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Avalanche 1, Ducks 3: John Gibson backstops Anaheim win

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Phew!

Anaheim Ducks right wing Jakob Silfverberg (33) is congratulated by Anaheim Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler (4), defenseman Jani Hakanpaa (28), center Adam Henrique (14) and center Danton Heinen (43) after scoring a goal in the first period of the game against the Colorado Avalanche at Honda Center. Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Anaheim found a way to squeeze some points out of these past four games of the first homestand against a good Minnesota Wild and an even better Colorado Avalanche, bringing the Ducks to the .500 mark (2-2-2) after six games.

It was the Swedes who helped the Ducks rout the Avalanche tonight, with Jakob Silfverberg scoring just 58 seconds into the game for his first of the season. An Adam Henrique faceoff win in the offensive zone lead to a loose puck and a quick shot from Silfverberg, zipping it right past an unsuspecting Philipp Grubauer to put the Ducks on the board.

NHL: Colorado Avalanche at Anaheim Ducks Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

That was the highlight of the period from Anaheim, who was rather scrambled, and spending too much time on their heels.

Halfway through the second period, it was Rickard Rakell who notched his first goal of the season off a beauty of a pass from, of course, Ryan Getzlaf.

NHL: Colorado Avalanche at Anaheim Ducks Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The captain managed to feed a quick puck that laid perfectly flat to the tape of Rakell’s stick before finding the back of the top right corner from the quick wrist shot we’ve grown used to seeing these past few seasons. Anaheim managed to find their legs during the second period, raising their offensive pressure and increasing their share of shots and unblocked attempts (Corsi For Percentage) to 48.39 percent, compared to 37.14 percent in the first period.

Unfortunately, that would be their best period, as they found themselves yet again on their heels with 28.57 CF% in the final frame. Colorado took advantage, cutting the Ducks’ lead in half on a late goal by Mikko Rantanen. John Gibson made an initial save on Nathan MacKinnon, but Rantanen slipped past Anaheim’s defense from the corner wall and found a rebound opportunity to cash in.

NHL: Colorado Avalanche at Anaheim Ducks Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

A collective sigh of relief from Base Anaheim was had with about 90 seconds left of regulation. Hampus Lindholm found the empty net all the way from the Duck’s right defensive circle, thus securing the two standings points of the night.

Yet again, if it hadn’t been from Gibson’s stellar goaltending, the story would be a lot different. Gibson ended the night saving 32 of 33 shots on goal for a .970 save percentage — a much needed and hopefully appreciated showing.

A win, yes. One hell of an ugly win, however, a win’s a win!

The Good: (once again) John Gibbson, The Swedes

The Bad: Troy Terry

The Ugly: Anaheim’s game total CF% of 39.08

The Ducks are back at it on Tuesday in Arizona against the Coyotes.