Ebene Magazine – Ducks fall on exhausted avalanche in OT

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Ebene Magazine - Ducks fall on exhausted avalanche in OT

DENVER, COLORADO – MARCH 5: Rickard Rakell # 67 of the Anaheim Ducks advances the puck against Devon Toews # 7 of the Colorado Avalanche in the first period at Ball Arena on March 5, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman / Getty Images)

Colorado Avalanche left wing Andre Burakovsky (left) chases the puck with Anaheim Ducks center Trevor Zegras during the first phase of an NHL hockey game on Friday March 5, 2021 in Denver. (AP Photo / David Zalubowski)

Colorado Avalanche right wing Mikko Rantanen chases the puck in the first phase of an NHL hockey game against the Anaheim Ducks on Friday, March 5, 2021 in Denver. (AP Photo / David Zalubowski)

Anaheim Ducks defenseman Jacob Larsson (left) chases the puck with Colorado Avalanche’s left wing Pine Sherwood during the first phase of an NHL hockey game on Friday March 5, 2021 in Denver. (AP Photo / David Zalubowski)

Anaheim Ducks goalkeeper John Gibson attempts to stop a Colorado Avalanche shot during the first phase of an NHL hockey game in Denver on Friday, March 5, 2021. (AP Photo / David Zalubowski)

DENVER, COLORADO – MARCH 5: Brandon Saad # 20 of the Colorado Avalanche celebrates with Dan Renouf # 2, Tyson Jost # 17 and Joonas Donskoi # 72 after beating Anaheim on March 5, 2021 at Ball Arena Ducks had hit Denver, Colorado in the second half. (Photo by Matthew Stockman / Getty Images)

DENVER, COLORADO – MARCH 5: Adam Henrique # 14 of the Anaheim Ducks scores against the Colorado Avalanche in the first period at Ball Arena on March 5, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman / Getty Images)

DENVER, COLORADO – MARCH 5: Adam Henrique # 14 of the Anaheim Ducks celebrates with Cam Fowler # 4 and Max Jones # 49 after beating the Colorado Avalanche in the first period at Ball Arena on March 5, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman / Getty Images)

Colorado Avalanche goalkeeper Philipp Grubauer grabs his water bottle during a break in the team’s second phase of the team’s NHL hockey game against the Anaheim Ducks on Friday, March 5, 2021 in Denver. (AP Photo / David Zalubowski)

Colorado Avalanche goalkeeper Philipp Grubauer is about to stop an Anaheim Ducks shot in the second phase of an NHL hockey game on Friday, March 5, 2021 in Denver. (AP Photo / David Zalubowski)

Anaheim Ducks left wing Max Jones (left) battles defender Colorado Avalanche, Devon Toews, for position in the second phase of an NHL hockey game on Friday March 5, 2021 in Denver in front of the network. (AP Photo / David Zalubowski)

Anaheim Ducks right wing Jakob Silfverberg (center) celebrates after scoring Sam Steel (left) and defenseman Ben Hutton in the second phase of an NHL hockey game against the Colorado Avalanche on Friday March 5th 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo / David Zalubowski)

Colorado Avalanche Center Tyson Jost (back left) attempts to control the puck while Anaheim Ducks Center defends Adam Henrique during the first phase of an NHL hockey game in Denver on Friday, March 5, 2021. (AP Photo / David Zalubowski)

DENVER, COLORADO – MARCH 5: Valeri Nichushkin # 13 of the Colorado Avalanche celebrates the goal against the Anaheim Ducks in the second period at Ball Arena on March 5, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman / Getty Images)

Colorado Avalanche right wing Valeri Nichushkin, front, is congratulated when he scores a goal against the Anaheim Ducks in Denver on Friday, March 5, 2021 in the second phase of an NHL hockey game. (AP Photo / David Zalubowski)

Anaheim Ducks center Isac Lundestrom (left) struggles with Colorado Avalanche’s right wing Mikko Rantanen (center) as he diverts the puck at Anaheim goalkeeper John Gibson, who took the shot in the third phase of an NHL hockey game on Denver will stop on Friday March 5, 2021. (AP Photo / David Zalubowski)

Anaheim Ducks defender Jani Hakanpaa (left) entangles with Colorado Avalanche right wing Joonas Donskoi during the third phase of an NHL hockey game on Friday March 5, 2021 in Denver. (AP Photo / David Zalubowski)

Anaheim Ducks head coach Dallas Eakins, above, watches during the second phase of an NHL hockey game against the Colorado Avalanche on Friday, March 5, 2021 in Denver. (AP Photo / David Zalubowski)

Colorado Avalanche right wing Valeri Nichushkin (left) battles for control with Anaheim Ducks defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk in the third phase of an NHL hockey game on Friday March 5, 2021 in Denver over the puck. (AP Photo / David Zalubowski)

Colorado Avalanche goalkeeper Philipp Grubauer stops in Denver during the third phase of the team’s NHL hockey game against the Anaheim Ducks on Friday, March 5, 2021. (AP Photo / David Zalubowski)

Anaheim Ducks defender Cam Fowler, 4, hits the puck while Colorado defenseman Avalanche, Devon Toews, is in the third phase of an NHL hockey game on Friday March 5, 2021, pursued in Denver. (AP Photo / David Zalubowski)

Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf, front, checks the Colorado Avalanche’s right wing, Logan O’Connor, during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Denver on Friday, March 5, 2021. (AP Photo / David Zalubowski)

