First Period Recap: Nick Bonino returned to the lineup after being out for a few games with an injury. Matt Beleskey also returned after missing the San Jose game with an illness. Sami Vatanen replaced Luca Sbisa on defense. Jonas Hiller got the start for the Ducks against the Panthers' Dan Ellis. Teemu Selanne, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry started the game for Bruce Boudreau. The best chances early came from Florida building pressure in the Ducks' end. The Panthers were landing hits early on the Ducks defensemen.
The line of Daniel Winnik, Saku Koivu and Andrew Cogliano was the best line early in the period. Kyle Palmieri followed up a strong shift with a couple chances on Ellis. Jakob Silfverberg was paired with Bonino and the two missed a good chance early after making one too many passes. Perry slapped a shot that deflected off a sick and hit Selanne's helmet right next to the Florida goal. The Ducks looked like they were starting to pick up their play.
Hiller made his best save of the period against Tomas Fleischmann driving up the middle of the ice. Stephane Robidas was paired with Francois Beauchemin. The paring let Beauchemin sit back while Robidas jumped into the attack. There were a couple times in the period where Robidas was below the goal line trying to make a play.
An interference penalty on Ryan Whitney put the Ducks on the power play. Unlike the vast majority of power plays after the Olympic break, the Ducks actually scored. Patrick Maroon received a pass down low from Getzlaf and just curled the puck in behind Ellis just under 30 seconds into the power play.
1-0 Ducks (power play goal)
Immediately after scoring on the power play, which Selanne was not on, the Flash had a point-blank chance stopped by Ellis. Palmieri and Perry had chances denied toward the end of the period as well. The scariest moment for Hiller came in the final minute as Florida was swarming in front of his crease after a couple turnovers, but he held the line to finish the period with a one goal lead.
Second Period Recap: Just 15 seconds into the period Getzlaf made a quick pass to Perry who slipped another pass behind himself to Selanne for a quick snipe behind Ellis.
Beleskey, Bonino and Silfverberg almost scored on their shift following the Selanne goal. A too many men on the ice penalty gave Florida its first power play. The Panthers didn't get many chances early in the power play, and Silfverberg was able to poke a puck out to open ice. He had a breakaway on Ellis and opened him up to slide the puck between the goaltender's legs for a 3-0 lead.
3-0 Ducks (Shorthanded)
The Ducks killed the remainder of the Florida power play after Hiller made a few saves. The Panthers didn't lose momentum after giving up the shorthanded goal and failing on the power play. A long possession in the Ducks zone turned into a Florida goal from Jimmy Hayes.
Soon after Fleischmann made it 3-2 forcing Boudreau to call a timeout.
The timeout worked and Palmieri, who had a playoff-like performance, extended the lead
The top line followed it up with strong shift. Robidas made a slick pass to Perry who got to a rebound while on his knees for his 37th goal of the season.
5-2 Ducks (Free Wings)
The Ducks defenders were getting involved in the the attack. Robidas and Vatanen were really active along the boards. Palmieri's play stood out through the first two periods.
Third Period Recap:
The first couple of minutes were pretty uneventful. Both teams were just dumping the puck in to make changes or losing it in the neutral zone. It wasn't until the top line came out for its second shift that the play started picking up again. Getzlaf and Selanne had one of the most beautiful passing plays to extend the lead even further.
Getzlaf's goal was his 30th of the season (first 30-goal season) and 600th career point. It was announced around this time that Maroon had left the game and would not return with a lower-body injury. The ducks cruised the rest of the way going scoreless on two more power play chances despite many opportunities.
Good: The Ducks didn't play down to their competition (at least after Bruce's timeout). Selanne continued his scoring streak and the whole team really worked well together.
Bad: The Ducks let up after establishing a 3-0 lead. The Panthers were given the opportunity to climb back into the game even though the Ducks could have just as easily buried them in goals.
Ugly: Nothing too ugly tonight. Maybe Ryan Whitney being relied on for defense for Florida, that's pretty ugly.
3rd MVD: Getzlaf – Getzlaf had a great game after being a bit absent in the past two. He made a couple sweet passes that turned into goals. He only had a few missed opportunities, but he made up for the turnovers with his 30th goal of the season.
2nd MVD: Selanne – Teemu performed well on the top line. Maybe he's starting to generate more chemistry with his linemates, or maybe he is just in one of his scoring streaks. Either way, Selanne had one of his best games of the season.
1st MVD: Perry – Perry's skill was too much for the Panthers. He could have easily had a hat trick had Dan Ellis not done a good job on the power play. He joined the rest of his line with a plus-3 rating and scored a goal from his knees. Basically Corey Perry is amazing.
Next Game: Wednesday, March 26th, 7:00 PST @ Calgary Flames