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.
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.
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.
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.