Kings Draft Vilardi & Ducks Re-Sign Eaves

June 23, 2017

The Kings took steps toward helping their offensive woes on Friday by drafting Gabe Vilardi with the #11 pick in the NHL Draft.  

Vilardi is a 6’3, 203 LB center from Kingston, Canada.  Last season he scored 29 goals and 61 points in 49 games for the Windsor Spitfires in the Ontario Hockey League.  

The 17-year-old was rated as high as the fourth best player in the draft according to some publications, but fell out of the top 10 due to some of his perceived skating deficiencies.  However, the Kings were impressed with Vilardi’s big game abilities.  He impressed them with seven assists in Windsor’s four-game victory over Erie in the Memorial Cup final.

“We found that on the biggest stage, he took it to another level,” Kings assistant general manager Michael Futa said of Vilardi. “We were looking to upgrade our skill, and it’s a package of a big kid with just incredible skill set and he’s a winner.”

Vilardi will attend the Kings development came in El Segundo next week.  Although he will likely not be a part of the Kings roster this upcoming season, some are projecting him to be a part of the Kings team by the 2018-2019 season.

Meanwhile, the Ducks did not have a 1st round pick in Friday’s 1st round.  However, they re-signed winger Patrick Eaves, who they acquired from the Dallas Stars for what turned into this year’s first round pick after advancing to the Western Conference Finals.  

Eaves signed a 3-year $9.45 million contract with Anaheim.  He scored 11 goals in 20 regular season games following the trade to Anaheim.  He also added two goals in seven playoff games.  However, he suffered an ankle injury during the 2nd round against Edmonton, knocking him out of the remainder of playoff action.

His contract includes a no-movement clause as well.  Eaves would have been an unrestricted free agent on July 1st, but liked what he saw in Anaheim.

“Being in that locker room is something special. I noticed that on day one,” said Eaves.   “I’ve played with great players, great people …There was something different.”

Rounds 2 through 7 of the NHL draft will commence on Saturday at the United Center in Chicago.

Kings & Ducks Lose D-Men In Expansion Draft

June 21, 2017

The Kings and Ducks both lost defenseman in the NHL Expansion Draft on Wednesday night.  The Las Vegas Golden Knights selected Brayden McNabb from the Kings, and Clayton Stoner from the Ducks.

In addition, the Ducks traded defenseman Shea Theodore to Las Vegas, and in exchange, the Golden Knights agreed not to select Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen or Josh Manson.

Under the Expansion Draft rules, Las Vegas was required to select at least one player from each of the 32 NHL clubs.  However, since some teams had trouble deciding which players they wanted to protect from selection, they made trades with Vegas, like the Ducks did, sending them additional players so other unprotected players could not be selected.

In the case of the Ducks, they were forced to leave talented defenseman Vatanen and Manson unprotected, caused by having several players on their team with no-movement clauses, which forced them to protect those players.

Stoner was injured for much of last season, and carried a cap hit of $3.25 million.  That’s a big win for Anaheim.  However, Theodore was a promising young defenseman that needed to be traded in order to prevent the loss of two very talented young defenseman.

In the case of the Kings, there were several players who were candidates to be selected by Vegas such as forward Trevor Lewis, Kyle Clifford, Nic Dowd, and possibly even Dustin Brown.  However, the Golden Knights chose the young, hard-hitting defenseman McNabb.

The loss of McNabb gives the Kings an additional $1.8 million under the salary cap.  Although the Kings can bear the loss of McNabb’s talent, they were likely hoping a higher salaried player like Brown would be taken.

Predators Eliminate Ducks & Reach Final

May 22, 2017

Colton Sissons scored a hat-trick, including his 3rd goal with 6 minutes left in regulation, as the Predators knocked off the Ducks 6-3 in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals.  Nashville eliminated the Ducks for the second year in a row, and advanced to their first ever Stanley Cup Final in franchise history.

“Our effort was there and we were a desperate hockey club right from the opening faceoff, and we didn’t quit until they scored the second empty-net goal,” Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said.

The Ducks trailed 2-1 heading into a wild 3rd period.  Sisson scored his 2nd goal of the game 3 minutes into the period, after relentlessly chasing after a puck in the slot, then backhanding it past Jonathan Bernier.  With John Gibson sidelined with a hamstring injury, Bernier got the start, but only stopped 12 of the 16 shots he faced.

The Ducks would rally at the 5 minutes mark after a creative chip shot from Chris Wagner, which beat Pekka Rinne top shelf.  2 minutes later, Cam Fowler tied the game on a slap shot from the blue line, which got by a screen Rinne.  Corey Perry had knocked down the Predators’ goaltender moments earlier, who scrambled to get back into the play, but could not make the save on the shot from Fowler.  The Predators asked for a review on the play, but referees ruled it a good goal, making the score 3-3.

Just over five minutes later, Sissons 3rd goal of the night came on a cross-ice pass from Calle Jarnkrok, allowing him to connect on a one-timer which got past the blocker of Bernier.  That would prove to be the game-winner.

Ducks forward Ryan Kesler was disappointed his team couldn’t keep it together after fighting back. “It definitely hurts worse when you play that good and you come back.  This team showed resiliency all year.  To give up a goal like that, it (bleeping) sucks.”

Trailing 4-3 with 2:33 left, the Ducks pulled Jonathan Bernier for an extra attacker, resulting in a 6-on-5 advantage.  However, Nashville would add two empty-net goals, one by Filip Forsberg at 17:38, the other by Austin Watson at 18:26, his 2nd goal of the game.

Watson and Sissons scored in the 1st period to make it 2-0.  Rinne made 38 saves to improve to 12-4 during this year’s post season.

Ondrej Kase scored his second career playoff goal in the 2nd period, pulling Anaheim within one heading into the 3rd period.

The Ducks outshot the Predators 41-18 for the game, but Rinne made some big stops throughout the night.  Anaheim was also 0-4 on the power play.

Both teams were missing their top scorers again.  Nashville was missing Ryan Johansen and Mike Fisher, while the Ducks were without Patrick Eaves and Rickard Rakell.

“There’s a lot of fight in this room,” Ducks forward Corey Perry said.  “This one is going to sting for a while.  You got to give credit to them too.”

The Predators will play either the defending champion Penguins or the Senators beginning Monday, May 29th.  Meanwhile, Anaheim’s playoff run ends once again in disappointing fashion.

Predators Skate By Ducks In Game 5

May 20, 2017

Pontus Aberg scored the game-winning goal with just under 9 minutes left in the 3rd period, and the Predators defeated the Ducks 3-1 in game 5 of the Western Conference Finals.  Nashville has a 3-2 series lead, one game away from eliminating the Ducks and moving on to the Stanley Cup Final.

Aberg dove across the crease to swat home a rebound on a shot by Filip Forsberg, which was his first-career playoff goal.  Aberg face planted on the play, lost a tooth, and was taken off the ice for medical evaluation.  However, he was ok and the decisive goal pushed the Ducks to the brink of elimination.

Austin Watson added an empty-netter with 48 seconds left to play.  Moments earlier Jakob Silfverberg broke his stick, allowing Watson to shoot the puck from his own end, down the ice into the empty cage.

Both teams were plagued by injuries to key players.  The Predators overcame the absence of top scorer Ryan Johansen and captain Mike Fisher.  The Ducks were missing two of their top scorers in  Rickard Rakell and Patrick Eaves.  They also lost goaltender John Gibson after the 1st period, after he left with a lower body injury.

Gibson was replaced by Jonathan Bernier, who stopped 16 shots in relief.  On the other side, Pekka Rinne made 32 saves for Nashville, which has won 5 of their last 7 playoff games in Anaheim.

After a scoreless 1st period, both teams exchanged goals in the 2nd period.  Chris Wagner scored on a rebound from a shot by Brandon Montour.  It was Wagner’s 2nd career playoff goal.

Nashville got even with 40 seconds left in the 2nd.  Colin Wilson pounced on a rebound in front of Bernier, which game came on the power play.

Game 6 of the series will be Monday night in Nashville.  The Ducks will try to avoid being eliminated by the Predators for the 2nd year in a row, and eliminated from the conference finals for the 2nd time in the last 3 years.

Ducks Beat Preds In OT To Tie Series

May 18, 2017

Corey Perry scored the game-winning goal with 10:25 remaining in OT, and the Ducks defeated the Predators 3-2  in game 4 of the Western Conference Finals.  Anaheim has now tied the best-of-seven series at 2-2 after Thursday night’s game at Bridgestone Arena.

Perry sent the puck towards the net, from near the goal line, which initially appeared to bounce off of Nate Thompson and into the net.  The goal was initially credited to Thompson.  However, upon further review, the puck bounced off of P.K. Subban’s stick and past Pekka Rinne for the game-winning goal.

The Ducks got the win despite a nightmare 3rd period.  Trailing 2-1 with 1:51 remaining, Rinne went to the bench in favor of an extra attacker, giving the Predators a 6-on-5 advantage.  With 36 seconds left, Filip Forsberg knocked in a rebound past John Gibson to tie the game, ultimately sending the game into OT.

Anaheim began to melt down late in the 3rd period.  With a little over 5 minutes left, Kevin Bieska took a high sticking penalty, giving the Predators a power play.  With 4:38 left, Josh Manson took a slashing penalty, which gave Nashville a 5-on-3 advantage for 1:31.  The Ducks managed to kill off the two-man disadvantage, but they weren’t out of the woods yet.

With 13:33 left Subban drilled a slap shot past Gibson, cutting the Anaheim lead in 2-1.  The Ducks had managed to kill off an Ondrej Kase penalty moments earlier, but Nashville continued to gain momentum and eventually tie the game.

Gibson made 32 saves for the Ducks, who snapped the Predators’ 10-game home playoff winning streak.

The Ducks built a 2-0 lead on goals from Rickard Rakell and Nick Ritchie in each of the 1st two periods.

Rakell took a long pass from Cam Fowler while Nashville was in the middle of a line change.  Before any of the Predators could get close enough to Rakell, he fired a slap shot by Rinne with 11:30 left in the 1st.

