fell to 23-8-3 (49 points), and suffered just their fifth loss of any kind at home (13-3-2). The Ducks took both games this season against the Islanders, opening the two-game series with a 3-0 victory at Honda Center on Nov. 25.
Video: ANA@NYI: Silfverberg lifts backhander for SO win
"Pretty big win for us," said Cam Fowler, one of the five goal scorers for Anaheim today. "Going up against a great team on their home ice without Getzlaf. Huge player of ours. Our guys grinded all [game] long. Got the two points. Big win for our group."
Comtois, who has gone 2-for-3 in shootout attempts in his brief NHL career, says a win like this - with the kind of offense the Ducks showed - could go a long way. "Everybody is happy," he said. "That's a huge win for us, especially after last game [a 3-1 loss in New Jersey]. We were mad about how we played. It's a good bounce back. We found the back of the net a lot. It's a step in the right direction."
The first of 10 goals belonged to the Islanders when Anders Lee opened the scoring just 1:50 into the game when he converted a nice feed from Mathew Barzal for his 10th tally of the season.
The Ducks evened the score when Comtois got a piece of Isac Lundestrom's shot-pass on the power play at the 16:27 mark of the first period for his third goal of the season.
Video: ANA@NYI: Comtois tips Lundestrom's shot home for PPG
Anaheim took the lead less than a minute later when Sam Carrick buried a shorthanded goal for his first goal as a Duck (10th game). It also marked his first NHL goal since 2015.
Video: ANA@NYI: Carrick snaps SHG past Varlamov for lead
The lead was short-lived, as New York tied the game just 47 seconds later when Brock Nelson capitalized on the power play with his 13th goal of the season.
The Ducks regained the lead at the 5:23 mark of the second period when Adam Henrique tipped Michael Del Zotto's point shot past Islanders netminder Semyon Varlamov. It marked Henrique's 11th goal of the season, and his second in as many games.
Video: ANA@NYI: Henrique redirects Del Zotto's shot for goal
Barzal tied it with a breakaway goal midway through the middle frame that kissed the top corner over a sprawled Gibson.
Nick Leddy gave the Islanders a lead with a snap shot that sailed over Gibson's shoulder at the 14:15 mark of the second period.
The craziness continued, as Silfverberg responded 26 seconds later with his team-leading 13th goal of the season to tie the game, 4-4.
Video: ANA@NYI: Silfverberg buries Henrique's nifty pass
Anaheim regained the lead at the 10:19 mark of the third period when Fowler joined the rush and went top shelf with a snap shot that beat Varlamov clean.
Video: ANA@NYI: Fowler snipes puck upstairs for lead
The lead lasted until Ryan Pulock hammered a one-timer from the left faceoff dot on the power play with 6:41 left in regulation.
Gibson's best save of the game came in overtime when he robbed Barzal on a partial breakaway to keep the Ducks alive.
Video: ANA@NYI: Gibson stones Barzal at the doorstep in OT
"We have to find ways to win hockey games," said Fowler. "Putting the puck in the net has been an issue for us, but we've continued to stay with it. Gibby made huge saves that kept us in the game. We found a way to get two points. We have to do it a variety of different ways. I think it'll give the group some confidence seeing five go in."
The Ducks will finish off their four-game road trip tomorrow afternoon against the New York Rangers at 9:30 a.m. PT.