The Anaheim Ducks played the Colorado Avalanche on February 20th at the Honda Center and won in the shootout as the final score was 3-2. There was only one goal scored in the shootout by Corey Perry. The Avs are battling for one of the last playoff spots despite injuries to two of their better players. Long time star Joe Sakic who is the active leader in points in the NHL and Paul Stasny the teams leading scorer this season. Both centers have been out most of the season with Sakic recovering from hernia injury and Stasny out with his appendix being removed. Stasny should rejoin the team very soon but Colorado’s offense has taken a hit without both of them.
The Ducks took a 1-0 lead with Teemu Selanne scoring his second goal after rejoining the team recently. Besides that, the Ducks looked lethargic the first two periods and were out hustled and skated as the Avalanche took a 2-1 lead after 2 periods with goals from defenseman Jeff Finger and left wing Andrew Brunette. Their other 3 top offensive players (Ryan Smith, Marek Svatos and Milan Hejduk) didn’t figure too much in the game. Chris Pronger took 3 penalties in the first two periods with a couple of them being questionable calls. Pronger assisted on the tying goal in the 3rd period scored on a rebound by Rob Niedermayer as the Ducks came with a lot of energy. They nearly took the lead but missed some good chances and backup Avalanche goalie Peter Budaj made some nice saves.
Ducks goalie Giguere made some spectacular saves and preserved the shootout victory saving all 3 shots (photo of last save below). Corey Perry scored the lone goal in the shootout to give the Ducks the win, as they are playing better of late. Since Scott Niedermayer and Selanne came back, the Ducks have looked much more like the team that won the Stanley Cup last year. They are still in the market for another possible trade soon for someone with valuable experience and talent but would rather not part with the 1st round pick they obtained from Edmonton for Dustin Penner. Many teams want that pick as it will be in the top couple selections.
Ryan Carter bruised his right forearm and missed the rest of the game and will be reevaluated. More information for upcoming games and tickets at www.ducks.nhl.com