Ritchie beat Rinne with a wrist shot from the right circle that got past the Predators’ goalie, who was screened by his own defender on the play at the 10:22 mark.

With the series tied, this is essentially a best-of-three series.  Game 5 will be back at the Honda Center on Saturday afternoon.

Preds Score Late to Beat Ducks in Game 3

May 16, 2017

Roman Josi scored late in the 3rd period on a power play goal, and the Predators defeated the Ducks 2-1 in game 3 of the Western Conference Finals at Bridgestone Arena.  Nashville leads the best-of-seven series 2-1.

Josi put home a rebound from the right circle after John Gibson made the initial save on a shot by Viktor Arvidsson from the blue line.  Gibson could not find the rebound, which allowed Josi to take advantage of an open corner of the net.  It was the Predators’ first power play goal of the series.

The Ducks held a 1-0 lead heading into the 3rd period, but Filip Forsberg tied the game nearly 4 minutes into the period.  Forsberg beat Sami Vatanen to a lose puck behind the Anaheim goal, then centered the puck to Ryan Ellis, whose shot was stopped by Gibson.  However, the rebound bounced back to Forsberg who was standing off to the side of the net, allowing him to put the puck past Gibson for his 6th goal of the season.  Gibson made 38 saves on the night.

The Predators had two goals that were waived off after Forsberg’s goal.  Officials waived off first a would-be goal by Colton Sissons at 6:25 and then Ryan Johansen’s goal at 6:33.

After a scoreless 1st period, the Ducks took a 1-0 lead on a power play goal from Corey Perry.  Perry  fired the puck from a sharp angle near the goal line, which bounced off Pekka Rinne’s leg and into the net.  It was his 3rd goal of the season.

The Ducks got off to a fast start, outshooting Nashville 8-4 to open the game.  However, the Predators took the next 11 shots and outshot Anaheim 40-20 for the game.

Anaheim had their own goal disallowed in the 2nd period.   Brandon Montour’s backhander got by Rinne, and it appeared the puck had cross the goal line.  However, the net came off its moorings at the same time with Nashville defenseman Mattias Ekholm crashing into it.  The goal was disallowed immediately.

Keith Urban sang the national anthem, and his wife, Nicole Kidman was in attendance.  Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota was in attendance as well.

Game 4 of the series will be on Thursday night Nashville.

Ducks Rally To Beat Preds & Even Series

May 14, 2017

Nick Ritchie scored with less than 3 minutes left in the second period to put the Ducks ahead for good, and Anaheim defeated the Predators 5-3 in game 2 of their best-of-seven series on Sunday night at the Honda Center.  The series is now tied 1-1.

Ritchie fired a shot from the left circle, which appeared to glance off the mask of goalie Pekka Rinne and into the net.  The Anaheim forward also scored a game-winning goal four days ago, in game 7 of the Ducks series against Edmonton.

Rinne made 22 saves on the night for the Predators, but did not look nearly as sharp as he has throughout the playoffs.

Anaheim survived a frantic 3rd period push from the Predators.  Antoine Vermette added an empty-net goal to make it 5-3 with 44 seconds left.

The Ducks trailed 2-0 to start the game.  Ryan Johansen scored on a breakaway just 4:18 into the game, and then James Neal scored on a backhand shot into a wide open net in front of a screened John Gibson at the 8:32 mark.

However, the Ducks started to surge late in the 1st period.  Sami Vatanen blasted a slap shot past Rinne with 1 minute left in the 1st.

Just 39 seconds into the 2nd period, Jakob Silfverberg tied the game on a brilliant cross-ice pass from Rickard Rakell.  Silfverberg caught the Predators defense standing around, and found the puck on his stick with a wide open net to shoot in.

The Predators would regain the lead near the 8:00 minute mark of the period when Filip Forsberg tapped in a rebound after a wrap-around attempt by Viktor Arvidsson, which left Gibson scrambling to cover an open corner of the net.

However, Ondrej Kase tied the game with his first career playoff goal at the 10:41 mark.  Kase pounced on a rebound in front of Rinne, which slide underneath the goaltenders’ legs, and barely crossed the goal line.

Richie’s goal capped the thrilling 19-minute surge for Anaheim, which saw them score four goals.  The Predators hadn’t allowed four goals in any playoff game this season prior to Sunday night.

Gibson made 30 saves on the night, including withstanding a several flurries in front of the net by Nashville in the 3rd period.

Game 3 of the series will be in Nashville on Tuesday night.

Predators Beat Ducks in OT in Game 1

May 12, 2017

James Neal scored 9:24 into overtime, and the Predators defeated the Ducks 3-2 in game 1 of the Western Conference Finals.  Nashville leads the best-of-seven series 1-0.

Neal took a cross-ice pass from P.K. Subban and fired a one-timer that deflected into the net.  The puck was redirected off the head of Anaheim’s Corey Perry, who was sprawling to block the shot, which then flew past goaltender John Gibson.

The Ducks had to deal with a very quick turnaround to play game 1 after defeating the Oilers less than 48 hours earlier in game 7 of their second round series.

Anaheim trailed 2-1 heading into the 3rd period, but Hampus Lindholm tied the game 2-2 after snapping a shot from the blue line past Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne.

Rinne made 27 saves on the night for the Preds.  He also repeatedly handled the puck very effectively around the net, and passed the puck quickly up to his defenseman and forwards, making it difficult for the Ducks to generate sustained pressure.

The Preds took a 2-1 lead less than 3 minutes in to the 2nd period.  Austin Watson fired a one-timer off a great cross-ice pass from Ryan Johansen, which deflected off of Sami Vatanen and into the net.  It was Watson’s first-career playoff goal.

Gibson made 43 saves on the night for the Ducks, including 14 in a busy 1st period.  Both teams traded goals in the first twenty minutes.  Jakob Silfverberg fired a snap shot that beat Rinne to the blocker-side.  The Predators tied it a little more than 7 minutes later on a goal by Filip Forsberg.  The Ducks turned the puck over, caused by the pressure of Forsberg, who tipped in a shot past Gibson moments later.

Game 2 of the series will be on Sunday afternoon at the Honda Center.  The Ducks will try to even the series before heading to Nashville for games 3 and 4.

Ducks Overcome Demons & Win Game 7

May 10, 2017

The Ducks finally snapped their streak of game 7 futility on Wednesday night.  Anaheim defeated the Oilers 2-1 in game 7 at the Honda Center, propelling them into the Western Conference Finals.

Nick Ritchie scored the game-winning goal 3:21 into the 3rd period.  He fired a wrist shot from the right circle, which snuck right under the arm of Oilers’ goaltender Cam Talbot.

Ritchie’s goal gave the Ducks their first lead in a game 7 over the last five years.  Anaheim had lost four consecutive game 7’s at home after leading a playoff series 3-2 dating back to 2013.

It was a tough start for Anaheim after Drake Caggiula forced Shea Theodore to turn the puck over right in front of the Ducks’ net, fluttering the puck past John Gibson, which gave the Oilers a 1-0 lead.

Gibson settled down after that.  He made 23 saves on the evening, and avenged his previous game 7 failures.

The Ducks tied the game at 1-1 at 8:55 of the 2nd period on a goal by Andrew Cogliano.  The puck was kept alive by Ryan Kessler on the play, after Talbot was out of position.  Cogliano slipped the puck past the sprawled goaltender, and Anaheim suddenly had the momentum.

The 2nd period was dominated by the Ducks, who regained their confidence.  Anaheim outshot the Oilers 16-3 in the middle frame, and had 11 scoring chances to the Oilers 6.  Despite the flurry of pressure, the score was still tied 1-1 after two periods.

After Ritchie gave the Ducks the lead in the 3rd, they still continued to control most of the play.  Gibson made a couple of saves late, including one on a deflection from Anton Slepyshev, and another on Leon Draisaitl.

Talbot made 28 saves on the night, and left the net in favor of an extra attacker with 2:06 left in the game.  However, the Ducks were content to repeatedly ice the puck, and the Oilers were unable to generate any scoring chances of significance.

The Ducks move on the the Western Conference Finals against the Nashville Predators, which will begin on Friday night at the Honda Center.

Oilers Crush Ducks To Force Game 7

May 7, 2017

The Oilers jumped out to a huge lead in game 6 against the Ducks, and this time, they wouldn’t give it back.  Edmonton hammered Anaheim 7-1 in game 6 of their 2nd round playoff series, tying the series 3-3, and forcing a game 7 on Wednesday night in SoCal.

Leon Draisaitl had a hat trick along with two assists, while Mark Letestu had two goals and two assists, and the Oilers had a 5-0 lead after the first period.

Zach Kassian and Anton Slepychev also scored for the Oilers, while Cam Talbot made 34 saves in the win.

The Ducks only goal came from Rikard Rakell, which came midway through the 2nd period.  It was a miserable night for the Anaheim goaltenders.  John Gibson was pulled after giving up 3 goals on 6 shots, just 8:30 into the game.  Jonathan Bernier didn’t fare much better, stopping 25 shots, but Letestu scored his first goal of the game when Bernier couldn’t find the puck that was sitting right in front of him in the crease.

“Stuff happens sometimes,” Gibson said.  “It’s my job and obviously I wasn’t good enough tonight as i want to be.  I just kind of let them down.”

Letestu 2nd of the game came on a one-timer over Bernier’s right pad for a power-play goal with 1:15 remaining in the first.

Draisaitl completed his hat trick on a give-and-go with Milan Lucic with 4:30 minutes left in the second period when Ryan Kesler was serving a roughing minor.

“You want to flush it but you gotta look at what you did wrong too.  There’s a lot of mistakes that we made tonight,” Andrew Cogliano said.  “Uncharacteristic mistakes and we deserve to lose that way.  You don’t see other teams giving up breakaways in the first 10 minutes of a hockey game to move on to the conference finals.”

The Ducks will be looking to end a streak of futility in game 7.  In the last four seasons, Anaheim has lost four consecutive game 7’s at home, ending their season.  In each of those four series, the Ducks have held a 3-2 series lead.  Anaheim was eliminated in the first round of 2013 by Detroit, in 2016 by Nashville, the second round in 2014 by the Kings, and the conference finals in 2015 by Chicago.

