Pacific Division Clinched!

It took them a little longer than expected, but the Ducks finally clinched the Pacific Division title on Monday.  They also assured themselves of the number two spot in the Western Conference, which means home ice at least in the first two rounds of the playoffs (assuming they make it past round one). 

Breathe a little sigh of relief that the team is back on track.  Finally.

After four losses in a row, the Ducks took a mini time-out before back to back games in Edmonton and whatever they did, it worked. 

With a 3-0 shutout, the Ducks played two very good games in Edmonton and have seemingly righted the ship that was going askew.

"I think it was certainly important to win the division," said Francois Beauchemin, " but it was more important to get back to playing the way we know we can.  It was a good two games for us, and that's what's most important."

Nothing much changed between Sunday and Monday except the goaltenders.  Viktor Fasth took over in net for Anaheim and Nikolai Khabibulin got the nod for Edmonton.

Fasth earned his fourth shut out of the year with a stellar effort against the Oilers, stopping 24 shots.  Fasth's teammates blocked another 25 shots, in a a strong defensive effort.

Ryan Getzlaf had a power play goal at 6:13 of the first period and Radek Dvorak extended the lead at 11:48.   It was Dvorak's fourth of the year in just eight games played, all of his goals coming against his former teams.

Sami Vatanen got his second of the year at 3:55 of the third period, giving a little more breathing room for the Ducks. 

The Ducks now finish up the season in Vancouver on Thursday and a final game at home on Saturday against the Phoenix Coyotes.

Their first round opponent is yet to be determined, but they will likely start at home next Tuesday night. 

"I didn't really know what to expect when I first came in," said Fasth.  "Everything happened so fast.  But it's been a fun season so far.  I think we're going to have even more fun in the playoffs."

Teemu Selanne, a veteran of many playoffs, had the right perspective.

"Good so far, but a lot of hard work ahead for sure.  We have to be ready.  The toughest part is coming up."

At least the Ducks look like they are ready.

In other notes:  Bobby Ryan was out with the flu, which is why Dvorak was reinserted into the line up.

 

 

About Karen Francis

Just a diehard Ducks fan since 1995, when the team filled the hockey shaped vacuum in my heart.

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