DENVER, COLORADO – MARCH 5: Colorado Avalanche’s Pine Sherwood # 44 fights for the puck with Jani Hakanpaa # 28 of the Anaheim Ducks in the second period at Ball Arena on March 5, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman / Getty Images)

DENVER, COLORADO – MARCH 5: Cam Fowler # 4 of the Anaheim Ducks takes the puck off the boards against the Colorado Avalanche in the second period at Ball Arena on March 5, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman / Getty Images)

Anaheim Ducks center Sam Steel (center) clears the puck to defenseman Ben Hutton (front) while Colorado Avalanche left wing Gabriel Landeskog during the third phase of an NHL hockey game on Friday March 5, 2021 watching in Denver. (AP Photo / David Zalubowski)

DENVER, COLORADO – MARCH 5: Samuel Girard # 49 of the Colorado Avalanche brings the puck off the boards against the Anaheim Ducks in the first period at Ball Arena on March 5, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman / Getty Images)

Anaheim Ducks goalkeeper John Gibson (left) saves Nazem Kadri during the third phase of an NHL hockey game on Friday March 5, 2021 in Denver against the Colorado Avalanche Center. (AP Photo / David Zalubowski)

DENVER, COLORADO – MARCH 5: Mikko Rantanen # 96 of the Colorado Avalanche fights for the puck with Max Comtois # 53 of the Anaheim Ducks in the second period at Ball Arena on March 5, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman / Getty Images)

DENVER, COLORADO – MARCH 5: John Gibson # 36 of the Anaheim Ducks tends to score against the Colorado Avalanche in the second period at Ball Arena on March 5, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman / Getty Images)

DENVER, COLORADO – MARCH 5: Rickard Rakell # 67 of the Anaheim Ducks looks for an opening against the Colorado Avalanche in the first period at Ball Arena on March 5, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman / Getty Images)

Anaheim Ducks goalkeeper John Gibson (left) saves Valeri Nichushkin from Colorado Avalanche right wing during the third phase of an NHL hockey game on Friday March 5, 2021 in Denver. (AP Photo / David Zalubowski)

Colorado Avalanche right wing Valeri Nichushkin (front) reacts after scoring the winning goal against Anaheim Ducks goalkeeper John Gibson in extra time in an NHL hockey game on Friday, March 5, 2021 in Denver Has. (AP Photo / David Zalubowski)

Ducks goalkeeper John Gibson looks into the net to see the puck shot by Colorado Avalanche right wing Valeri Nichushkin for the winning goal in extra time in Denver Friday night. Colorado won 3-2. (AP Photo / David Zalubowski)

Anaheim Ducks goalkeeper John Gibson (left) follows defenseman Josh Mahura from the ice after scoring the winning goal in extra time in an NHL hockey game against the Colorado Avalanche on Friday March 5, 2021 in Denver would have. (AP Photo / David Zalubowski)

The ducks built a lead, then lost it and, after a few desperate moments, regained their shape.

No question about it, the ducks were the better team for limited distances, but sewing them together from start to finish was still a chore. The Colorado Avalanche did play a part in disrupting the ducks’ game, and they were in another close game.

In the end, the ducks could not stop Valeri Nichushkin, who scored the winner in overtime with 2:45 and suffered a 3-2 defeat against the Avalanche on Friday evening in Denver. The ducks earned a point but haven’t won a game since February 11th.

It wasn’t like the Ducks found a way to lose as they fell to 0-6-3 in the last nine.

« Another point where we are right there, but at the end of the day we get a point, but there are two points that we want and that we urgently need, » said Jakob Silfverberg, who did the ducks Had brought a 2-0 lead early in the second period. « Obviously not happy with one. »

Ducks coach Dallas Eakins welcomed Josh Manson back to the line-up after a 20-game break due to a slanted injury against the Minnesota Wild on January 18. Eakins tweaked his line-up to accommodate Manson, playing seven defenders and eleven forwards instead of the usual six and twelve.

Manson’s return to the ice more or less coincided with news on Thursday that Hampus Lindholm would be sidelined for six weeks due to a broken wrist during a February 27 game against the Golden Knights. Lindholm could be out by mid-April.

« I thought he played great, » Eakins said of Manson. « He played a physical, solid game. »

Referring to the mile-high elevation of Denver, Manson said, « It felt like I was breathing through a straw. »

The ducks received no sympathy from the avalanche, which was without defender Bowen Byram, and Cale Makar and striker Nathan MacKinnon for injuries. MacKinnon’s head was checked on Wednesday by Joachim Blichfeld of San Jose, who had suspended two games from the NHL.

Judging by the first few minutes, the Avalanche hardly missed it. The Avalanche had some early scoring opportunities, but Ducks goalkeeper John Gibson turned them down long enough for his teammates to move their feet in the right direction.

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The Ducks took a 1-0 lead 10 seconds ahead in the first half when Rickard Rakell pushed a pass behind the net to Adam Henrique in the slot. Henrique fired the puck into the net. Rakell got the only support to extend his streak to four games.

Silfverberg extended the Ducks lead to 2-0 in the second half and sent a laser past Colorado goalkeeper Philipp Grubauer into the upper reaches of the net. Silfverberg collected a loose puck along the boards in his own zone and ran down the right wing to score.

However, the two-goal lead would not last the length of the period. Nichushkin scored shortly after the end of a power game in Colorado at 2:46 p.m. in the second half and Brandon Saad of the Avalanche scored from close range for a 2-2 draw at 5:23 p.m.

« We have to look for that half step, that half step difference between winning the game and losing the game, » said Manson. « Because it’s out there somewhere and we just have to find it to get on the right side of these games. It seems too often like we only show up briefly.

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