“Each year is a new year; each day is a new day,” Gibson added.  “If you look at the past, you don’t get anywhere.”

Edmonton’s last Game 7 was the 2006 Stanley Cup final, which they lost 3-1 at Carolina.  Edmonton is 6-3 in franchise history in game 7, and 3-2 on the road.  The Ducks are 2-6 in game 7 in their franchise history, and 1-4 at home.  The good news for the Ducks however is that home teams have won nearly 60% of game 7’s in the NHL.

It all goes down Wednesday night at the Honda Center.  The winner will advance to the Western Conference Finals to play the Nashville Predators.

Ducks Pull Off Stunning Comeback In Game 5

May 5, 2017

The Ducks pulled off the unthinkable on Friday night at the Honda Center.  Trailing 3-0 with about three minutes left, Anaheim rallied to score three goals to tie the game.  Then Corey Perry scored the game-winner in double OT to defeat the Oilers 4-3 in the pivotal game 5 of their second round series.  Anaheim now has a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Perry took a centering pass from Ryan Getzlaf at the 6:57 mark of the 2nd OT, and slid the puck past Cam Talbot, completing the miraculous comeback.

“Right to the net,” Perry said. “He had eyes up, and he had time, and I was yelling for that puck the whole way.”

The Ducks became the first team in Stanley Cup playoff history to force overtime or win a playoff game after trailing by three goals with less than four minutes left in regulation.

Anaheim pulled goaltender John Gibson with under four minutes to go in regulation, providing the Ducks with a 6-on-5 man advantage.  Getzlaf got the Ducks on the board with a slap shot from the blue line with 3:16 left.  Cam Fowler scored 35 seconds later with wrist shot from the blue line, which found the back of the net after getting past numerous bodies in front of the net.  Finally, Rikard Rakell put a backhand shot past Talbot, which got through another pile up of bodies in front of Talbot.

“That’s will,” said Getzlaf.  “We willed it through, and did whatever we had to do. We scratched and clawed at the end and found a way to get ourselves back in that game and give ourselves an opportunity.”

After a scoreless 1st period, the Oilers began to take control in the 2nd period.  Leon Draisatl scored 15 seconds into the 2nd period, which was his 8th goal in the last 10 games against Anaheim.  Connor McDavid made it 2-0 on a 2-man advantage at the 2:55 mark, batting the puck past Gibson after taking a pass from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.  Drake Caggiula made it 3-0 after scoring on a 4-on-1 break.

Talbot made 60 saves on the evening for the Oilers, including a pair of big saves on Getzlaf early on.  The Ducks captain also missed high on a penalty shot in the 1st period.

Gibson made 35 saves for the Ducks, who have now won three straight games after losing the first two of the series at home.

The Ducks will try to close out the series on Sunday afternoon in Edmonton.  A win will send the Ducks into the Western Conference Finals, where they would play either the Nashville Predators or the St. Louis Blues.

Ducks Tie Series With OT Win

May 3, 2017

Jakob Silfverberg scored the game-winning goal 45 seconds into overtime, and the Ducks defeated the Oilers 4-3 in game four of their best-of-seven series on Wednesday night in Alberta.  The series is now tied 2-2, and heading back to Anaheim for game 5.

Silfverberg took a pass from Ryan Getzlaf for a one-timer from the left circle, which beat Cam Talbot for the winner.  Getzlaf had two goals and two assists on the night.

Anaheim secured the win despite losing the lead with 1:42 left in the 3rd period.  Drake Cagglula took a centering pass from Patrick Maroon and chipped the puck by John Gibson to tie the score and send the game to OT.  Gibson made 29 saves on the night for the Ducks.

The Ducks scored three unanswered goals in the 2nd period to take a 3-2 lead.  Ryan Getzlaf got the scoring started 1:37 into the period, after taking advantage of a turnover from Jordan Eberle.  The goal had to be reviewed by the officials for goaltender interference, but it ended up counting.

Just under 4 minutes later, Rickard Rakell took a pass from Getzlaf across the crease on a broken play, and put the puck past Talbot to tie the score 2-2.

Then at the 14:25 mark, Getzlaf was at it again, pouncing on a rebound after a terrific initial save on Rakell.  With the goal, he surpassed Teemu Selanne for the most playoff goals in team history, with the 36.

The Oilers jumped out to a 2-0 lead on a power play goal from Milan Lucic, followed by a goal from Connor McDavid late in the 1st period.  Talbot made 35 saves for Edmonton.

Game 5 will be back in Anaheim on Friday night at 7:30 pm.

Ducks Beat Oilers To Get Back in Series

April 30, 2017

The Ducks scored a franchise record 6 goals on Sunday night in Alberta, defeating the Oilers 6-3 in game 3 of their 2nd round series.  The Ducks now trail 2-1 in the best-of-seven series.

The final score was not indicative of how competitive the game was.  Anaheim jumped out to a 3-0 lead, but the Oilers fought back to tie the score, putting together a relentless attack in the 2nd period.  However, the Ducks scored 3 unanswered goals to retake control of the game, and get back in the series.

Rikard Rakell, Ryan Getzlaf, Chris Wagner, and Ryan Kessler scored for the Ducks, as did Jakob Silfverberg, who scored a pair.  John Gibson made 24 saves, including several on a pair of big stops on a 3-on-1 Oiler break in the 2nd period.

The Oiler goals came from Patrick Maroon, Anton Slepyshev, and Connor McDavid.  Cam Talbot made 22 saves for Edmonton, but he had a moment in the 2nd period he probably wants back.

Less than a minute after the Oilers tied the game, Wagner fired a slap shot from a sharp angle from the right wing boards, which deflected in off of Talbot’s blocker.  That ended up being the game-winning goal, at 9:28 of the 2nd period.

Anaheim caught several breaks after that.  The Oilers were on a power play a few minutes after Wagner’s goal, when Leon Draisaitl beat Gibson cleanly with a sharp angle shot.  Unfortunately for the Oilers, that shot bounced off the post, keeping the Ducks lead at 4-3.

Then in the 3rd period, when Silfverberg scored his 2nd of the game at 4:56, it appeared as though he was offside on the play.  Despite a coaches challenge, the officials ruled that it was a goal.

Kessler would close out the scoring halfway through the 3rd period, and the Ducks were on their way to their first win of the series.

Rakell took a long pass from Getzlaf and got behind the Oilers defense to score on a breakaway just 25 seconds into the game.  That was the fastest playoff goal to start a game in franchise history.

Silfverberg pounced on a loose puck a little over 5 minutes into the game when Adam Larsson was unable to clear the puck away from Talbot.

Getzlaf made it 3-0 at 8:09 of the 1st when he intercepted Darnell Nurse’s clearing attempt around the boards, then beat Talbot with a wrist shot.

With just 40 seconds remaining in the 1st period, Maroon deflected a shot past Gibson to put the Oilers on the board and give them some momentum heading into the 2nd.

Just 1:28 into the 2nd, the puck deflected off of Slepychev’s skate and into the net to pull the Oilers within 3-2.  Then McDavid tied it with a spectacular goal at 8:40, spinning away from Sami Vatanen and rifling a shot past Gibson.  The Oilers kept the pressure on throughout the period, even after Wagner’s goal, but Gibson continued to withstand the pressure.

Game 3 will be on Wednesday night in Alberta.  In the meantime, the Ducks will travel to Kelowna, B.C., to get away from the madness of Edmonton over the next few days.

Oilers Shock The Ducks Again In Game 2

April 28, 2017

Cam Talbot made 39 saves and Patrick Marron scored power play goal in the 2nd period, and the Oilers defeated the Ducks 2-1 in game 2 of their best-of-7 series.  Edmonton now has a 2-0 series lead after shocking the Ducks by winning the first two games of the series in Anaheim.

Jakob Silfverberg scored on the power play at the 15:34 mark of the 2nd period, but that was the only offense for the Ducks all night.

Andrej Sekera scored 65 seconds into the game for Edmonton after beating John Gibson with a long shot from the left wing boards.

Gibson stopped 21 shots for the Ducks, who had gone 18 games without a regulation defeat before this series.  Anaheim has never recovered from an 0-2 series deficit, losing all seven series in franchise history after digging that early hole.

Talbot feels like the Oilers have definitely grown a lot in the last two games.  “We started the game the way we wanted to start it, ” he said.   “Down the stretch, we bent but we didn’t break, and that’s the sign of a good team.”

Silfverberg didn’t seem too worried about the 0-2 hole the Ducks are in.  “We’ve just got to keep doing what we’re doing.   We’re doing a lot of good stuff out there, and it’s the last piece that’s missing, and it’s correctable.”

The Ducks played without two of their top defenseman again.  Sami Vatanen missed his 5th straight game with an upper-body injury, as did Kevin Bieska, who suffered the injury in game 1.

Game 3 will be Sunday afternoon in Edmonton, with the Ducks trying to avoid going to down to a practically insurmountable 0-3 deficit.

Ducks Rally But Oilers Win Game 1

April 26. 2017

Adam Larsson scored the go-ahead goal with 4:40 left in the 3rd period, and the Oilers got by the Ducks in game 1 of their second round series at the Honda Center on Wednesday night.  Edmonton now has a 1-0 lead in the best-of-7 series.

Patrick Eaves and Jakob Silfverberg scored 3rd period goals for Anaheim to rally the Ducks from a 3-1 deficit to tie the game.  Larsson’s game-winner was his 2nd goal of game.  Leon Draisaitl added an empty-netter with 1:05 left to secure the victory.

The Oilers were 2 for 5 on the power play, getting a pair of goals from Mark Letestu.  The first tied the game 1-1 at 6:22 of the 2nd period, and his 2nd gave Edmonton a 2-1 a little over 6 minutes into the 3rd.

After a scoreless first period, Ryan Getzlaf got the Ducks on the board 37 seconds into the 2nd period with a power play goal of his own.  John Gibson made 27 saves on the night in a losing effort for Anaheim.

Cam Talbott made 33 saves for the Oilers, who are making their 1st playoff appearance since 2006.

