The Sharks wanted revenge for the 1-0 shutout suffered in Anaheim on Friday night, but the Ducks would not indulge them. Playing in their third game in four nights, Anaheim continued to stick to their game plan and held on for a 3-2 victory over division rival San Jose.
The win was their fourth in a row, their only loss coming in the first game of the season in Helsinki against Buffalo. Since that game, the Ducks have tightened up, figured things out and are finding ways to win every single evening. A positive sign for a good season.
After all the slow and horrible starts to seasons past, maybe the Ducks have finally figured it out. The points do matter and you can’t always expect to come from behind at the end to make it into the playoffs. It’s about time they learned that lesson.
Teemu Selanne got his first two goals of the year in the first period against the Sharks. The first came on the power play at 9:42. For Selanne, power play goals are like bread and butter. With 237 career power play goals, tied for 5th all time in the NHL, more than a third of his goals have come on the power play.
The second goal came at 14:33 of the period at even strength. Both goals were assisted by fellow Finn, Saku Koivu. This was what all the Finns in Helsinki were hoping would happen there, but did not.
Selanne seems to have a magical touch against San Jose, with 49 career goals against them. No wonder Sharks fans were happier when Selanne was on their side, playing two seasons in 2001 and 2002.
“I think I got more points early on when the Sharks, they were not that good yet,” said Selanne, ever humble. “Lately it has been tougher and tougher. They have a great team out there. I’m always playing with great players. They have helped me a lot. I’ve tried to do my job and enjoy this. It was a team effort tonight again. They had a lot of good chances. Ellis was standing on his head in the third. That’s what we need.”
Ellis was Dan Ellis, who got the nod in net for the first time this season. Filling in for Hiller, who had his share of work this weekend in the previous two games, Ellis certainly did his job as back up. Stopping 41 shots, Ellis was fantastic and a major reason why the Ducks got another victory.
“You don’t want to be the guy that loses a little bit of a streak,” Ellis commented. “In the same way, when you are on a little bit of a losing streak, you want to be the guy to snap it a little bit. You take pride in those opportunities.”
The only shots Ellis let in was Brent Burns’ power play goal at 11:01 of the third period. The goal from Marc-Edouard Vlasic at 6:39 of the second period was technically a goal by the Ducks. Lubomir Visnovsky, attempting to clear the puck, ended up pinballing it off of Bobby Ryan and into the net behind Ellis. Whoops!
Corey Perry’s goal at 4:13 of the third period was the insurance marker the Ducks needed. Scoring his second goal in as many nights, the goal turned out to be the game winner.
The Ducks now come back home for a three day break before taking on another division foe, the Dallas Stars, on Friday night. Hopefully they will continue to do what is working right and build on their winning streak.
In other notes: Francois Beauchemin was a poster boy of why you wear a visor. Hit in the side of his head with a blistering shot from Dan Boyle, Beauchemin left the ice bleeding from the compression injury. He got stitches and returned to the game with four minutes left to play. Were it not for the visor, it would have been a far more serious and threatening injury.