Apparently the Ducks arrived in Canada sooner than their offense. While they were unable to generate any goals in a 1-0 overtime loss to Calgary, the offense finally caught up with the team in Edmonton.
It was worth the wait.
Facing an Oilers team that has been burdened with injuries to young, productive players, the Ducks happily trounced on them with a 5-0 shut out.
The shut out was also Jonas Hiller’s 100th NHL win, and a nice milestone for the netminder, who has had his struggles this season. Hiller made 33 saves in the performance.
“That probably means more than the shutout tonight,” said Hiller of the win. “It’s great to get up to 100 wins. I always said I don’t want to just be here to be here — I want to be part of the team and do what I can do. I think 100 wins definitely helps that.”
Jason Blake got his first goal of the season at 8:00 in the first period. He missed the majority of the first three months with a lacerated arm. While his hand is still numb from the nerve damage, the rest of him felt pretty good at putting the puck in the net behind Nikolai Khabibulin.
Khabibulin was celebrating his 39th birthday, but the Bulin Wall he was not.
The other old man in the building, Teemu Selanne, made it 2-0 with a power play goal at 1:46 of the second period. Selanne became only the third person after age 35 to score more than 200 points. He makes it look easy.
When Bobby Ryan made it 3-0 at 10:54, coach Tom Renney had seen enough and Khabibulin got to sit down on the bench for the remainder of his birthday game. Devan Dubnyk stepped in.
Edmonton nearly got on the board after Selanne’s goal, but the ref had a case of premature whistle. The puck did go in behind Hiller, who had not covered up the puck. However, because the ref lost sight of the puck and thought it was covered, there was no goal. To the Oilers credit, it should have been, and they had every right to be frustrated.
That was as close as Edmonton would come.
Corey Perry added two more goals to give him an even 20 on the season. The first came at 13:36 of the second and the next one at 17:18 of the third. Perry’s second goal, on the power play, was originally credited to Selanne, but Perry managed to get a stick on it.
Ryan Getzlaf finished the evening with no goals, but assisted on four of the tallies, so not a bad evening for the captain, either.
“Points have been tough to come by for everybody,” said Getzlaf. “The more scoring we can have in games like this, the better. It adds a little bit of confidence to our group. We’ve worked really hard and the numbers have shown it. We haven’t allowed many goals against, and the wins have come. We have to go out there and outwork the opposition, and we’ve been doing that as of late.”
The Ducks get to try to add more points on Sunday when they face the Vancouver Canucks, the final game of their Canadian jaunt. Anaheim has earned gone 4-0-1 in the past five games, earning nine out of ten possible points. Certainly something to build on.
Let’s just hope that the offense in Edmonton gets on the plane with them to Vancouver.