Anaheim vs Colorado
The visiting Colorado Avalance was buried by the Ducks tonight in a 4-1 win at the Honda Center. Goals by Chris Kunitz, Chris Pronger, and two by Teemu Selanne ensured the Ducks a solid win in the second to last event before a three game road trip.
Seven seconds into the game, Nathan McIver drops his gloves and has a go at Avalanche player Cody McLeod. While this was the only fight of the game, the physicality of gameplay carried the same intensity throughout the competition. Several good hits and collisions knocked players down on the ice, Avalanche players more often than not. Brenden Morrison and Avalanche player Darcy Tucker slam into eachother hard, and Tucker goes down for a minute or two. He's able to skate off despite what seemed like a devastating hit to the knee.
The agressive style of play also seemed to continue throughout the game, with the Ducks taking 24 shots, and spending the majority of the time in the Avalanche zone. Although the Avalanche outshot the Ducks with 30 attempted goals, JS Giguere was on his game and stopped all but one of the shots.
Key for the Duck's sucess in their victory were capitilizing on the power plays and the defensive effort to kill their own penalties. Each team earned 4 penalties, including one five minute major each for the fight in the first period. Teemu Selanne scored on two of the powerplays, marking his 200th and 201st power play goals. All but one of his goals this season have been on powerplays, making him the leader in the league for goals scored with a man advantage.
The Duck's penalty minutes were remarkably low, considering their physicality during the game. The penalty kill unit managed to knock down a 5-3 advantage for the Avalanche towards the end of the first period, allowing them to keep the momentum as the ended the period with a score of 2-0.
Teemu Selanne opened up the scoring with a power play goal midway through the first period. The Ducks were on a powerplay, after an Avalanche penalty for having too many men on the ice. Chris Kunitz scored the second goal of the game late in the first, just 3 seconds after the termination of a powerplay for an Avalanche hooking call.
The second period, typically a tough one for the Ducks, was surprisingly complacent, as the Ducks stayed in control for most of the period. Neither team had any penalties, but that didn't matter to Chris Pronger who found the opportunity to score nonetheless. Early in the second period, he takes a one timer off a rebound from Todd Marchant that brushes past the post and into the goal.
The Colorado Avalanche managed to put a point on the board early in the third, but the Ducks were on an offensive roll that could not be stopped. After a hooking call on Colorado, Teemu Selanne finds the net again to score his 201st power play goal halfway through the third. The game ends with a 4-1 decision in favor of the Ducks.
The Ducks next play Chicago on a matinee Friday game after Thanksgiving. The Blackhawks happen to be my second favorite team, and although I'll still cheer for the Ducks it will be a bittersweet victory either way. Hopefully the Ducks will have something more to be thankful for after a victory against the Blackhawks before they leave for a three game roadtrip, which will include tough opponents such as the hated Redwings.
Happy Thanksgiving to all, and lastly...
Lets Go Ducks!