Cam Fowler and Hampus Lindholm returned from injury for the Ducks, but Sami Vatanen sat out his 4th straight game with an upper-body injury.

Game 2 will be Friday night in Anaheim.  The Ducks lost in regulation for the first time in 19 games.  The last time that happened was March 10.

Ducks Complete Sweep Over Flames

April 19, 2017

The Ducks defeated the Flames 3-1 on Wednesday night in Alberta, sending Anaheim into the 2nd round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs after completing a four-game sweep of their best of 7 series.

Patrick Eaves, Nate Thompson, and Ryan Getzlaf scored, while John Gibson made 36 saves for Anaheim.  The Ducks will face the winner of Edmonton and San Jose in the next round.

“We just kept getting better each game and usually the team that gets better and stronger as the playoffs and series goes on usually has more success,” Gibson said. “We just want to carry the momentum with us. Obviously, stuff is not going to go our way sometimes. You just have to make sure to never get too high or too low.”

Patrick Eaves put the Ducks on the board at 5:38 of the 1st period, scoring a very soft goal against Flames’ goalie Brian Elliott.  Eaves sent a sharp-angle shot toward the net, which eluded the Flames goaltender.  Elliott was pulled after that and replaced by Chad Johnson.

Johnson gave up a goal on just the second shot he faced, just over a minute after entering the game.   Rickard Rakell was stopped by Johnson during a 3-on-2 rush, but Thompson jumped on the rebound to put the Ducks ahead 2-0.

The Flames cut the lead to 2-1 at the 16:07 mark of the 2nd period, when Sean Monahan scored on the power play.  Monahan scored 4 times in the series, with each one coming on the man-advantage.

Gibson and the Ducks withstood pressure from the Flames in the games final minutes, and Getzlaf scored into a an empty net with 7 seconds left in the contest.

The Ducks last sweep came against Winnipeg in the 1st round in 2015.  This one came on the birthday of coach Randy Carlisle, who turned 61 on Wednesday.

Anaheim will likely begin the second round on Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.

Ducks Rally To Take 3-0 Series Lead

April 17, 2017

Corey Perry scored the game-winning goal 1:30 into overtime, and the Ducks rallied from a four-goal deficit to defeat the Flames 5-4 in overtime on Wednesday night in game 3 of their 1st round series.  The victory game the Ducks a commanding 3-0 lead in the series, and put them one game away from the 2nd round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Perry shot the puck from the right wing boards, which deflected off of Flames’ goalie Brian Elliott, then off of defenseman Michael Stone, and into the net.  It was Perry’s first playoff goal since Game 7 of the 2015 Western Conference finals.

The Ducks tied the game at 4-4 with a little over 4 minutes left in the 3rd period.  Shea Theodore sent a wrist shot toward Elliott with traffic in front of the net, which got by the the Flames netminder, who had to battle traffic in front of the net on the play.  It was his 2nd goal of the game.

Anaheim trailed 4-2 heading into the 3rd period, but Nate Thompson pulled the Ducks within 1 at the 11:14 mark of the 3rd.  Thompson tipped in a shot, which had to be reviewed by the referees to insure that he didn’t knock the puck out of the air with a high stick.

Theodore started the Ducks rally with under a minute left in the 2nd period.  His wrist shot from the left circle beat Elliott to the glove side.

The Flames built their 4-1 lead on goals by Sean Monahan, Kris Versteeg, Michael Stone, and Sam Bennett.  Monahan and Versteeg’s goals came on the power play, 7 minutes apart to give the Flames an early 2 goal lead.  Nick Ritchie got the Ducks on the board at 15:33 of the 1st period, to cut the lead to 2-1 after the 1st period.

After Bennett’s power play goal in the 2nd period, the Ducks pulled John Gibson, and replaced him with Jonathan Bernier.  Gibson made 12 saves, while facing 16 shots.  Bernier stopped all 16 shots that he faced for Anaheim.

The win was the largest playoff comeback for Anaheim in franchise history.  The Ducks will go for the sweep on Wednesday night in Calgary.

Ducks Get Win On Fluke Goal

April 15, 2017

Ryan Getzlaf scored the game-winning goal on a bizarre bounce off a Calgary Flames defenseman, and the The Ducks defeated the Flames 3-2 on Saturday night at the Honda Center.  The win gave the Ducks a 2-0 lead in their best of seven first round playoff series.

Getzlaf’s tie-breaking power play goal came with 4:46 left in the 3rd period, when his centering pass deflected off of Lance Bouma’s skate, arched high in the air, and past Brian Elliott.  It was the Duck captain’s 2nd goal of the series.

Jakob Silfverberg and Rickard Rakell scored 1st period goals for the Ducks and John Gibson made 35 saves for Anaheim.  It was the Ducks 29th consecutive victory in Anaheim against Calgary.  It is the longest such streak in NHL history.

The Flames received goals from Mikael Backlund short-handed, and Sean Monahan on the power play.

Anaheim had a 2-0 lead in the 1st period, but the Flames would fight back to tie the game.  Getzlaf acknowledged the rally Calgary put together before he scored the winner.

“They came out in the second period with the attitude that they were going to push us and play. They did a great job,” Getzlaf said.

The series now heads back to Calgary for games 3 and 4.  Game 3 is on Monday night.  Jakob Silfverberg says you have to expect that lucky bounces, like the one Anaheim got in the 3rd period, will just be a part of what’s ahead.

“That’s playoff hockey for you,” he said.  “That’s usually what it comes down to. You can have lucky bounces but you’ve got to make sure you’re on the right side of those lucky bounces, and so far we’ve been on the right side on it.”

Getzlaf Leads Ducks In Game 1

April 13, 2017

Jakob Silfverberg snapped a 2-2 tie in the 2nd period with a power play goal, and the Ducks defeated the Flames 3-2 on Thursday night at the Honda Center.  The victory gave Anaheim a 1-0 lead in their best of 7 first round playoff series.

The Ducks trailed 2-1 in the 2nd period after Sam Bennett gave the Flames the lead when he redirected a spectacular backhand a spin-o-rama pass from Kris Versteeg.  However, Rickard Rakell knocked in a rebound off a shot from Ryan Getzlaf.  The Ducks caught the Flames in the midst of a line change, which allowed Getzlaf to break in alone for a shot against Brian Elliott, which Rakell followed to tie the game at the 17:47 mark of the 2nd.  Just under 4 minutes later, Silfverberg beat Elliott with a wrist shot from the left circle to give the Ducks the lead for good.

John Gibson made 30 saves for Anaheim, while Getzlaf had a goal, assist, and 4 hits.  The Ducks killed a 5-on-3 disadvantage for 1:17 in the the game’s final minutes.  Gibson also denied Johnny Gaudreau in front of the net with 18 seconds left to play.

“I don’t think it was my best [game] tonight, but I got better as the game went on,” Gibson said. “The guys helped me out in front.”

Both teams exchanged power play goals in the 1st period.  Getzlaf scored 51 seconds into the game on a one-timer that deflected off of a Flames player in front of the net.  The Flames tied it up 8 minutes later on a goal by Sean Monahan, who redirected a pass from Kris Versteeg past Gibson.

Elliott stopped 38 shots in the loss.  Calgary is winless in Anaheim since April 25, 2006, when the Flames won a playoff game in a series won by the Ducks.

Getzlaf also threw an enormous hit on Flames’ captain Mark Giordano late in the 3rd period.  The hit served as payback for the knee-on-knee hit that Giordano delivered to Ducks’ defenseman Cam Fowler last week.  That hit left Fowler with an injured knee, which will require 2-6 weeks of healing before he can return.

“We’re going to have to earn everything. That’s a great hockey team over there,” Getzlaf said. “We’re going to have to continue to get better in certain areas, but we found a way to win tonight.”

Ducks’ forward Nick Ritchie completed his 2 game suspension on Thursday, for punching Chicago’s Michael Rozsival last week.  He will be eligible to return in game 2.

Game 2 will be Saturday night at the Honda Center.  The Ducks will look to make it 29 straight home wins against Calgary.

Ducks Edge Kings To Win Division

April 9, 2017

The Ducks outlasted the Kings in overtime 4-3 on Sunday night at the Honda Center.  The victory clinched Anaheim’s 5th straight Pacific Division title.

Nate Thompson scored the game-tying with with almost 8:30 left in the 3rd, and Shea Theodore won the game in overtime.

Theodore’s goal came on a breakaway 53 seconds into overtime to give the Ducks the victory.  Anaheim has earned a point in 14 consecutive games, which is currently the longest streak in the NHL.  The Ducks will open the playoffs against the Calgary Flames.

“We went through a lot of ups and downs this year,” Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said.  “We grew as a group as we went along, and that was a good sign. I thought the second half of the year, we did a lot better job with our composure, with our game, and we built toward this.”

The Kings gave a spirited effort despite playing for nothing but pride, and to honor their hall of fame play-by-play announcer, Bob Miller.  Miller was calling the final game of his storied career.  He got to call 7 goals on the night.  Drew Doughty, Kyle Clifford, and Dustin Brown all scored for the Kings.  Patrick Eaves and Antoine Vermette also scored for Anaheim.

Jerome Iginla might have played the final game of his NHL career for the Kings.  The 40-year-old said he will discuss his future with his family before making a decision.

“We hung in there,” Kings’ coach Darryl Sutter said. “I’ve said that lots. We didn’t score enough goals this year. We didn’t have enough goal-scorers in our lineup.”

The Kings season is over, and they’ll have to do some soul searching after missing the playoffs for the 2nd time in the last 3 seasons.

The Ducks will open the playoffs on Thursday against Calgary at the Honda Center.  One concern for Anaheim will be the loss of defenseman Cam Fowler, who is out 2-6 weeks with a knee injury.

Ducks Clinch Home


April 6, 2017

John Gibson made 37 saves and earned his 12th career shutout as the Ducks blanked the Blackhawks 4-0 on Thursday night in Anaheim. The win clinched home ice advantage for the Ducks in the 1st round of the playoffs.

Corey Perry scored a power-play goal, while Rickard Rakell had a goal and an assist. Chris Wagner and Ryan Kesler also scored for Anaheim.
The Ducks played without the injured Cam Fowler, Hampus Lindholm, and Nate Thompson.

