By Jen D’Amico
The Ducks skated onto home ice Thursday night with a deafening cheer from a sellout crowd of 17,179 to welcome veteran Teemu Selanne back to the Honda Center for his last season. The Ducks ruffled their feathers big enough to pull off a 6-0 win against the New York Rangers with a large effort by Ducks newcomer Jakob Silfverberg. He has pulled of an impressive 4 goals in 4 games, being only the third player in club history to do so.
“You want to build up a lot of confidence at the start of the season,” Silfverberg said. “We’ve been playing great as a team, and I’ve been fortunate enough to put in some goals. That always helps.”
The Ducks were on the board early by Captain Ryan Getzlaf at 5:06 into the game. One minute later, Ducks Maroon dropped gloves and helmets with Rangers newcomer Arron Asham to put the new helmet rule to the test, receiving the new extra 2 minute penalty. Asham is no stranger to fighting, receiving a four game suspension in the 2012 quarterfinals for a retaliatory right hook to Flyers Brayden Schenn. Silfverberg took the lead to 2-0 with his impressive third goal of the season, and a follow up wrist shot over the shoulder of Rangers goalie Lundqvist minutes later by Winnick to make it 3-0. The period doesn’t end without more excitement of a 4 minute power play for the Ducks due to instigating and misconduct penalty by the Rangers Dorsett.
The Ducks best their first period goal with an Selanne off-the-post assist to Silfverberg at 1:27 into the second. The few attempts by the Rangers on scoring are shutdown in a big way by Hiller, stopping 14 shots on goal in the second period. Saku Koivu scores his first of the night to bring the Ducks to a staggering 5 point lead. Penner, replacing Bobby Ryan on the top line, scores the last in the second to bring the score to 6-0, his first goal with the Ducks since Game 4 against Ottawa in 2007.
Bryan Allen snags some quality box time for a slashing penalty early in the third. The boys tallied 16 PIMs this game, but were able to kill each one, something they have struggled with this season.
“I don’t think it’s been good, but we’ve lost some face-offs, and the puck’s been in our net in five seconds,” Boudreau said following their Wednesday night practice. “Tips, redirects, hitting skates make the numbers look bad, but I think we’re getting better at it.
“If we can continue on this trend, we’ll go on a little roll where we’ll kill a lot.”
Another scuffle as Dorsett is at it again with some help this time from Rangers Dominic Moore, teaming up against Corey Perry. The Ducks end up with a 5-on-3 benefit, but are unable to get one in the net. It ends in a 6-0 Ducks victory, the largest margin in a home opener for the Ducks.
The Rangers couldn’t seem to shake the disappointment from their previous night 9-2 loss in San Jose. They were missing forward Rick Nash who was injured in a 3-game suspension hit by Sharks Defenseman Brad Stuart on Tuesday. Racking up an impressive 34 penalty minutes, the Ducks definitely benefited from their overall vulnerability. This is the only game the two will match up all season, so there will be no chance at redemption for the bruised Rangers.
The Ducks look to add to their 3 game winning streak when they play the Ottawa Senators, and face former teammate Bobby Ryan, Sunday at 5:00 P.M.