Just two games on the NHL docket last night, but we’ve got you covered in our morning recap.
Essential Water Cooler
Last season, the Anaheim Ducks waltzed into the playoffs as the No. 2 seed in the West, but were taken out in the first round by the seventh-ranked Detroit Red Wings. An upset on paper, it didn’t surprise a lot of pundits, who saw the Ducks as a flawed team that had ridden some good puck luck and an unsustainable shooting percentage (The Flock was eighth in goals for, but 21st in shots on goal) until reality caught up. But now the Ducks are soaring once again, with a 3-2 win over Calgary putting them just behind San Jose in the Pacific with a 5-1-0 record. This year, they’re seventh in both shots on goal and goals for and are outshooting opponents by a wide margin (an average of six shots per game more). So is this Anaheim team for real?
Speaking of high-percentage shots, how about this setup from captain Ryan Getzlaf to Dustin Penner for the opening score against Calgary:
Men of the Night
Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers: ‘The King’ had been slumming it before last night, when he blanked Washington 2-0 on 22 shots. His past two starts had yielded 10 goals-against, so this was a crucial win for the Swede.
Viktor Fasth, Anaheim: Good night for Swedish goalies, eh? Fasth recorded 33 saves in the Ducks’ victory and had to be sharp on many of them.
Lee Stempniak, Calgary: The Dartmouth alum had one goal in a losing cause for the Flames and would have potted another if it wasn’t for Fasth’s heroics in net.
Better Luck Next Time
On a night where the Capitals needed offense, Joel Ward had the best chance on a setup at the side of the net, but he whiffed on an open cage and Washington sputtered to a goose egg against the rival Rangers.