The Ducks started their season on the road and came back for a home opener filled with pomp and circumstance and sweet 6-0 victory over the New York Rangers.
Never mind that the Rangers are a struggling team right now, being outscored 15-2 in their past two efforts. A win is a win, and the Ducks were right to take advantage of every single error and advantage that was handed to them.
The sell out crowd at the Honda Center had nothing to complain about, other than an excess of injuries that are plaguing the Anaheim team and that all the hoopla about the Grand Terrace really applies to an elite few who have membership in the exclusive club. All other peons need not apply or try to get in to sample excessively overpriced food items in an extremely cushy setting.
Anaheim was cautious going into the game, aware that the Rangers had something to prove after their 9-2 loss to San Jose. All those worries were for naught. While the Ducks rebounded nicely from their 6-1 loss to open the season in Colorado, New York didn't get the memo.
Ryan Getzlaf scored in the first period, as did Jakob Silfverberg and Daniel Winnik. Silfverberg extended the lead and got his fourth of the year in four games early in the second period. Goals from Saku Koivu and Dustin Penner (his first of the year) put the stranglehold on New York.
Henrik Lundqvist was not pulled from net, despite yielding six goals. He still made 31 saves and prevented his team from experiencing another embarrassing loss, though it was bad enough.
Jonas Hiller, who did not appear to have to do much to earn his 17th career shutout, still had to make 34 saves, half of them coming in the third period.
"I was excited when I saw the first few minutes," said Hiller. "I knew we were right in the game and putting pressure on. If you get goals early, it’s easy, especially against a team that didn’t have their best game. The first period was great and we were playing most of the time in their zone. I don’t think you can get any better for a home opener."
Silfverberg, who continues to pay dividends for the Ducks, is now only the third Duck to score four goals in his first four games as a Duck. Winnik did it last season and that old 43 year-old Finn, Teemu Selanne, did it in 1996. Now instead of scoring, Selanne does the assisting and has clear chemistry with the young Swede.
"You always want to score goals, " said Silfverberg. "I've been lucky so far. It's a matter of just shooting the puck."
On the downside, the Ducks lost Mathieu Perreault (upper body) and Nick Bonino (lower body) during the game. Penner joined the banged up crowd with an lower body injury of his own. The good news was that both Perreault and Bonino were on the ice skating the morning after the game.
The Ducks are now 3-1-0 to start the season and will meet up with Ottawa on Sunday evening when the Ducks have Throwback Night. It will be a little bit of 1993 in the building, when the Ducks were Mighty and the Honda Center was the Pond.
One can only hope that the team will continue to play like they have in the past three games and not like they did in 1993.