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Viktor Fasth Shuts Out Avs, Ducks Win 3-0

The game wasn't perfect but Fasth was and the Ducks kicked off their six game road trip with a 3-0 win over the Avalanche.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Final Score: Ducks 3, Avalanche 0

First Period Recap: This was a weird one folks, and it started before the puck even dropped. Toni Lydman was scratched due to the flu and Jordan Hendry was inserted into the lineup. No big deal, but Hendry didn't show up from Norfolk until midway through warm-ups.

Brad Staubitz took a beating from Patrick Bordeleau two minutes into the game. From the camera angle above the penalty box it almost looked like Staubitz hit his helmetless head on the ice as he was taken down. Scary moment, but he was fine.

The Ducks took the lead with a Sheldon Souray bomb from the point. The shot was totally unscreened and just blasted right through Semyon Varlamov. Saku Koivu made it 2-0 with a two man advantage, on his second lucky bounce in back to back games. Teemu Selanne was credited with his 750th career assist on Koivu's goal but if it was possible they should have given the primary helper to Avs' defenseman and beard enthusiast Greg Zanon.

Things got even more strange when the broadcast crew announced that the Ducks had made a trade to bring in Ben Lovejoy (Won't somebody please think of the children!?) from the Penguins in exchange for a fifth rounder in 2014. It wasn't a Mike Cammalleri situation, but it was an interesting twist to see a mid-game trade.

Second Period Recap: The middle 20 was similar to the second period of last Tuesday's game in San Jose, in that Colorado came out putting a ton of pressure on early, but were stifled by a Ducks goal midway through the frame. Francois Beauchemin scored on a play that everyone in the building except the linesman thought was offside. Daniel Winnik apparently stayed onside creating a mini 3-on-2 situation inside the Colorado zone and tee'd it up for Beauch to hammer the one timer past Varlamov. After the goal the play settled down a little bit, but the Avs ended up out shooting the Ducks 10-7 in the period.

The strangest development for this period was a too many men on the ice call that was reversed by the officials during a commercial break. The Ducks' "top notch" broadcast crew of John Ahlers and Brian Hayward didn't notice that the teams were skating 5-on-5 until the first full shift was over. And Hazy was ON THE DUCKS' BENCH!

Third Period Recap: Fasth earned his shutout in the third period, facing a number of odd man rushes and semi-breakaways. The Ducks had their chances as well and came about as close as humanly possible to increasing their lead to four. The entire second line of Selanne, Bobby Ryan and Kyle Palmieri came in on a 3-on-1 rush and Palmieri thought he scored, but Varlamov somehow got his glove on it. Video review was required to determine if Varlamov's glove was across the line with the puck in it, but came back inconclusive.

With about five minutes left the Avs pretty much packed it in and the game ended with Sami Vatanen holding the puck behind Fasth for approximately 15 seconds, uncontested while on the power play.


The Good: A lot. Scoring from the blueline and finding a way to win despite not playing the most complete game were highlights and Emerson Etem looked pretty good on the top line, but Viktor Fasth's numbers on the season are UN-F***ING-REAL! Record: 4-0-0, Goals Against Average: 0.98, Save Percentage: .962. Sample size, schmample size, he's clearly on pace for the greatest career of any goalie in the history of tending to the goal.

The Bad: Brad "Starburns" Staubitz apparently played 9:56 in this game, but was only noticed while getting fed the right fist of Bordeleau. I somewhat understand the signing, but he just doesn't seem to have a place on this team.

The Ugly: The Ducks were far too lose on the defensive side of the puck, especially in the third period, relying on Fasth to come up big towards the end. If they are going to have success on this road trip, against some much better teams they'll need to play with a lot more structure.


Most Valuable Duck:

3rd MVD: Saku Koivu - Goal and an Assist. Once again his line with Winnik and Andrew Cogliano played fantastically with extended shifts of offensive zone possession.

2nd MVD: Sheldon Souray - You might have noticed , this guy can shoot the puck pretty well. He scored his third goal in as many games and his second game winner in a row. Also added an assist on Koivu's goal.

1st MVD: Viktor Fasth - Duh! 31 save shutout, fourth straight win to start his NHL career, absolutely sick numbers.

Next Game: @ Dallas, Friday, February 8 at 6:30 PT