On Sunday evening, the Anaheim Ducks took to the ice winning two of their last three games, all of which ended in a shootout. Also on Sunday, the Ducks got the back end of back-to back leftovers from their cross-town rivals, the Los Angeles Kings for the second game in a row, in their opponent, the Minnesota Wild. On Saturday night, the Wild beat the Kings, 3-2, in overtime.
This game would be the Ducks last home game until their annual New Year’s Eve game. However, it was only their seventh game of the fifteen they are playing in the month of December. After Sunday, the Ducks would be embarking on a seven game road trip, their longest of the season. They were going to need a win to fuel them for the weeks ahead.
They showed that right out of the gate, as Corey Perry scored on the very first shot in the game. However, the lead did not last long and the Brent Burns was able to counter on the Wild’s first shot in the game, tying it up at one. Less than a minute later, Ryan Getzlaf came back with a goal of his own, his ninth of the season, and the Ducks took a 2-1 lead into the second.
Early in the second, the Ducks had a two-man advantage and Getzlaf was able to capitalize. Marek Zidlicky retaliated for the Wild a few minutes after. Later, Perry put a penalty shot to good use and Bobby Ryan scored using a stick that wasn’t his, as Mikko Koivu had stolen his stick, since Koivu had lost his stick first.
“Finders, keepers, I guess,” Ryan joked. “Same number, different hands.” (Both players wear No. 9 jerseys.) Strangely enough, Ryan shoots right and Koivu shoots left, so Ryan was using a completely different stick than he is used to when he scored.”
“That was a unique one,” coach Randy Carlyle added. “The amazing thing was that their player used our player’s stick and our player used their stick…so, tit-for-tat, I guess.”
This gave the Ducks a three-goal lead going into the final period of play. However, the Ducks refused to let themselves get comfortable since they had blown two-goal leads in each of their last three games.
Carlyle commented, “It’s been a while since we had a three-goal lead and we didn’t make it interesting in the hockey game.”
However, in this game they were able to hold onto their lead and even add extra security when Perry scored his third of the night, for his first career NHL hat trick.
“It’s pretty cool,” Perry exclaimed. “It’s been a long time coming and it is pretty special. It’s something I won’t forget. That is for sure.”
The Ducks got their big win, 6-2, and are hoping the momentum carries on into their big winter road trip coming up. The first stop for the Ducks will be the Capitals on Wednesday and they will return to the Honda Center on New Year’s Eve for a game against former captain Chris Pronger and the Philadelphia Flyers.