This season has been a complete rollercoaster for the Anaheim Ducks. At their lowest point in the season, they found themselves struggling to stay out of last place. At the start of calendar year, they had a record of 10-21-6 and most people would have declared the Ducks season officially over. However, so far in 2012, the Ducks have accumulated 36 points and as recently as Friday evening, they were only four points back of playoff contention.
They came into Sunday night’s contest with a 7-1-3 record in their last eleven games; eight of which were on the road.
“It’s been nice,” said Ducks’ captain Ryan Getzlaf. “Everyone’s been playing really well and things are going the way we want them to.”
Defenseman Sheldon Brookbank stated, “We kind of feel right now that we can win every game and that’s a good feeling,”
Their opponent for the evening was the Chicago Blackhawks were at one point at the top of the Western conference, but had fallen to sixth as of late. They had only scored one goal in their last two games, and had been blanked by the Ducks cross-town rival, the Los Angeles Kings, the night before.
The first period started out well for the Ducks, but just over halfway through, Toni Lydman was called for Hi-sticking and Patrick Kane was able to capitalize on the power play. The Ducks had a few good opportunities to get the equalizer, but couldn’t quite find the net.
However, with just twenty seconds left to play in the period, Andrew Cogliano was able to shove the puck into the net of Chicago net minder, Ray Emery.
The Ducks continued to have some decent opportunities into the second period and Brookbank got one in, giving the Ducks a 2-1 lead.
Early in the third, the Ducks found themselves with 1:25 of a 5-on-3 two-man advantage, and Teemu Selanne scored just eighteen seconds into the opportunity, adding to the Ducks lead.
The Ducks went on to win with a 3-1 victory, their first victory over the Chicago squad this season.
“I was very happy with how we played,” declared Selanne. “Especially the last two periods. We were really, really solid. That’s a good feeling, so we just keep battling.”
Coach Bruce Boudreau added, “We’ll take any win we can get right now…we’re playing well and the guys are engaged.”
The Ducks go back out on the road on Monday for a one-game road trip in Colorado verse the Avalanche before returning to the Honda Center on Wednesday to take on the Buffalo Sabres.
Teemu Selanne who, in addition to his goal, also assisted on the Brookbank goal, has surpassed Luc Robitaille in all-time points list and is now 20th on that list.