It looked like the had managed to steal at least one point, but then the call came down: no goal.
Brandon Montour’s blast ricocheted off ’s left skate and trickled into the net with less than two minutes remaining in the 2-1 contest. It did not appear to be a distinct kicking motion, but the Swede’s skate turned toward the puck and did leave the ice.
Seconds later, ’s shot sailed into the net John Gibson had just vacated for the extra attacker, with the goaltender’s desperate dive to return to the crease all for naught.
And with it, the topped the Ducks 3-1 on Wednesday before 15,628 at .
“As soon as it happened, [I was] kind of 50-50,” Silfverberg admitted. “I wasn’t really sure if I lifted my foot off the ice or what I did. After I saw the replay, I kind of leaned toward disallowing [the goal], but you never know. They watched the video so I’m sure they made the right call.”
The call earned , who was the Ducks’ starting goalie for the better part of three seasons between 2013 and 2016, his first career victory over his former squad.
He stonewalled the Ducks (28 saves on 29 shots), who created plenty of scoring chances in the second period, but also rang the puck off the iron numerous times.
The Ducks (6-5-1) were on the heels of an impressive four-game trip, where they won three games, highlighted by a victory over league-best Tampa Bay.
But without captain Ryan Getzlaf, who again is sidelined after a puck struck him in the face Sunday, the Ducks didn’t resemble the road warriors from last week who averaged over four goals per game.
Gibson, Andersen’s successor in goal and the man who precipitated his ouster to Toronto, was mighty impressive in defeat.
He made a number of kick saves to keep Anaheim afloat, but the woeful power play reared its ugly head.
The unit ranks No. 30 in the league with just four man-advantage goals (10.8%), and against the Leafs, the Ducks were held scoreless on four such opportunities.
“We weren’t sharp on the power play,” Ducks coach admitted. “… We’ve got to be better. We’ve got to deliver in those situations for sure.”
When it was even strength, the Ducks seemed to be chasing the game. Toronto grabbed the lead in the first period after a sloppy Corey Perry turnover created a two-on-one that Connor Brown converted through Gibson’s five-hole.
Ondrej Kase tied it up about a minute later with a nifty turnaround wrister that Andersen never saw with Nick Ritchie screening him. The second-year winger now has five goals in nine games, good for a share of the team lead with Rickard Rakell.
The Ducks were strong on the puck in the second, but the chances didn’t lead to goals. Carlyle lamented that the team hit at least three posts that period, and after (whom Anaheim coveted in the offseason) buried a rebound in the opening minute-plus of the third, it was all over.
“We were a little sloppy on some plays that got their momentum going,” Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm said. “… We have to build from this. We can’t be satisfied from not scoring goals. We have to work even harder.”
The hard work begins again Thursday as the team readies for a Finals rematch with the .