Avalanche crack; Ducks rally for 2-1 victory

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[January 20, 2017]  ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Anaheim Ducks survived a frustrating first period, an unusual delay and the loss of one of their key players to enhance their lead in the Pacific Division.

Nick Ritchie scored with 2:02 to play as the Ducks rallied for a 2-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night at the Honda Center.

Hampus Lindholm added his second goal in four games for the Ducks (26-13-9), who received 21 saves from goaltender John Gibson in earning their eighth win in 10 games (8-1-1).

The pivotal moment took place when play was stopped for 45 minutes in the middle of the second period to repair a cracked pane of Plexiglas behind one of the goals.

"It gave us an opportunity to reset ourselves," Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said. "The six or seven minutes before, it was all in their favor. They were coming at us. They were much more aggressive in their forecheck and they shut the walls off."

Gabriel Landeskog scored for the Avalanche (13-29-1), who suffered their fourth successive loss and 14th in 16 games despite 34 saves from goalie Calvin Pickard. Both victories in that span came in overtime.

Pickard stopped 22 shots in the first period.

"He played great," Landeskog said. "He played unbelievable and gave us a chance to win."

Anaheim's Jakob Silfverberg went to the dressing room 3:10 into the third period after Colorado's Nikita Zadorov checked him hard into the right corner of the Ducks' zone. Silfverberg did not return.

"He's under evaluation as we speak," Carlyle said after the game.

Ondrej Kase began the sequence for the winning goal by intercepting Zadorov's pass and sending the puck to Ritchie, who dragged a wrist shot from the slot for his 11th goal.

"It was kind of a broken play," Ritchie said. " 'Case' made a good pass to cut it back. I was just in the slot and shot it through a bunch of guys."

Avalanche defenseman Francois Beauchemin viewed Zadorov's poor pass as atypical.

"He's going to do that 100 times and he's going to make it 99 out of 100," Beauchemin said. "He missed it tonight and it ended up in the back of the net. It's a tough way to learn."

Landeskog's ninth goal with 11 seconds left on a power play gave the Avalanche a 1-0 lead. After Gibson stopped Matt Duchene's shot at the left post, Landeskog deposited the rebound inside the right post while facing an open net with 5:56 left in the second period.

Lindholm tied the score 7:17 into the third period and 21 seconds into a power play for his third of the season. Rickard Rakell banked a drop pass off the left boards to Lindholm, who fired a rising slap shot from the blue line.

The Ducks had a chance to take an early lead by peppering Pickard in the first period. One shot by Rakell from the top of the slot hit the inside of the right post with about 4:20 left. His teammates blocked 10 extra shots in the opening period.

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Anaheim Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm (47) moves the puck ahead of Colorado Avalanche left wing Blake Comeau (14) during the second period at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

"The second and the third periods were better than we played lately," Beauchemin said. "We've just got to find a way to play a full 60 minutes."

Landeskog scored after play was stopped for 45 minutes. Referees suspended play with 9:48 left in the second period when a shot cracked a piece of Plexiglas behind one of the goal nets.

Fans cheered when a replacement piece appeared after roughly 15 minutes, then booed when it had to be removed because it was the wrong size.

After about 20 minutes, with no replacement Plexiglas available, the referees ordered the second intermission to begin. Once a replacement was cut to fit and installed, the second period resumed. Then came a dry scrape of the ice, followed immediately by the third period.

About 45 minutes elapsed between the time play stopped and resumed.

The referees ruled in accordance with Rule 77.3 in the NHL rule book: "If a delay takes place with more than five (5) minutes remaining in the first or second period, the Referee will order the next regular intermission to be taken immediately only when requested to do so by the home Club."

NOTES: Colorado GM Joe Sakic was one of four former members of the Avalanche and Ducks who were inducted to the International Hockey Hall of Fame on Tuesday. Sakic played his entire career with the Avalanche and its predecessors, the Quebec Nordiques. Joining Sakic were Teemu Selanne, Saku Koivu and Uwe Krupp. ... Anaheim traded D Andrew O'Brien to the Nashville Predators for RW Max Gortz in an exchange of AHL players. ... Colorado scratched D Tyson Barrie, C Joe Colborne and G Semyon Varlamov, who did not travel with the team. ... The Avalanche recalled G Spencer Martin from San Antonio (AHL) on Wednesday. ... Colorado RW Rene Bourque played his 700th career game. ... Anaheim scratched RW Jared Boll. ... The Ducks recalled RW Stefan Noesen from AHL San Diego on Thursday, one day after sending down Noesen and D Shea Theodore.

[ 2017 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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