The party is over. Now the real season begins. After two goal-filled winning games by the Ducks to open their season on the road, offense ground to a squeaking halt once they got in front of the hometown fans.
The Vancouver Canucks, looking for redemption from last weekend's 7-3 blowout, made a clear statement in their 5-0 shutout of Anaheim. So much for that home opener that fans waited nine months to see.
Instead of the Ducks that played on the road, there were hints of the Ducks who did not make it to the playoffs.
Undisciplined would be too kind to describe them. Anaheim took 11 different penalties and handed over nine different power plays to Vancouver. Vancouver was quite polite in saying, thank you, and may we score another? Three of their five goals came on the power play and the Ducks might as well have put the puck in the net themselves.
Daniel Sedin started powering over the Ducks at 9:13 of the first period, followed by Mason Raymond at 18:40.
They could have made it 3-0 on a penalty shot in the second period. After Alexander Burrows got out of the penalty box (one of their rare ones), he had a great scoring opportunity and Luca Sbisa had no choice but to stop him. Burrows was awarded a penalty shot, but fumbled the puck and Jonas Hiller was able to make the save.
The Canucks continued to press on and Aaron Volpatti converted a loose puck at 16:37 to make it 3-0. Not insurmountable by any stretch of the imagination, but a bit of a hole.
Unfortunately that was where the Ducks unraveled. Corey Perry got hit with two penalties (charging and roughing) towards the end of the period and at 1:18 of the third, Zack Kassian made it 4-0.
The Ducks, not learning from the error of their ways, refused to stay out of the box and the referees were more than happy to send them there. (Repeat after me, thou shalt not abuse the refs early in the game or it will come back to bite thee….)
Teemu Selanne, who had his face plastered on the free t-shirts handed out earlier in the evening, hit the post next to Cory Schneider late in the game. As karma would have it, the Canucks immediately headed to the Ducks end of the ice and Raymond got his second of the game at 15:01.
Why the standing room only crowd of 17,529 stayed to the bitter end is beyond me. Most of them will just be coming back Saturday night to see if the Ducks can redeem themselves against Nashville.
Schneider, who was pulled in the game last weekend, learned from his mistakes and stopped all 30 shots.
Hiller was basically left high and dry by his team and even though he made 29 saves, the penalty kill (or lack thereof) was the deciding factor in the game.
There is speculation that Viktor Fasth will be in net for the game against the Predators. One can only hope that he will have support of his new teammates. Otherwise, Ducks fans will get a chance to see just how good this guy can be.
In other notes: Peter Holland got his season debut on the fourth line while Rickard Rakell sat out. Sami Vatanen was taken off the injured reserve list and sent to Norfolk.