The Blackhawks also played without many of their key players, opting to rest them with their playoff position secure. Chicago rested stars Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook, and did not have Niklas Hjarlmarsson because of a family matter.

“We’re playing well,” Gibson said. “At this time of the year, you want to be playing well to carry the momentum into the playoffs.”

Corey Perry also liked what he’s seeing from the Ducks heading toward the postseason.

“I think we’re playing the right way and everybody’s starting to play as a unit,” Perry said. “Everybody’s starting to fit into their role. We’re rolling four lines, and it’s creating havoc on the other end.”

The Ducks will finish the regular season on Sunday evening at the Honda Center against the Kings. A win will give Anaheim it’s 5th consecutive Pacific division title.

Ducks Win But Lose Fowler

April 4, 2017

The Ducks outlasted the Flames on Tuesday night at the Honda Center by a score of 3-1 to move closer to a Pacific Division title.

Patrick Eaves scored his 8th goal in 9 games, and John Gibson made 26 saves, as Anaheim opened up a four point lead in the Pacific Division.   Kevin Bieska and Chris Wagner also scored for the Ducks.  The bad news was they lost Cam Fowler to an injury.

Fowler took a knee-on-knee hit from Flames’ defenseman Mark Giordano in the 3rd period.  The Ducks’ top defender and ice-time leader had to be helped to the locker room.

“He’s one of our best players, and who knows the severity of the injury?”  Bieksa said. “But it looked like he was in a lot of pain, so we weren’t happy with it, so we responded the way we did.”

The Ducks are getting thin on the blue line as the playoffs approach.  Anaheim played without Sami Vatanen, and Hampus Lindholm before losing Fowler.  The Ducks were actually down to three defenseman at one point on Tuesday night after a few penalties, which meant Ryan Getzlaf had to take shifts as a defenseman.

Calgary hasn’t won at the Honda Center in 13 years, which is a string of 25 straight victories for the Ducks.  It is the longest winning streak in one arena against one opponent in NHL history.

The Ducks will host the Blackhawks on Thursday night in their quest for 5th straight Pacific Division title.

Ducks Reclaim 1st Place

April 2, 2017

The Ducks got a goal from Logan Shaw with just over 3 minutes left on Sunday to defeat the Flames 4-3 in Alberta.  The win put Anaheim back in 1st place in the Pacific Division.

Patrick Eaves, Jakob Silfverberg and Korbinian Holzer also scored for the Ducks.  Ryan Kesler had three assists, while Jonathan Bernier made 18 saves to improve to 10-0-2 in his past 12 games.

The Flames got a pair of goals from Kris Versteeg, and one from Michael Frolik.  Brian Elliott made 30 saves in the loss.

Shaw’s game-winning goal was just his 3rd of the season, and came after he pounced on a rebound right in front of Elliott.

The Ducks took a 3-2 lead late in the 2nd period when Holzer took a pass from Getzlaf and snapped a shot past Elliott.  However, Frolik tipped in a shot from the point at the 5:42 mark of the 3rd to tie the game at 3-3.

Anaheim jumped out to a 2-0 lead after Eaves scored on the power play midway through the 1st period, followed by Silfverberg’s goal with under a minute left in the 1st period.  Versteeg helped the Flames tie up with two power play goals just over 6 minutes apart.

The Ducks and Flames will meet again on Tuesday at the Honda Center, as both teams continue to fight for playoff seeding, and tune up before the start of the postseason.

Oilers Skate Past Ducks

April 1, 2017

Leon Draisaitl scored on a 2-on-1 in overtime, and the Oilers defeated the Ducks 3-2 on Saturday night in Alberta.  The win tied the Oilers with the Ducks atop the Pacific Division.

The Ducks had a 2-1 lead late in the 3rd period, but Milan Lucic pounced on a rebound with 1:58 left in regulation to tie it up on the power play.  Draisaitl and Connor McDavid picked up the assists on the goal.  McDavid had one goal and two assists for the game.

Ryan Getzlaf and Patrick Eaves scored the goals for Anaheim.  John Gibson made 34 saves in the loss.

McDavid put the Oilers on the board with under a minute left in the 1st period.  McDavid benefitted from the hand work from Patrick Maroon on the play.  It was McDavid’s league-leading 92nd point, and extended his scoring streak to 10 consecutive games.

Getzlaf tied it up early in the 2nd period with a slap shot from the point, which got by Oilers goalie Cam Talbot.

The Ducks took the lead just under nine minutes into the 3rd when Eaves took a pass from Antoine Vermette and beat Talbot on the power play.  It was Eaves 29th goal of the season.

However, the Ducks couldn’t hold the lead.  The heroics of Lucic and Draisaitl gave the Oilers 97 points.  Anaheim and Edmonton each have the same number of points with four games remaining.  The Oilers hold the tie breaker.

The Ducks will finish off their road trip against Calgary on Sunday night.  Both teams have clinched a playoff spot, but are battling for playoff seeding.

Jets Rally & Beat Ducks In OT

March 30, 2017

Dustin Byfuglien scored the game-tying goal with 12 seconds left in regulation, and Mark Scheifele had the game-winner in overtime as the Jets rallied to beat the Ducks 4-3 on Thursday.

The Ducks took a 3-1 lead into the 3rd period, however, Winnipeg scored twice in the final 8:25 of the 3rd to tie things up.  Blake Wheeler and Joel Armia also scored for the Jets.

Anaheim got two goals from Corey Perry, and one from Jakob Silfverberg, but it wasn’t enough to keep their 5-game win streak alive.

Ducks coach Randy Carlyle issued a coach’s challenge on Byfuglien’s tying goal, but referees ruled that it was a good goal after a big scramble in the crease.  Jonathan Bernier still managed to turn away 37 shots for Anaheim, despite taking the loss.

Corey Perry said the Ducks just lost focus.  “We didn’t play for the full 60 minutes,” Perry said. “You take your foot off the gas in this league, you’re going to get burnt. You can’t sit back and receive a hockey game, and we did that in the final frame.”

Silfverberg got the Ducks off to a nice start just over 8 minutes into the game, when he beat Michael Hutchinson with a wrist shot to the glove side.

Armia scored short-handed to tie things up at 11:54 when he beat Bernie with a quick low shot.

Perry scored with just over a minute left in the 1st period to put the Ducks back in front.  He would strike again in the 2nd period with a power play goal at the 7:01 mark.

Wheeler’s 24th of the season started the Jets rally in the 3rd, which altered the momentum in the Jets favor.

The Ducks now have five games remaining on their schedule before the playoffs.  They’ll now travel to Edmonton on Saturday to take on the Oilers, followed by a trip to Calgary on Sunday to take on the Flames to finish up their road trip.

Ducks Take Down Canucks & Clinch

March 28, 2017

Corey Perry and Patrick Eaves scored early in the 1st period, and the Ducks handled the Canucks 4-1 in Vancouver on Tuesday night.  The Kings loss to Edmonton earlier in the evening meant that the Ducks, Oilers, and Sharks clinched playoff spots.

Nick Ritchie and Brandon Montour also scored for Anaheim.  Jonathan Bernier made 34 saves and Antoine Vermette had two assists.  Bernier is 9-0-1 with a .947 save percentage in his last 10 starts.

The Ducks played without Ryan Getzlaf, who was a late scratch because of a lower-body injury.  Coach Randy Carlyle confirmed that the injury came about late Monday night.

“He didn’t feel right (Tuesday) morning and couldn’t get it loosened up,” the coach explained. “We just made the decision we’re not going to sacrifice a guy who’s been our best player.”

John Gibson served as the Ducks backup after missing 7 straight games, and 13 of the last 14 games with a lower-body injury.

The Ducks dominated the Canucks, and eliminated them from postseason contention with the victory.  Anaheim had built a 4-0 lead by the middle of the 2nd period.

The Ducks will continue their four game road trip on Thursday in Winnipeg, against the Jets.

Ducks Make It Four In Row

March 26, 2017

Ryan Getzlaf had four assists and the Ducks won their 4th straight game, defeating the Rangers on Sunday night 6-3 at the Honda Center.

Andrew Cogliano scored the go-ahead goal early in the 3rd period, and Patrick Eaves scored twice for Anaheim, as the Ducks moved into sole possession of 1st place in the Pacific Division.  With 7 games left to play, Anaheim is two points ahead of San Jose and Edmonton, who were both idle on Sunday.

Ryan Kessler and Josh Manson also scored for the Ducks, who are 8-1-1 in their last 10 games.  Jonathan Bernier recorded 25 saves.  For the Rangers, Brady Skjei, Derek Stepan and Rick Nash each scored.  Henrik Lundqvist made 28 saves for New York, in what was his first start since March 7th.  Lundqvist had been recovering from a hip injury.

“Getzy’s playing out of his mind right now,” Eaves said. “Just the way he possesses the puck, it makes it really easy to play on his line. And we’ve got [Rickard Rakell] flying and making plays, so I feel like we’re getting some chemistry and that was what I was hoping.”

The Ducks are beginning to look like a team that is peaking at the right time.  Getzlaf has 20 points in his last 12 games, and Sunday night was his seventh career game with at least four assists.

“Obviously, Getzlaf has been the guy that stirs the drink here right now,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said.

The Ducks also got strong special teams play on Sunday night.  Kessler’s goal at the 18:00 mark of the 2nd period tied the game at 2-2, and came on the power-play.  That was Anaheim’s first power-play goal in five games.  Manson’s goal also came shorthanded.

The Ducks will return to action on Tuesday night at Vancouver.

Ducks Move Into 1st Place

March 24, 2017

The Ducks defeated the Jets 3-1 on Friday night at the Honda Center, which tied Anaheim with San Jose for 1st place in the Pacific Division.

Andrew Cogliano scored late in the 2nd period, and Jonathan Bernier continues his solid play with 17 saves.  Corey Perry and Jakob Silfverberg scored as well for Anaheim.

The Ducks have won 3 straight, and Bernier is 7-0-1 in his last 8 starts.  His play in the absence of the injured Jonathan Gibson has given Anaheim renewed hope of winning another division title.

