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Ducks eliminated from playoff contention; Sam Steel's big night spoiled

March 27, 2019, 10:23 AM ET [8 Comments]
Steve Palumbo
Anaheim Ducks Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
On a night the Anaheim Ducks were officially eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the future of hockey in Orange County was on full display.

Rookie Sam Steel notched his first NHL hat trick in Anaheim's 5-4 win in Vancouver on Tuesday night. The 21-year-old Steel became the youngest Duck to record a hattrick in a regular season game. Steel now has five points (3g 2a) in his last three appearances. Overall, he has eight points (4g 4a) in 18 games this season.

Steel was added to the lineup to replace the Captain. Ryan Getzlaf is dealing with an upper-body issue. The Ducks picked Steel 30th overall in the 2016 draft with a pick they got in the Freddie Anderson deal.

Rickard Rakell and Kiefer Sherwood filled out the rest of the scoresheet and John Gibson had 28 saves.

With the win, the Ducks improved to 8-5-1 in March. They've pulled a complete 180 over the previous month when they went 3-10.

Despite the win, Anaheim was officially eliminated from the postseason. Who dealt the Ducks its postseason death blow? Why none other than the Arizona Coyotes. The 'Yotes beat the Chicago Blackhawks to put the dagger in the back of a very disappointing season in Anaheim.

With the playoffs, not an option, it's nice to see some of the youth get a shot to make a mark and perhaps set the stage for a full-time spot in the next season or two. Fear not, Anaheim faithful, the future shines bright like a diamond. Or something like that.

BTW, all the recent winning is hurting the Ducks draft odds. After last nights win, they have a 20.4% of a top-3 picks and 6.5% (tankathon.com) chance of the first overall pick.

Thanks for reading,
Steve
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