Anaheim sure started the pre-season off slow. Ok, they were pathetic and dismal at best in their first three games. Apparently it was good to touch bottom, because since then, the effort and results have been much, much better.
Playing the Vancouver Canucks for the second time this pre-season, the Ducks got their third win in a row with a 3-2 victory.
Jonas Hiller was in net again and stopped 31 shots.
“I felt pretty good,” said Hiller, who has had both pre-season starts against the Canucks. “It’s great just to feel right, to be out there and get some shots. Everybody was playing good today and we definitely wanted this win at home.”
It’s great just to feel right.
Understatement of the year and a great sign for the Ducks.
Cam Fowler deflected a shot off Mark Mancari’s stick at 16:35 of the first period to give the Ducks the lead. Roberto Luongo, making his pre-season debut for Vancouver, had no chance on the shot.
1:06 later, Bobby Ryan made it 2-0, using Andrew Alberts as a screen. Perhaps Luongo should have made his pre-season debut earlier.
In the second period, Henrik Sedin put the Canucks on the board at 4:12. Sami Salo tied up the game on the power play late in the middle frame.
The game remained close. Then Lubomir Visnovsky got the eventual game winner at 5:08 of the third on the power play. His shot barely squeaked through Luongo’s pads and into the net.
It was not smooth sailing for the Ducks. Pulling a major no-no, Andrew Gordon and Nate Guenin both wound up in the penalty box late in the game, giving the Canucks a 6 on 3 advantage when they pulled Luongo for the extra attacker. Hiller and the Ducks held fast in the barrage and managed to get the win.
Gordon later tweeted this: “Note to self: when trying to make the team as a penalty killer…stop taking penalties.”
Had their errors ended up giving the Canucks the tieing goal, Gordon may not have been as light hearted.
The Ducks now have one final pre-season game at home against the Kings on Friday night. Then they leave for Finland. I am not too far behind, as I leave on Sunday (and will continue to give you a Finnish perspective of the Ducks.)
Two people not going on the road trip? Iiro Tarkki, who was sent to Syracuse, as well as J.F. Jacques, who cleared waivers and was sent down.