Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Bobby Wipes Out Wild

The Ducks defeated the Minnesota Wild at the Honda Center on Tuesday, with a score of 4-2. Bobby Ryan scored two goals and an assist to give the Ducks their first win since returning from their three game road trip.

With many of the Duck's lead scorers out with injuries, Bobby Ryan stepped up his game to give the Ducks a crucial win. Teemu Selanne, Jeoffry Lupul and Ryan Getzlaf were all missing from tonight's roster for various injuries. But you'd never know the Ducks were playing with less that their full potential.

Ryan was quick to score the first goal of the game at 7:08 into the first period. After picking the puck off a Wild defenseman, he darted down the ice and shot the puck upstairs to give the Ducks the lead. Minnesota responded with a goal of their own a mere 8 minutes later, as the puck trickled in over Jonas Hiller's right shoulder.

But Ryan wasn't happy that his lead was lost so quickly. Racing down the ice, he shoots the puck across the goal crease to Dan Sexton, who finds the back of the net over the sprawled Minnesota goalie, Josh Harding. Within barely a minute, the Ducks had lost their lead and regained it off key plays by Bobby Ryan.

The second period opened with a penalty kill by the Ducks after Nick Boynton was sent to the sin bin for tripping. Midway through the second, more penalties were handed out to each team as fisticuffs broke out. The first matchup was Boynton against a much bigger Derek Boogaard from Minnesota at 11:53. Each player recieved five for fighting, and an extra ten minute misconduct to Boogaard for throwing punches after the fight had been broken up.

Still fuming, the Ducks engaged in another fight immediately after the puck dropped, this time between Troy Bodie and John Scott of the Wild. Both players threw down their gloves and went at it, Scott tossing the referee out of the way to get to Bodie. Both players recieved 2 minute unsportsmanlike conducts and 10 minute misconducts each.

Late in the second stanza, the Ducks were offered a huge opportunity as consecutive penalties gave them a two man advantage. Mere seconds after the first penalty expired, Ryan found the net again for his second of the night, smacking the puck in off a pass from Saku Koivu.

The third period was quiet until the midway through, when the Ducks went on a powerplay after a tripping call on the Wild. They didn't capitalize on the opportunity, and instead were served with their own penalty for high sticking on rookie Matt Beleskey. Minnesota scored, leaving the Ducks with just a one goal lead for the last 7 minutes of the game.

A desperate Minnesota team pulled their goalie in hopes of tying the game and sending it into overtime, but the Ducks would have none of that. Todd Marchant caught the puck and sent it gently down the ice into the empty net for a shorthanded goal that gave them the solid win in the last 10 seconds left.

The Ducks have struggled this season to get a win streak, and the injuries that has plagued this team has not helped. However, it helps to have players like Bobby Ryan, Saku Koivu and Jonas Hiller, who had 29 saves, to pick up the pieces of the broken team to get a win when it was crucial. With his two goals and one assist tonight, Ryan earned his 100th career NHL point, and is also tied at 19 for most points for a USA born player.

The Ducks next face a very competetive Dallas Stars team at home on Thursday at 5:00pm. Hopefully they start the New Year with a win!

Lets Go Ducks!