Josh Morrissey scored a power-play goal for the Jets and Michael Hutchinson made 32 saves for Winnipeg.  The Jets were winless in 8 tries this season, against Anaheim, San Jose, and Edmonton, the top 3 teams in the Pacific Division.

Perry got the Ducks off to a nice start late in the 1st period, as he fired a shot through several bodies in front of the net.  After Morrissey tied it, the Ducks took a 2-1 lead when Cogliano threw the puck in front of the net, which bounced off of the Jets’ Jacob Trouba and in.

Anaheim would maintain that lead, and then Silfverberg would add an empty-netter with 1:07 left in the game.

The Ducks will return to action on Sunday against the Rangers.  There’s just 8 games remaining in the regular season for Anaheim.

Ducks Get Big Win Against Oilers

March 22, 2017

The Ducks and Oilers battled it out at Honda Center on Wednesday night, and Anaheim came away with a 4-3 win in what could be a potential playoff preview.

Anaheim rallied from two different one goal deficits in the 1st period.  Hampus Linholm, Josh Manson, and Rickard Rakell would score three straight goal and the Ducks took back sole possession of 2nd place in the Pacific.

Jonathan Bernier made 29 saves for the Ducks, in what was his 11th straight start in net.  Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot was pulled in the 2nd period after Rakell’s 32nd goal.

“I tried to get to the middle and make a play,” Rakell said. “The first play didn’t work out, so I just tried to do something to beat the defender.”

Oilers forward Connor McDavid scored his 26th goal of the season, which came in highlight reel fashion.  McDavid leads the NHL in scoring, but after his first career goal against the Ducks, Bernier took exception by poking him in the chest later in the period.

The Ducks are still in contention for the Pacific Division title.  The are just 2 points behind San Jose, who has 89 points.

“We were lucky enough to have a 2-2 tie,” Ducks Coach Randy Carlyle said. “We changed our attitude, and we’re much more competitive in the hockey game from the second period on.”

The Ducks return to action on Friday at the Honda Center against Winnipeg.

Ducks Skate By Sharks

March 18th, 2017

Patrick Eaves and Jakob Silfverberg scored goals and the Anaheim Ducks took down San Jose to tighten the Pacific Division race with a 2-1 victory over the Sharks on Saturday night.

Jonathan Bernier made 33 saves, which got him his 5th win in his last 6 starts.  Logan Couture scored the lone goal for the Sharks, and Martin Jones made 25 saves.

The Ducks are just four points behind San Jose in the Pacific Division after picking up the win.  Ryan Getzlaf hasn’t given up hope on catching them.  “This is the team we’re chasing,” he said. “You don’t ever want to let them know that we’ve given up. I’m sure they viewed it as a way to put us away for the year. For our group, it’s nice to come out and respond after a tough overtime loss last night.”

Eaves goal came just 39 seconds into the game.  He took advantage of a coverage breakdown by the Sharks in front of their own net.  Couture would tie it up on a power play goal with 47 seconds left in the period.

Silfverberg on a breakaway about 6:30 minutes into the second period, and that would be the game winner.  San Jose would have their chances in the 3rd, but Bernier continued to make the important saves.

This is the 8th straight game between the Sharks and Ducks that was decided by one goal.  Anaheim has won 6 of those 8 games.

The Ducks return to action on Wednesday against the Oilers at the Honda Center.

Sabres Outlast Ducks

March 17th, 2017

It took a 10 round shootout, but the Sabres outlasted the Ducks in Anaheim on Friday night 2-1.  Zemgus Girgensons scored the decisive goal in the 10th round of the shootout to give Buffalo the win.

Ryan O’Reilly and Rasmus Ristolainen scored in the shootout as well, which helped the Sabres end a 7-game losing skid in Southern California.  The last time the Sabres won in SoCal was in February of 2012.

O’Reilly scored his 17th goal of the season for Buffalo.  The Ducks goal was scored by Rickard Rakell.  Jonathan Bernier made 30 saves for Anaheim, while Anders Nilsson stopped 39 for the Sabres.

Rakell scored on a rebound at 8:12 of the 1st period, which was his 31st goal, and put Anaheim ahead 1-0.  However, Buffalo would tie it on O’Reilly’s goal 5 minutes into the 2nd period.

The Ducks were hoping for their first 3-game win streak in over two months, but they were unable to capitalize.

This is the first of back-to-back games for the Ducks, who will be visiting San Jose tomorrow night.

Rakell Gets 30th Goal In Ducks Win Over Blues

March 16th, 2017

Rickard Rakell scored his 30th goal of the season as the Ducks defeated the Blues 2-1 on Tuesday night at the Honda Center.

Ryan Getzlaf added a goal and Jonathan Bernier made 26 saves as the Ducks have regained 2nd place in the Pacific Division.

As many hockey players are, Rakell sounded very selfless.  “It’s fun to score to goals. I always wanted to score goals as much as I could. But as long as we win, I just want to help the team in any way,” he said.

Rakell scored 6 minutes into the game after the Ducks took advantage of a turnover by the Blues.  Getzlaf got the puck to him to help make it happen.

At the 6:37 mark of the 2nd period, Getzlaf made it 2-0 with a wrist shot that beat Jake Allen.  It was his 14th of the season, and turned out to be the game winner.

The Blues got on the board at 9:52 of the 3rd period on  Ivan Barbashev’s goal but they wouldn’t come any closer.

The Ducks return to action on Friday at home against the Sabres.

Ducks Beat Up On Capitals

March 12th, 2017

Corey Perry scored 2 goals and added an assist, and Ryan Getzlaf had a goal and 2 assists as the Ducks took care of the Capitals 5-2 at Honda Center on Sunday.

Ryan Kessler also had a goal and two assist for the Ducks who have won three of their last four games.  Anaheim also moved ahead of Calgary for 2nd place in the Pacific Division with the win.  Richard Rakell contributed his 29th goal, and Jonathan Bernier had 25 saves.

The Capitals got goals from John Carlson and Marcus Johansson, as they lost their season high fourth consecutive game.

Alex Ovechkin didn’t score for the 10th straight game, which is the longest scoring drought of his career.

The Ducks held a pregame ceremony to mark the 10-year anniversary of the their Stanley Cup Championship.  Perry and Getzlaf were two of the youngest players on the team then, and Randy Carlyle is behind the Ducks bench once again.

The Capitals played without defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who was serving the first of his two-game suspension for charging at Kings defenseman Kevin Gravel on Saturday night.

Anaheim will return to action on Wednesday night against the Blues, at the Honda Center.

Ducks Lose It Late vs Blues

March 11th, 2017
The Ducks didn’t do the LA Kings any favora on Friday night in St. Louis. Joel Edmundon scored with 20 seconds left to give the Blues a 4-3 win, as St. Louis moved 3 points ahead of the Kings for the final playoff spot in the West.

Jake Allen made 23 saves for St Louis. They also got goals from Paul Stastny, Vladimir Tarasenko and Ryan Reaves. It was their their third straight win.

Jakob Silfverberg, Chris Wagner and Rickard Rakell scored for the Ducks. Anaheim had their two game win streak snapped.

Anaheim goalie John Gibson was making his first start after missing six games in a row with a lower-body injury.

Stastny snapped a 2-2 tie in the first minute of the third with a blast from the slot.

Silfverberg tied it at 3-3 on the power play with 10:36 left.

Then Edmundson would win it late. That gave the Blues a win against a Ducks team they’ll be facing again on Wednesday in Anaheim.

The Ducks return to action on Sunday against the Capitals. It will be the first of three straight home games.

Ducks Shutdown The Blackhawks

March 9th, 2017

The Ducks went into Chicago on Thursday night and beat the Blackhawks 1-0.  It was their 2nd win in a row, and it came behind a strong start from Jonathan Bernier.

The Anaheim netminder made 43 saves, and collected his 100th NHL win in the process.  The only goal of the game was scored by Corey Perry, which came in the 2nd period.

Perry scored on the Ducks’ 14th shot, just moments after Marian Hossa’s drive dribbled off the post to Bernier’s left. He beat Corey Crawford on the stick side as he cut across the slot.

The Ducks snapped Chicago’s seven game winning streak, despite being outshot 43-26 on the night.  It was also just the 2nd time in the last 14 games that the Blackhawks lost.

It was Bernier’s second shutout of the season and the 14th of his career.  He started in place of the injured John Gibson who was sidelined with a lower-body injury for the 6th straight game.  The Ducks moved past Edmonton for second place in the Pacific Division with the win.

As for Perry, the goal ended a 10-game drought.  It was his 12th of the season, and his first since scoring two goals against Buffalo on February 9th at Buffalo.

“We weathered the storm in the first period and our goalie stood tall,” Perry said. “Got to give him a lot of credit. “Sometimes you need him, and we needed him tonight.”

Ducks Outlast Predators in Shootout

March 7th, 2017

The Ducks got off to a slow start on Tuesday night in Anaheim, but rallied to beat the Predators 4-3 in a shootout.

Newly acquired Patrick Eaves scored the only goal of the shootout, which came in the 5th round, and capped off the Ducks rally.

Anaheim was down 2-0, and 3-1, before rallying back.  “We stuck with it,” Ryan Getzlaf said. “I felt like, earlier in the year, at these times, I thought we’d maybe let things get away. We [would] start taking more and more penalties. We took our fair share tonight, but we were able to kind of rally it in and get a couple of bounces.”

Richard Rakell and Nick Ritchie scored 6 minutes apart in the 2nd period to tie the game at 3-3.  That was one of the Ducks best 10 minute stretches in several weeks.  Their forecheck was dominant, and they were very effective in the face-off circle.

Ryan Getzlaf also scored for the Ducks on the power play in the 1st period.  It was his 12th of the season, and ended a 1 for 35 drought in their previous 13 games.

Ducks goaltender John Gibson missed his fifth straight game with a muscle strain.  Jonathan Bernier made the start again, and had 24 saves for the win.

The Ducks will travel to Chicago to play the Blackhawks on Thursday night up next.

