There were three games in the NHL last night and a lot of backup goalie action. Two of the games were low scoring, while won totaled nine goals and a comeback win.
Essential Water Cooler
The Anaheim Ducks came back from a 3-1 first period deficit to beat the Dallas Stars Sunday night, 6-3. The Ducks have been making a habit of recovering from sow starts to games the past two years. They were 12-10-1 in games where they allowed the first goal last season. They also managed eight wins when trailing after the first period – one off league leader Washington. The problem with this model of winning was that it wasn’t sustainable. The Ducks were 24-3-3 on March 20 and finished 30-12-6. And that 12-10-2 record when trailing first? It was 11-3-1 a little earlier in the season. The 48-game season perhaps propped up their No. 2 finish in the West. The Ryan Getzlaf-Corey Perry combination will always be dominating, but how good is this Ducks roster overall? Are they a team that is capable of dominating a tough Pacific Division, or are they a middle of the pack playoff team? Currently, they’re allowing the 15th-most shots against per game and average the second-most shots taken with a 37.6 average. Is this season’s terrific start any more sustainable that last year’s?
Ryan Getzlaf, you dirty, dirty playmaker you. Like an NFL quarterback finding the slimmest of passing lanes in the end zone, Getzlaf recognizes Perry’s stick is open in front of the net and finds the seam. Beautiful. That’s an elite NHL passer.
Men of the Night
Ryan Getzlaf: That pass wasn’t the only note on Getzlaf’s night. He and Perry led the charge and the big pivot picked up a goal and three assists in the come from behind win.
Corey Perry: Picked up two goals because his stick was in the right place at the right time. Added an assist.
Carter Hutton: If it wren’t for a tip-in halfway through the third period, Hutton could have been perfect in his first start of the season. He still turned aside 38 of the 39 shots he faced in a 3-1 win over Winnipeg.
Curtis McElhinney: It was a good and busy night for backups and the former Flames net minder did his part for Columbus. McElhinny stopped 37 of 38 shots and earned a 3-1 win over Eddie Lack and the Vancouver Canucks.
Better Luck Next Time
First of all, congrats to Jack Campbell for making his first NHL start Sunday night. And this may be a little unfair to the 11th overall selection from the 2010 draft – but we’re making his welcome to the NHL moment today’s better luck next time. The first NHL goal he ever let in was off the stick of Teemu Selanne, who was making his first NHL appearance when Campbell was nine months old. Consider this your initiation.