It wasn't always this way, but the Ducks this season are nearly unbeatable in shootouts. Ondrej Kase opened it with his patented forehand-to-backhand deke, John Gibson denied the only two Ottawa shooters he faced and Rickard Rakell scored the game-deciding goal to lift the Ducks to a 3-2 shootout victory over the Senators at Canadian Tire Centre.
The Ducks improved to 5-1 in shootouts this season, but more importantly have won five of their past seven games (5-2-0). They've got themselves a modest two-game winning streak, taking the first two contests on their five-game trek.
Gibson was fantastic throughout the game, finishing regulation and overtime with 30 saves on 32 shots to improve his record this season to 16-21-3. The win improved Anaheim's all-time mark vs. Ottawa to 19-10-8, including a 9-6-3 mark at Canadian Tire Centre.
The 26-year-old netminder surely brought a tear to hockey purists tuning in when he went old school with a lunging pokecheck on Drake Batherson in the opening round of the shootout. Gibson went with a more conventional approach to deny Anthony Duclair in the second round before Rakell sealed it in the third round.
"This wasn't our best game, but we kept fighting and Gibby played great behind us," said Rakell, who extended his point streak to three games (1g/3a) with an assist tonight. "We're going to take the two points."
Marcus Hogberg turned in an admirable 26-save effort in the shootout loss for the Sens, who remain winless in shootouts this season (0-5).
The Ducks never trailed in the game, but they certainly made things interesting by taking five penalties, two of which resulting in Senators goals. But like they did in LA, the Ducks struck first and set the tone early.
Minutes after killing off a four-minute penalty, the Ducks got on the board when Nick Ritchie tipped Hampus Lindholm's point shot for his fifth goal of the season at the 9:19 mark of the first period.
Video: ANA@OTT: Ritchie redirects puck past Hogberg
The Senators evened the score 4:39 into the second period when Batherson fired a wrist shot past Gibson on the power play.
The Ducks regained the lead at the 13:35 mark of the middle frame when Kase chipped a backhander past an outstretched Hogberg for his seventh goal of the season. It started with a tenacious forecheck from Kase, Sam Steel and Max Jones. When Jones couldn't bury his chance in the slot, Kase corralled the loose puck behind the net and was able to tuck it past the 6-foot-6 netminder's leg. It marked Kase's fourth goal and eighth point in his past 11 games.
Video: ANA@OTT: Kase cleans up carom off the end boards
Ottawa found the equalizer 3:16 into the third when Artem Anisimov opened his stick blade to deflect a pass from Colin White for his 10th goal of the season.
The game almost didn't make it to overtime had it not been for Gibson, who came up huge with multiple stops in the final seconds of regulation to earn the Ducks a point.
The Ducks had multiple glorious chances to win it in sudden death, including Cam Fowler's 2-on-1 attempt that hit the post in the opening minutes. Gibson, meanwhile, stood strong, denying a point-blank chance midway through.
Video: ANA@OTT: Rakell seals win in the shootout
The Ducks will head to Montreal to face the Canadiens on Thursday night at Bell Centre.