Ducks Can’t Find The Power vs Canucks

March 6th, 2017

The Ducks haven’t been able to string together consecutive wins since mid-January, and they failed again on Sunday night against Vancouver.  The Canucks surprised Anaheim with a 2-1 win at the Honda Center.

The surprise was Canucks goalie Richard Bachman, who made his first appearance of the season for the Canucks.  The 29-year-old made 43 saves, and got his first win since October 30, 2015.  Vancouver is now 6 points out of the playoffs after beating the Kings and Ducks on back-to-back nights.

The Ducks fell behind 2-0, after Bo Horvat and Markus Granlund scored in the 1st two periods for Vancouver.

Anaheim got on the board in the 3rd period when Patrick Eaves knocked in a shot off a pass from Ryan Getzlaf.  However, they would get no closer despite having their chances.

The Ducks had two 3rd period power plays, but didn’t do much with them.  In fact, Anaheim had just three power plays in their last two games, and has scored just once in their last 35 opportunities.

“They did a good job of getting in lanes,” Eaves said. “We threw a lot at the net — we threw things from the sides, from all over the place … unfortunately it didn’t bounce out to one of us.”

Anaheim outshot Vancouver 19-4 in the 3rd period, but they couldn’t solve Bachman, and had trouble getting quality shots on net.  The Canucks blocked 17 shots.

The Ducks are still tied for 3rd place in the Pacific Division.  They’ll take on Nashville on Tuesday night at the Honda Center before hitting the road for a couple of games.

Ducks Look Good After Bye

March 3rd, 2017

For most NHL teams, their first game after the bye week hasn’t gone well.  That wasn’t the case for the Ducks, who beat the Maple Leafs 5-2 on Friday at the Honda Center.

Richard Rakell scored twice and Jonathan Bernier made 37 saves, as the Ducks maintained a two point lead over Calgary for 3rd place in the Pacific Division.

The Ducks  also got goals from Sami Vatanen and Jakob Silfverberg.  Patrick Eaves added an empty-netter for his first goal as a Duck to secure the win.

Anaheim fell behind 2-1 in the 2nd period after a power play goal from Toronto’s Nazem Kadri.  However, the Ducks got goals 16 seconds apart from Silfverberg and Rakell.

Rakell now has 4 goals in his last 3 games and 26 on the season.

Bernier got the win against his former team.  Meanwhile, Frederik Andersen did not get the chance to play against the Ducks, his former team, as he sat out the 2nd night of a back-to-back.

Ducks G John Gibson missed his third consecutive game with a lower-body injury.  Anaheim will return to action on Sunday night vs Vancouver.

Quick Returns & Kings Rally

February 25th, 2017

For the first time in 59 games, Jonathan Quick was back in goal for the LA Kings.  He looked as sharp as he usually is, despite missing nearly the entire season with a groin injury.  Quick made 32 saves as the Kings got a much needed 3-2 win against the Ducks at Staples Center.

Quick was excellent throughout, making several big saves in the 1st period.  However, the Ducks still managed to get one by the Kings goaltender late in the 1st.  Andrew Cogliano tipped in a pass from Ryan Kessler for his 14th of the season, and Anaheim was in control at the 1st intermission.

Neither team scored in the 2nd period, and despite Quick’s efforts, it looked like another game where the Kings offense was going to come up empty.

Then in the 3rd period the Kings rallied.  Tyler Toffoli put LA on the board 3:37 into the period after poking the puck past a sprawling Jonathan Bernier.  Bernier was unable to cover the puck during a big scramble in front of the Ducks net.  A little over 4 minutes later, it was Toffoli again, scoring his 12th after tipping in a pass from Jeff Carter on a 2-on-1.  17 seconds later, Dustin Brown re-directed a shot by Kevin Gravel, which made it 3-1 Kings.

The Ducks would pressure the Kings in the final 12 minutes, but Quick continued to turn back Anaheim.  Finally, after the Ducks pulled their goaltender for the extra-attacker in the final two minutes, Jeff Carter scored his 30th goal of the season on an empty-netter.  Carter took a pass from Anze Kopitar, who picked up his 2nd assist of the game on the play.

The game was physical throughout, which is usually the case when these two cross-town rivals get together.  Things got especially chippy in the 2nd period, when a 10-man dog pile lead to a fight between Kings defenseman Brayden McNabb and Ducks Center Nate Thompson.  Later in the period, Jeff Carter and Ryan Kessler squared off, with Kessler landing a big blow to the face of the Kings leading scorer.  A fight involving either of those two skilled players is rare, but the blow may have woken the Kings up from their slump.

Patrick Eaves made his debut for the Ducks after being acquired from Dallas for a conditional second-round draft pick Friday. Slotted on a line with Corey Perryand Rickard Rakell, Eaves played 16:09.

For the Kings, Coach Darryl Sutter won his 216th game with LA, passing Andy Murray for most in franchise history.  Sutter also scratched right wing Marian Gaborik for just the second time this season, after Gaborik had failed to score a point in the last 9 games.  Gaborik was replace in the lineup by forward Jordan Nolan, who was activated from injured reserve after missing the last 9 games with a lower-body injury.

The win tied the season series between the Kings and Ducks at 2-2.  More importantly though, it kept the Kings in the playoff race.  LA now trails Nashville by 3 points for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, and they are 4 points behind division rival Calgary.  The Kings will face the Flames on Tuesday night in Calgary, which will be the 2nd night of a back-to-back after playing at Minnesota on Monday.

As for the Ducks, they will now have their bye week, and do not play again until March 3rd against Toronto.  Anaheim is still tied for 2nd place in the Pacific Division with Edmonton, and only 3 points behind San Jose for 1st place.

Ducks Top Bruins

February 22nd, 2016

The Ducks haven’t been scoring much his season, but Richard Rakell is having himself a fine season.  Rakell scored two goals to lead the Ducks to a 5-3 win over the Bruins on Wednesday night at the Honda Center.

With 2:34 left in the 3rd period, Rackell tapped in Corey Perry’s missed attempt that squirted to him on the right side.  Andrew Cogliano added an empty-netter with 49 seconds left, which helped snap Boston’s four game win streak under new coach Bruce Cassidy.

The Bruins attack was relentless all night, but the Ducks were up for the challenge.  Anaheim took a 3-2 led into the 3rd period after a goal by Josh Manson.  However, Boston tied it up about halfway through the 3rd after Frank Vatrano scored on a breakaway.

Jonathan Bernier made 26 saves to get the win for Anaheim.  He filled in for Jonathan Gibson who sat out because of an upper body injury.

“It was nice to get the bounces tonight,” Rakell said. “We’ve been having a tough time the last couple of games to get something going, so for sure, it was nice that we were able to help the team tonight.

The line of Ryan Getzlaf, Nick Richie, and Ondrej Kase combined for a goal and four assists in the Ducks largest offensive outbreak in their last seven games.

The Ducks will now travel up the freeway to take on the Kings at Staples Center on Saturday afternoon.

Ducks Can’t Stop Red Hot Coyotes

February 20th, 2017

The Coyotes struck early and often in the 1st period on Monday, and then held on for a 3-2 win against the Ducks.  Arizona got three goals in the 1st period, capped off by Radim Vrbata’s 12th goal of the season.

After Jonathan Bernier gave up three goals on just six shots in that 1st period, he was replaced by Jonathan Gibson.  That stabilized things for Anaheim, as Gibson stopped all 14 shots he faced the rest of the way.

Ryan Getzlaf got the Ducks on the board midway through the 2nd period, after he re-directed a pass from Josh Manson past Mike Smith.  It was Getzlaf’s 10th goal of the season.

Getzlaf got his 2nd of the game with 26 seconds left in the 3rd period, but it was too little too late for Anaheim.  The Ducks had a couple of good chances in the final seconds, but Coyotes backup goaltender Marek Langhamer made the critical saves to preserve the win.  Langhamer was forced into action when Smith left the game after a collision in front of the net with just over 4 minutes left in the 3rd period.

The Coyotes also got 1st period goals from Christian Dvorak and Jakob Chychrun.  Mike Smith made 27 saves before leaving in the 3rd, while Langhamer stopped 7 of the 8 shots that he faced.

Arizona has won four of their last six games.  They also traded defenseman Michael Stone to Calgary on Monday.  He was replaced in the lineup by Connor Murphy.

Anaheim has just 4 wins in their last 10 games, but they’ll get to come home for a while.  The Ducks play Boston at home on Wednesday, and play four of the past five games at the Honda Center.

Ducks Shut Down Kings

February 19th, 2017

The Kings continued their struggle to score, and the Ducks got 2 big points against their cross-town rival with a 1-0 win against LA on Sunday night in Anaheim.

Josh Manson scored his second goal of the season and Jonathan Gibson made 24 saves for his 10th career shutout.  Anaheim has now won two of the three games this season against LA, and moved back into a tie for 2nd place in the Pacific Division.

In seasons past, the Kings have been known to win these tight checking close games.  LA played a very physical game, however, Anaheim countered with a persistent forecheck which ultimately set up the only goal of the game.  The Ducks know they need to play that style to win in the postseason, something that has eluded them for a while.

“We just showed how we can play,” Gibson said. “This time of the season, that’s the way it is going to be. Going into the playoffs, towards the end of the year, every game is going to be tight. There’s not much room for error, so (you’ve) got to be pretty good.”

The Kings still had their chances.  Trevor Lewis looked like he was going to tie the game for Los Angeles in the final 30 seconds of the second period. The puck careened off the boards and behind Gibson, who was out at the top of his crease, but Lewis somehow put it wide of the open net.

Then Adrian Kempe then hit the outside of the post off a rebound late in the third period, and the Kings did nothing on a subsequent power play for too many men on the ice.

The Kings remain two points out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.  Drew Doughty doesn’t seem worried, but knows time is running out.  “We’re still fully confident we can turn it on now and get back into that playoff spot we want to be in,” Doughty said. “The longer we wait, the harder it’s going to be.”

LA will try to get back in the win column on Tuesday at Colorado.  As for the Ducks, they’ll take on the Coyotes tomorrow night in Phoenix.

