The Anaheim Ducks started their five-game road trip off on the right foot with a 3-1 victory over the Boston Bruins, their 9th consecutive victory over Boston. It was an all-around solid effort from Anaheim headed by fantastic goaltending from both John Gibson and Ryan Miller, the latter coming in for the final seven minutes of the game after another stellar John Gibson performance.
The team as a whole played well, despite the fact that Boston heavily outshot the Ducks 26-12 in the final 40 minutes of the game. The 2-0 lead that the Ducks had built in the opening 20 minutes was sufficient for the defense to limit dangerous chances for the Bruins, although they did have their chances.
The Ducks will move on to face the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night in game two of the road trip with a potential move into a playoff spot on the line. The Ducks are currently in a three-way tie with the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks for the 2nd spot in the Pacific Division.
We got right back to the game we were playing before the break. We wanted to start this road trip off on the right foot. Everybody came to play and Millsy was huge there, too. It was a full team effort” -Adam Henrique
Best & Worst
Adam Henrique - Adam Henrique extended his point streak to six games, adding two goals to increase his total to seven goals and two assists in his last six. If Henrique can continue this level of production, the Ducks can feel very comfortable about the options that they have in the middle of the ice.
John Gibson - Gibby had another fantastic game, and I don’t think I will ever get tired of saying it. He played a very solid 53 shutout minutes, despite the fact that he was battling through an injury for the last ten of those 53 minutes. He made a few very timely saves in order to keep the Ducks lead intact and set them up for Ryan Miller to relieve for a victory.
Penalty Kill - The Boston power play went 0/4 against the Ducks, and that bodes really well for Anaheim’s penalty kill if they can continue their momentum through the second half of the season. Now would be a very good time for the special teams units to be heating up, and a power play goal mixed with a perfect penalty kill is very encouraging.
Nick Ritchie - Ritchie had another underwhelming game and was not much of a factor until he laid a very dangerous hit on an unsuspecting David Backes, hitting him high and late well after he had gotten rid of the puck. It caused a lot of unnecessary animosity and nearly resulted in return fire against Adam Henrique, as Zdeno Chara made amends for this hit later in the game. With just five minutes remaining and your team up 2-0, it might be best to just take it easy with the high, late hits. A dumb play from a player who is having a really tough time convincing me that he deserves any ice-time at all at the moment.
Still Being Behind LA and SJ - I’ll be honest. I’m having a tough time coming up with things that I didn’t like about this game outside of Nick Ritchie’s bad decisions. So I might just point to the standings and say “Gross” because despite the fact that all three teams are at 59 points, the Ducks are still shown behind San Jose and Los Angeles. Let’s fix that.
3 Stars of the Game
3. Rickard Rakell - Rakell had another solid game quietly, recording two assists. He continues to be one of Anaheim’s most consistent offensive threats, earning his title of All-Star.
2. John Gibson - It’s hard to scoff at 53 shutout minutes, especially against a team that has been feeling it as much as the Boston Bruins. Gibson shut the door repeatedly and never gave the Bruins the second and third chance opportunities that their offense thrives on. Get well soon and keep on keeping on.
1. Adam Henrique - Let’s see here....3-1 victory....2 goals....yep, by simple math, it looks to me like Henrique was the difference-maker in this victory.
I’ll just leave this here
How Much Ice Time Does Nick Ritchie Deserve?
This poll is closed