After losing the first two games of an eight game road trip, the Ducks got things back on track on Friday evening in Ottawa with a 2-1 victory.
Because it was the second of back to back games, Frederik Andersen took over in net, getting his first ever start. He made 26 saves to get his second NHL victory. Earlier in the day, the 24 year old Dane signed a two year contract extension with the Ducks worth $2.3 million.
“We bounced back really good from the last two games,” said an elated Andersen. “It was fun playing with those guys.”
It's always fun when you are winning.
"This was the effort I was accustomed to watching," said coach Bruce Boudreau. "Everyone was doing the right things and we came out victorious."
Certainly a good response after two less than stellar games where turnovers were more commonplace than pucks.
Patrick Maroon continues to be a good fit in the Ducks line up, scoring his second goal in as many games. The puck managed to get under the leg pads of Craig Anderson, who had a much better outing against the Ducks on Friday than he did on Throwback night at the Honda Center.
Maroon is on the top line with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, at least until Dustin Penner returns to the line up. Penner has been symptom free for several days after getting an illegal hit to the head last Sunday against Dallas. Penner has been skating and is likely to rejoin the Ducks on their road trip.
"We’ve often thought it would be a good fit," said Boudreau. "(Maroon's) very similar to Penner in size and strength, and what he does. Tonight, when they got a chance to play a lot together, they really came on. They showed a lot of good signs."
Getzlaf made it 2-0 at 17:38 of the first and it turned out to be the game winner. The Ducks managed to make it stick, though, and earned the two points.
"We had two pretty poor games," said Getzlaf. "Our guys did a great job responding tonight and getting back to the hockey that we like to play."
The Senators did not roll over and make it easy for Anaheim. They got a power play goal from Mika Zibanejad at 9:04 of the middle frame. The goal was the first one that Andersen had allowed in 4 1/2 periods. It was the only one that would get by him, too, including a third period where he was peppered with shots.
"He didn’t let rebounds go," said Boudreau. "He smothered everything and he can handle the puck, which is a luxury. This is a pretty hostile environment, and he came in and did what he had to do. He made great saves when he had to make them. That’s the sign of a good goaltender."
Now the question that remains is will Andersen get the nod in goal on Sunday against the Columbus Blue Jackets? If he does, I like the chances of the Ducks winning.
In other notes: All did not end well for Anaheim. Mathieu Perreault left the game in the second period with a sprained wrist and he is listed day to day. Jakob Silfverberg suffered a broken hand after being slashed in the third period and will be out for four to six weeks.