These Ducks could accomplish something very special this season. In dispatching the Stanley Cup champion Kings, our Ducks had to beat not just the Kings, they had to overcome some bad officiating, their own demons, an unfavorable schedule and an injury that reduced them to five D-men for the final two periods.
This was a night when even a good showing would have been accepted and excused by most paying customers.
Just two weeks ago our Ducks found themselves in a very similar situation. On that night our guys gave in to their base instincts and Vancouver made them look like goofs on their way to 5-0 win.
Like the Canucks, Kings came out attempting to dictate the tempo and dominate physically. Even in the eye of this Ducks fan, Kings earned a territorial advantage in play throughout the game. Our Ducks didn’t let them do much with it. Our guys dove in front of shots. They matched the Kings physically, tying them up and moving them out of harms way.
Ducks took an early lead on two goals from Nick Bonino. Suter yanked Quick and replaced him with Bernier. Kings responded with assists from B market officiating and came back to tie it up. Dustin Brown on a PP and Jared Stoll wristed while falling away just 34 seconds later.
Ryan Getzlaf went to the Kings net to bury one as our Ducks skated off the ice leading 3-2 after one period of play.
Kings would tie it up 3 more times but would never lead before our Ducks pulled away in the third.
Nick Bonino buried another to complete his first career hat trick. It was another night when our Ducks got significant scoring from an unexpected source.
It was a night of a few Ducks firsts. Emerson Etem earned his first NHL points assisting on each Bones’ first two goals. It was also Double E’s first multi-point NHL game.
Teemu Selanne’s EN goal moved him ahead of Doug Gilmour for 16th place on the All Time Points leaders.
As this blog has noted on numerous occasions, goalie stats are useless indicators. Jonas Hiller is not among the top 40 NHL goalies in SV% or GAA. He’s tied for tenth in wins with four.
And tonight, maybe for the first time since we traded Chris Pronger, this blogger saw reason for hope.