It took a while, but the Ducks finally managed to find both offense and a win on the road. Playing the second of back-to-back games, Anaheim found enough energy to earn a 3-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers.
Curtis McElhinney got his first start of the year and had no less of a shooting gallery than Jonas Hiller has been facing. McElhinney stopped 40 of 42 shots and looked solid in net.
Lubomir Visnovsky put the Ducks on the board just :35 seconds into the game to give the team a much-needed boost. Scott Hartnell tied up the game at 4:16, but the Ducks regained the lead with a goal from Jason Blake at 10:52.
The Ducks went into the second period with the lead, but left it tied 2-2. Claude Giroux roofed a rebound behind McElhinney at 13:50.
Things seemed destined for overtime, but the Ducks managed to tough it out and hung in there to get the game winning goal with just 1:46 left in the game. Ryan Getzlaf poked a puck through Sergei Bobrovsky’s legs. After a review of the play, the goal was good and the Ducks merely had to hold on to the lead to get their first win.
There were a lot of positives for the Ducks to build on besides the win. They doubled their offensive production in road games. Three goals total in the first four games, but now there are six goals on the road.
The Ducks also continued strong on the penalty kill on the road. Anaheim has killed 28 of 30 penalties. Yes, there are too many penalties, but for a change, they are able to kill them off. That will continue to be key if the Ducks want to improve their road record.
A better power play would help them out, too. While the penalty kill has been effective, the power play has been ineffective. If they can get that clicking, the Ducks will also have better chances to add to their win column.
As coach Randy Carlyle is fond of saying, a win is a win, and the Ducks desperately needed one.
“We need to keep moving,” said Getzlaf. “Limit mistakes and move forward from here.”
Ducks move back to Detroit, scene of their disastrous season opening game. This time they want different results. This time they might just have a better chance.