As a birthday gift to himself, Kyle Palmieri scores two goals in the Ducks victory over Minnesota. Anaheim improves to 4-1-1 on the season.
Final Score: Ducks 3, Wild 1
First Period Recap: The first period went by quickly as both teams flew up and down the ice.
The Ducks went on the only power play of the period after Pierre-Marc Bouchard caught Ryan Getzlaf in the face with a high stick. The first power play unit was, well, different. Sammy Vatanen, in his first NHL game, joined Getzlaf, Matt Beleskey, Corey Perry and Cam Fowler on the ice and picked up three shots on goal, as the Ducks power play woes continued.
Midway through the period, Teemu Selanne had a bad giveaway in the defensive zone leading to a Minnesota goal. Marco Scandella slipped a light wrist shot through Viktor Fasth's five hole. It was a soft goal he should have stopped. Luckily it was the only one he gave up for the rest of the game.
Second Period Recap: The Ducks finally got on the board when Teemu Selanne stripped the puck from Minny. Racing up ahead, he passed to Bobby Ryan on the wing. Ryan displayed some of his fancy puck handling skills as he made Niklas Backstrom come toward him. At the last second, Bobby slips a pass thought the defender to a wide open Kyle Palmieri. Palmieri took to one knee as he sunk the puck into the wide open net.
With the game tied, things started to get a bit more physical. Minutes after the Palmieri goal, Corey Perry took a nasty shoulder to the jaw hit from Clayton Stoner. Perry laid on the ice for a couple seconds with his hands over his face. He got up and slowly skated to the bench. After visiting the locker room for a couple minutes, Perry was back on the ice.
Third Period Recap: Continuing their mastery of the Wild, the second line came together to score again in the third. Selanne made a perfect pass through a bunch of legs and skates to an open Palmieri on the side for the goal. The Ducks figured out Backstrom at this point. His lateral movement was terrible. Bobby iced the game - on the power play - receiving a cross ice pass from, who else, but Teemu Selanne, for the wide open goal.
This was the first time the power play had scored a goal since going 3-for-3 in Vancouver, two weeks ago.
The Good: There was a lot of good in this game. All four lines contributed throughout the game, even if it doesn't reflect it on the score sheet. The defensemen were very, very active. Loved that. Emerson Etem and Devante Smith-Pelly are really fun to watch together. I started calling them the Bash Brothers as they threw the body. And how good does it feel to have a competent backup for Jonas Hiller in Viktor Fasth?! The team looked very disciplined, only taking one penalty and that's because Fowler had to bail out Bryan Allen (for, at least, the nine billionth time in the game.)
The Bad: Clayton Stoner's shoulder to Corey Perry's face in front of the referee. I was sitting at that end of the ice. The ref did nothing. Pears seemed back to normal when he returned. He hit the ice and began to take runs at Stoner. He wasn't the only one. Getzy blasted Stoner a couple times, too.
The Ugly: Sweet baby Jesus is Bryan Allen horrible. In many occasions he was bailed out by his partner Cam Fowler or Francois Beauchemin. Zenon Konopka was getting under Allen's skin, that's just what Konopka does. Right in front of the ref, Allen crosschecks Konopka in the back. How that wasn't called, I have no idea. Konopka challenged Allen to drop the gloves and Bryan would have none of it.
General Icehole: Moi, Jen Neale. My fantasy team name is Trade Kyle Palmieri. Yeah...
Next Game: Saturday, Feb. 2 at 7:00 pm, at home vs. the LA Kings