Speak softly and carry a big stick was Teddy Roosevelt’s theory on enforcement. George Parros did not speak so softly in a 5-3 victory over the Panthers as the Ducks enforcer netted two glorious goals in his first multi-goal game in the NHL. Those two goals got the Ducks and the crowd energized and put smiles on everyone’s face.
“It was an awesome feeling,” said Parros after the game, still grinning from ear to ear. “I was feeling really good. It seemed like the pucks were coming to me tonight.”
Having the fourth line chip in not one, but two goals, was a good way to keep the Ducks winning streak alive. After winning six games, they went on to lose the next six, but are now rebounding with a three-game streak.
Parros’ first goal came at 14:01 of the first period when Kyle Chipchura was behind the net and spotted George in front. Parros wasted no time putting it past Tomas Vokoun and the crowd erupted with support.
Darcy Hordichuk, sensing the night’s offensive danger, decided to take Parros off the ice for the next five minutes and engaged him in his usual team role right off the face off. Thank you for your goal. Now please sit down in the penalty box.
“Not a lot of guys follow a goal with a fight off the face-off,” observed Ryan Getzlaf. “That created energy for sure.”
Getzlaf, known more for his assists, made it 2-0 at 6:04 of the second period, his first goal in eight games. With a delayed penalty and an extra attacker, Toni Lydman got the puck over a scrambling Vokoun and Getzlaf tapped it in behind him.
:50 seconds later Parros got his second of the evening with more work from the fourth line being rewarded. Two goals from the mustached enforcer was enough to make everyone giddy and the crowd yearned for Parros to get the real hat trick.
Jonas Hiller’s shut out came to an end when Mike Santorelli got a piece of the puck at 8:08. The Panthers had rebound after rebound after rebound and one of those chances was bound to go in.
Florida pulled the game back within a goal on a power play goal from Steve Bernier, who was back in the line up after breaking his orbital bone. Bernier was wearing a full shield, as was Dan Sexton, marking a rare instance when two guys in the NHL looked like they were back in junior hockey once more. Bernier’s goal deflected off his leg as he was getting out of the way of Stephen Weiss’ shot.
The Ducks responded with a goal from Corey Perry at 2:15, making it 4-2.
Florida having a late power play opportunity decided to remove Vokoun from net to make it a 6 on 4. The Ducks fans, delirious with the thought of a Parros hat trick and free wings from Hooters for 5 goals, were absolutely delirious with the possibilities.
The Panthers, who clearly missed Bernier the past nine games, had other ideas. Bernier would have had a hat trick of his own had the first one not touched Santorelli on the way in. Instead, Bernier had to settle for bringing his team back within one goal again at 18:53, giving the Panthers two power play goals in two chances after having missed the previous 37 attempts.
The net still empty, the Panthers did their best to tie up the game, but Bobby Ryan finally put in the empty netter, having to work hard for it, at 19:29. 5-3 Ducks, free wings and two points in the standings.
“Everybody wondered why I didn’t have him out there on the penalty kill,” said coach Randy Carlyle about Parros. “The two points are more important than George’s third goal.”
Always the pragmatist (and definitely a bit of a spoil sport.)
In the end, two points were more important and the Ducks now take good momentum into Friday’s game with the Detroit Red Wings. At least the Ducks have a better chance of defeating Detroit at home than they do on the road. If Parros can stay hot, anything is possible.