Whenever it is hat night at the Honda Center, fans want a reason to throw their newly acquired chapeaus on the ice. There was no hat trick, but Ducks fans had plenty to celebrate in the 3-1 victory over the listless Blackhawks.
Chicago was playing in the second of back to back games, having been spanked 4-0 by Los Angeles the night before. They still had some energy (and probably anger) in the tank and came out strong. Anaheim looked like they had to readjust to being the home crowd favorites after being on the road for over two weeks.
The results were Chicago spending far too much time in Anaheim’s zone and forcing Jonas Hiller to be good early. On their first power play opportunity, Patrick Kane had a puck trickle behind Hiller at 11:29 to make it 1-0. No shutout two games in a row for this team.
Unfortunately, that was as good as it got for the Blackhawks. It was Blackhawk down from there.
After discovering they could spend some time in Chicago’s end, the Ducks finally had a puck go in the net behind Ray Emery. A long sequence and good work by the Ducks resulted in Andrew Cogliano getting on the scoreboard with just :19.9 seconds left in the period.
It was not that simple, however. Initially deemed by the referees to have kicked the puck in, the goal was waived off on the ice. The referees had a little confab and then proceeded to have a discussion with the powers that be in Toronto. After what felt like another period of ice hockey, the news was good. Cogliano got his stick on the puck after he kicked it with his skate. Touched by a stick = good goal.
It was all Ducks from there on out. Chicago could not even get a shot on goal in the second period until near eight minutes in. Who knew if it was fatigue or malaise or missing Jonathan Toews, who has been out for several games with an upper body injury that is feared to be a concussion after having a one car crash. Whatever it was, the Blackhawks looked awful.
The Ducks did not have any sympathy for their opponent.
Sheldon Brookbank decided going 167 games without a goal was not much fun, so he only waited another five before getting the third goal of his career at 12:31.
“It always feels good when you get the win and you are a part of it,” Brookbank said about his first game winner. “I could tell you a lot of stories of goals called back. Maybe I have more confidence now.”
Chicago fared no better in the third period, registering only three shots on goal. Emery did his best to keep his team in the game, despite being outshot 38 – 19, but he could not keep everything out.
Teemu Selanne pretty much sealed the deal with a two man advantage at 4:48. Goal #658 came in his signature spot on the ice and he made it look easy. Selanne leads Anaheim, at age 41 1/2, with 21 goals and 55 points.
He also moved past Luc Robitaille for 20th on the all-time points list with 1,395. The goal, which was his 246th power play goal, is one shy of Robitaille for fourth on the all-time power-play goals list.
“I’m enjoying every second of it now,” said Selanne. “When you go through some tough times like we did in the first half, you really believe what’s happening here. When it turns around, it has been unbelievable. Fun. That’s why we all play. You try to keep pushing and enjoy this.”
It was very enjoyable to the 17,601 in attendance, a record number since coming into existence in 1993. Not so enjoyable to Hawks fans who made up part of the crowd. One was overheard questioning whether or not Chicago should give back the Stanley Cup they won a couple years ago. Ouch.
And now the Ducks head out of town, again, for a single game in Colorado before returning home for a little longer period. Another must win for Anaheim.