Despite a consistent push over the course of the final five minutes of the third period, the Ducks saw their season-opening three-game winning streak snapped in a 2-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena on Thursday. They managed just one goal on Penguins goaltender Matt Murray, and it came from Ondrej Kase just 30 seconds after Sidney Crosby opened the scoring. John Gibson gave up two goals tonight for the first time in four starts. He finished with 26 saves on 28 shots.
Video: ANA@PIT: Kase hammers home Richie's sweet pass
The Ducks pulled Gibson for an extra attacker for the final 1:30, but never really got anything going. Anaheim's best chance with six skaters came when defenseman Brendan Guhle fired a shot on net from the boards that Jakob Silfverberg tipped wide.
"Every one of our games has been tight so far," Ducks head coach Dallas Eakins said to reporters after the game. "I don't expect that to change. We're going to have to keep learning how to get out on top of these games. You can't play 12 minutes [shorthanded] and get enough goals to score."
Crosby, meanwhile, left his mark throughout the game. In addition to scoring the game's opening goal, his second of the season, he earned the primary assist on the go-ahead goal from Jake Guentzel. Crosby shook off Ducks defenseman Josh Manson on his way to the net, and found his linemate alone in the slot at the 7:24 mark of the third.
"It wasn't a terrible game," said Nick Ritchie, who assisted on Kase's goal for his second point in as many games. "It was kind of back and forth. We took a lot of penalties, which I think hurt the momentum of the game. We had a few looks. Both goalies played well. We're not going to win every one. We would've liked to have won this one. We're going to move on to tomorrow night."
The Ducks will close out their back-to-back set tomorrow against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena.