Anaheim Ducks Weekly Roundup: Week of 11/17/14-11/23/14
Calgary over Anaheim, 4-3 in a shootout.
The Ducks looked poised to win this one, going up 2-0 on goals from Matt Beleskey and Sami Vatanen. Anaheim was looking dominant through 2 periods against former Ducks net minder, Jonas Hiller. The Flames scored 3 goals in the third, 2 off the stick of Dennis Wideman who unloaded absolute snipes from the slot, and 1 from Jiri Hudler off of a rebound which was also from the slot. Palmieri scored the 3rd Ducks goal to tie up the game with his first goal of the season. After a hard fought OT, the score remained tied and the teams faced off in a shootout. Ryan Kesler scored to tie the shootout but then the second shootout frame went scoreless. Sean Monahan converted on his attempt and then Jonas Hiller shut the door on Corey Perry to seal the victory for Calgary. Ducks have had trouble finishing games off, playing a good forty but not a full sixty. Anaheim needs to step it up to get out of their groove.
Anaheim over Vancouver, 4-3 in a shootout.
This was a special night for Ryan Kesler who made his return to Vancouver, he wore a Canuck sweater for the first 11 years of his NHL career. Nick Bonino was valiant in his return to Anaheim, a big piece in the Kesler trade, and the Ducks returned the favor by being victorious with Kesler's turn. Cogliano and Getzlaf put up tallies in the first period putting the Ducks up 2-0. Vancouver responded in the second off of goals from Bo Horvat (1st of his career) Jannik Hansen and Radim Vrbata scored 30 seconds apart 5 minutes after Horvat's goal. Matt Beleskey who is enjoying a career year so far scored his 9th of the season with 8 minutes left in the third to tie the score. Corey Perry opened up the shootout with a goal and Jakob Silfverberg scored the winner in the third frame. Former Duck, Nick Bonino was stopped by Andersen in the first round and Radim Vrbata lost the puck on his attempt in the second round. It still pains me to see Bonino in a Canucks sweater so a win over him and him failing in the shootout is bittersweet, but as a Ducks fan, a win conquers all, and I love what Kesler brings to the table. Andersen stopped 25 shots and This victory was just their 2nd in 8 games (2-1-5) The boys must being full of gray hairs with all of these Overtime games, especially seeing that they don't fare well in them overall.
Anaheim over Arizona, 2-1.
Anaheim again put up a 2-0 lead and let off of the gas pedal in the third. Even when the Ducks have won lately, they do not play a dominant game for a full 60. The two Anaheim goals were scored by Kyle Palmieri and Pat Maroon. Keith Yandle scored midway through the third but the Ducks held on to their slim lead in a period marred by penalties and Coyotes pressure. Anaheim had to kill off a Francois Beauchemin tripping penalty with under a minute left to seal the deal. Freddy Andersen made another 26 saves in this 8th straight start, another solid effort for the mountainous net minder who has been good all season aside from a few down games. This game marked the debut of new Duck, Rene Bourque, a former Canadien who scored 8 goals in last seasons playoffs, he finished his first game with 3 shots on goal and 3 hits in just under 10 minutes of ice time. Rene is a competent goal scorer who can contribute on any of the 4 offensive lines. The Ducks have earned 10 points in their last 11 games but this was their first regulation win in that span. The Ducks now stand at 13-4-5, leading the western conference with 31 points. Though the ducks took their foots off of the pedal yet again, this was a confidence boost, winning in regulation at home.
The Ducks acquired Rene Bourque in a trade with Montreal, defenseman Bryan Allen was shipped the other way. Bourque brings a versatile forward who shows up in the playoffs, something the Ducks did not do on a nightly basis last season. I liked Bryan Allen but the young guns like Vatanen and Josh Manson played their ways into the lineup and pushed Allen, the 34 year old veteran out.
Clayton Stoner sat out the last game after exhibiting Mump like symptoms, the illness that kept Beauchemin and Perry out for an extended period of time. No diagnosis was confirmed so Clayton may or may not be ill, but the Ducks want to take precaution and not let anything spread throughout the team.
Kyle Palmieri has scored 2 goals in the past few games after missing the first month of the season due to injury. Palmieri's success is refreshing because the Ducks can use any bit of offense they can get.