After dismal 6-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche in their season opener, the Anaheim Ducks have won five consecutive games and have outscored their opponents 20-8. While they have been getting decent production from their top line, commonly known as the PPG line from the 06-07 Stanley Cup season with the return of Dustin Penner and trade of Bobby Ryan during the offseason, they have also been getting offensive production from new, unlikely sources.
One of these sources is Mathieu Perreault, whom the Ducks acquired from the Capitals less than a month ago. In his four seasons and 159 regular season games for the Capitals, Perreault only racked up thirty-three goals and thirty-six assists. However, prior to Friday nights contest against the Phoenix Coyotes,
Friday’s he had already tallied two goals and three assists in his six games in a Ducks uniform.
Another offensive surprise in the Ducks lineup has been Jakob Silfverberg, who came to Anaheim from the Ottawa Senators in the previously mentioned Ryan trade. Silfverberg made his NHL debut playing 2 games during the 2012 playoffs, but did not make a regular season appearance until last season, in which he recorded ten goals in forty-eight games. In his first six games as a Duck, he had already scored four goals.
“I’ve had a good start so far, but you can’t get satisfied too early. You’ve got to keep on pushing,” Silfverberg stated of his fast start.
However, until earlier this week, a familiar name was surprisingly from the goal scorers’ list. Since making the announcement that he would be returning for his final season, Teemu Selanne had not scored through the first four games he played this season.
Ducks’ fans collectively held their breath every time he possessed the puck near the net, but he kept getting denied. That all changed on Wednesday night against the Calgary Flames when Selanne received a breakaway pass from Silfverberg and easily netted his first goal of the season.
With five straight wins under their belt, could the Ducks make it six on Friday night? Would the Coyotes be able to stop the Ducks seemingly unstoppable offense?
The first period started just like every other game at the Honda Center so far this season…with an early Ducks goal. Scored by Selanne with an assist from Perreault, the Ducks seemed to be continuing down their streaking, offensive path.
However, the Coyotes came back in the second period with a goal from Antoine Vermette, sending this game into the third period tied at one goal apiece.
In the third, Ducks defenseman Bryan Allen turned the puck over to the Coyotes in the Ducks own zone and a shot from Rostislav Klesla ricocheted off of Allen’s knee and into the net of Ducks netminder, Jonas Hiller, signifying the first time the Ducks trailed in a home game so far this season.
Late in the third, the Ducks really started pressuring Mike Smith in the Coyotes’ net and with just over two minutes remaining, Nick Bonino, the Ducks fourth line center, tied it up with his third goal of the season, sending the game into overtime.
“I just tried to put it on net and about halfway there I saw that the line the puck was one was looking pretty good and that Smith had no idea where it was,” Bonino said of his late game heroics. “It went in. I’m happy.”
With no decision coming in the overtime period, the game went to a shootout.
The shootout went six rounds. Hiller came up with three big saves, while four Ducks, Corey Perry, Bonino, Selanne and Silfverberg, all made their attempts. Silfverberg received credit for the same-winning goal and the Ducks extended their winning streak to six.
Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau commented on the style of the win, “It just says we have character and we don’t want to quit.”
The Ducks look to finish off their home stand with what would be their seventh win in a row on Sunday with a game against the Dallas Stars.