Panthers Take Down Ducks

February 18th, 2017The Ducks ran into a red hot Florida Panthers team on Friday in Anaheim, and it was the Panthers big 2nd period that propelled them to a 4-1 win.After a scoreless 1st period, Andrew Cogliano got the Ducks on the board with his third short-handed goal of the season, and the Ducks looked like they might be on their way to a victory.However, the Panthers blitzed the Ducks for three straight goals after that, and never looked back from there.  45 year old Jaromir Jagr scored a brilliant goal during that stretch to give Florida a 2-1 lead, after stealing the puck from Josh Manson behind the net.  Jagr made a few dekes before putting the puck past Gibson.Jagr’s goal, followed by Colton Sceviour, and Aaron Ekbald, came within a stretch of 6 minutes.  The Ducks put some pressure on James Reimer in the 3rd period, but the Panthers Goaltender game up with some big saves.  Derek MacKenzie added an empty net short-handed goal in the final two minutes to secure the win for Florida.Turnovers were a big issue for Anaheim.  “We fed their offense with our inability to execute with the puck,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. “They turned the game in their favor with us gifting the puck to them.”The Ducks played their first game without center Antoine Vermette, who’s serving a 10-game suspension for slashing an official pending an appeal.  However, Anaheim still dominated in the face-off circle.The Ducks won 12 of 17 faceoffs in the first period and 71 percent for the game.Jonathan Gibson made 27 saves for Anaheim, but wasn’t necessarily as sharp as he usually is.  Carlyle indicated that he considered giving Gibson the night off to rest, but backup Jonathan Bernier was ill.The Ducks will try to get back in the win column on Sunday when they take on the Kings at the Honda Center.

Vermette Ejected But Ducks Shutdown Wild

February 15th, 2017The Ducks got all the offense they needed five minutes into the game, as they defeated the Minnesota Wild 1-0 on Tuesday night.John Gibson made 37 and earned his 4th shutout of the season, and rookie Joseph Cramarossa scored the games only goal, his 4th of the season.The story of the night though was Antoine Vermette, who was ejected in the third period for abusing an official. Vermette lost a faceoff in the 3rd period, and used his stick to hit a linesman on the back of the legs.   The Ducks forward will likely face a suspension, as the league rules state that any kind of physical force with an official results in a 10 game suspension.The Wild went 0 for 5 on the power play, and suffered their first loss in regulation for the first time in six games. Devan Dubnyk made 22 saves for the Wild.The 1st place Wild outshot the Ducks 37-23, but Anaheim continued their strong defensive play. The Ducks have allowed the fewest third-period goals in the league this season.Minnesota coach Bruce Boudreau said his former team, the Ducks, got the goaltending they needed from Gibson. “You could tell very early on, or I could- maybe I know him a little bit- but he was really on his game and it was going to take something special to beat him,” Boudreau explained. “But we couldn’t find that.”The Ducks return home on Friday night to take on the Panthers. Anaheim finished their five game road trip with a record of 2-3-1.Ducks Rally Falls Short Against Caps
February 11th, 2017The Ducks road troubles continued Saturday in our nation’s capital. Anaheim rallied from a three-goal deficit, but gave up a goal late in the 3rd, ultimately ending in a 6-4 loss to the Capitals.Capitals rookie Zach Sanford scored the game-winning goal, which was the first goal of his NHL career. Marcus Johansson added an empty net goal with 13 seconds left.Anaheim fell behind 3-0 after the 1st period before getting on the scoreboard in the 2nd. Jakob Silfverberg got the Ducks on the board, but just over 5 minutes later, the Capitals made it 4-1 on a goal by Daniel Winnik.   Hampus Lindolm made it 4-2 before the period was over, then goals by Ryan Kessler followed by Ryan Getzlaf tied it up midway through the 3rd period.Getzlaf had a goal and two assists for the Ducks, while John Gibson made 33 saves in the losing effort. Anaheim is just 1-3-1 with one game left on this six game road trip.The Capitals have 84 points and own the NHL’s best record. Despite the loss, Getzlaf was encouraged. “It showed a lot of character, hanging in there and playing with a team like that and making that comeback,” Getzlaf said. “That’s not an easy team to do that against, and not an easy building to be in.”The Ducks will wrap up their road trip on Tuesday against the Minnesota Wild. Former Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau is behind the bench, and it’s no surprise the Wild are sitting at the top of the Western Conference standings given his track record for regular season success.Anaheim remains in 2nd place in the Pacific Division. After playing at Minnesota and returning home to play Florida, the Ducks will have another showdown with their cross-town rivals, the Kings, on Sunday night. 

Penner Returns to Ducks

Penner Pancakes

July 16th, 2013

Dustin Penner has found better tasting Pancakes elsewhere.  The Ducks brought back left wing Dustin Penner on a one year deal for $2 million, after he spent the last 2 full seasons with the Kings.

The 30 year old Penner was drafted by the Ducks back in 2004, and won a Stanley Cup with the team in 2007, in addition to winning a cup in 2012 with the Kings.  He’s also spent some time with the Edmonton Oilers.

Penner can be an effective player when he wants to be, but has struggled to stay in shape for the last few seasons, which has impacted his production.  Last year, he had just 2 goals and 12 assists in 33 games for LA.   However, he turned it around the post season, scoring 3 goals and 2 assists in 18 games.  Penner also struggled the year before in the regular season, scoring just 7 goals in 65 games, before turning it around in the post-season again.  He scored a career high 32 goals for the Oilers in 2009-2010.

Penner is notorious for injuring his back while sitting down for breakfast and eating his wife’s homemade pancakes  during the 2011-2012 season, thus earning him the name “Pancakes Penner”.  The Ducks are hoping Penner can bring his grit and toughness to their lineup, and may even play him on their first line with Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf.


Bobby Ryan Traded to Senators

Bobby Ryan

July 7th, 2013

The Ducks pulled off a big trade this weekend, sending Bobby Ryan to the Ottawa Senators.  In exchange, the Ducks received Jakob Silfverberg, prospect Stefan Noesen, and a first round pick in 2014.

Ryan’s name has been mentioned in trade rumors for over a year, but the Ducks were ultimately forced to deal his expensive $5.1 million contract with the salary cap coming down.

Silfverberg is expected to be a top 6 forward for Anaheim this year, and was nearly as productive as Ryan was last year, with a cap hit of only $900,000.

In addition, the Ducks also re-signed center Saku Koivu to a one year contract worth $2.5 million.

Hockey History Awaits

Voynov GWBonino Celebrates

May 9th, 2013

Just one win away from history.  My neighbors think I’m a lunatic from all the yelling and screaming I was doing last night after Slava Voynov scored the game winner.  They have obviously never witnessed playoff hockey, and have no idea what’s going on with the Kings and Ducks.

Jonathan Quick has been amazing.  He’s stopped 146 of 155 shots, and looks like the dude who carried the Kings last spring.  Drew Doughty is unbelievably valuable.  The guy just piles on the minutes, and is the backbone of the Kings defense. And who doesn’t love Justin Williams chasing down every loose puck??

Then there’s the resurrection of Kopitar and Carter.  Once those two scored in game 4, their entire game has returned to elite level.  Kopitar made not one, but two “Gretzky like” passes to set up two of the Kings three goals.  Carter hasn’t had much space to get off his lethal shot in this series, but he’s been finding ways to finish around the net.

Meanwhile, in Anaheim, the Ducks were locked up in another game with the Red Wings that was tighter than a Beyonce jump suit.  Poor Corey Perry.  The guy gets a wide open opportunity in the slot, and Jimmy Howard robs him.  Dude still can’t find the back of the net in the playoffs.  Good thing Bonino and Palmieri are stepping up.

Neither goaltender has been great in this series, but that’s been a much bigger problem for the Red Wings.  Howard was supposed to give the Wings an edge in this series, but he’s played more like Ron Howard.  The playoffs are all about grit and toughness, and the Ducks are getting it from guys like Bonino and Palmieri.

Now each team is just one win away from an epic showdown in the 2nd round of the playoffs, for the first time in the history of both franchises.  The Kings have won nine in a row at home, and will need to make it ten, or else they will have to go back to St. Louis for game 7.  I’ve said that home ice doesn’t matter in the playoffs, because the Kings should be able to win just one game away from home in a playoff series.  That’s only true if they win on Friday.

The Ducks need to go to Detroit, where they will need to avoid the distraction of hearing gun fire and crime in that crummy city.  Even though they have the luxury of playing a game 7 at home, home ice hasn’t meant much for either team in this series.  Take care of business fellas.  You’ve all got a date with destiny next week.

Finished by the Finnish Flash

Detroit Red Wings v Anaheim Ducks

May 1st, 2013

I can’t believe this dude is still playing.  I can still remember watching Selanne play against Gretzky and the Kings in 1992 at the Forum when he was a rookie.  19 years later he’s carrying the Ducks in the playoffs against the Red Wings, and he scored the game winner in game 1 vs Detroit to give the Ducks a 1-0 lead in their best of seven series.

Bruce Boudreau pushed the right button in game 1 by starting Jonas Hiller over Victor Fasth.  If there’s one advantage the Red Wings thought they had going into this series, it was having Jimmy Howard in goal.  But the Ducks put more pressure on Howard than Michigan alums put on their kids to attend their crummy school.

Corey Perry nearly “Clint Malarkchuk’d” Jimmy Howard in the 2nd period, with his drive to the net and shot to the head of the Red Wings goaltender.  I can’t remember an NHL season in recent memory with as many skate blades knocking guys in the face as this one.

This isn’t the same stacked Red Wings team that we’re used to seeing over the years.  They had to fight until the final day of the regular season to sneak into the playoffs, and their offense is carried by two players.  The Ducks may not have been able to score at even strength, but they played a great puck possession game, and their skilled players broke through on the power play.

If the Ducks, Kings, Sharks, and Blackhawks win their 1st round playoff series, The Ducks and Kings will meet in the 2nd round of the playoffs.  Can anyone imagine a better matchup in the Stanley Cup playoffs?  Those two teams would tear each other apart for seven games.  Then again, were talking about the Sharks coming up big in the playoffs.  Unlikely for a group that has perfected the art of choking around this time of year.

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