On Saturday night, the Anaheim Ducks traveled into New Jersey and put an end to their two game losing streak beating the Devils 2-1. With offensive woes being the focal point of the Ducks’ recent struggles, the team was able to score more than one goal for only the second time in six games.
Here are four quick takeaways from last night’s victory in Buffalo.
The Ducks Can Score!
Anaheim sure pleased their fan base scoring two goals in last night’s contest against the Devils. With the Ducks already being shutout on seven occasions this season, two goals might as well have been ten. The fact that they were able to put the puck in the back of the net at all has to give Ducks’ nation some comfort.
Unfortunately the goals scored by Chris Stewart and Ryan Kesler were more a product of luck than skill. Stewart’s goal was the result of him passing the puck in front and ricocheting of a Devil’s skate. Kesler’s rebound goal involved a little more skill than Stewart’s but the opportunity would not have been presented if it were not for a bonehead move by the Devils’ defense.
No matter if they are a product of talent or luck, goals are goals and the Ducks will take whatever they can get.
Gibson Not Only Goalie in Town
Before last night, goaltender John Gibson had started the last eight games for Anaheim. Frederik Andersen finally got the call against the Devils and made his first start in almost a month. Andersen had a pretty solid outing stopping all but one of the 22 shots he faced.
With Gibson getting all of the attention recently, Andersen had kind of turned into an afterthought for the Ducks. The Devils are nowhere near an offensive powerhouse but the third year net minder made the most of the opportunity presented to him. He definitely earned more starts in net for the upcoming games. Gibson has not runaway with the starting job quite yet.
Early Leads are Key
After the first period of last night’s game, the Ducks had already established a 2-0 lead against New Jersey. This turned out to be all they need for the victory. Anaheim has had a pretty rough go of it so far this season. However, they are actually quite successful when they are leading going into the third period of a game. The Ducks are currently 9-0-1 in games where they are leading after two periods.
This Win Really Means Nothing
Harsh title right? I know, but it is true. When a team is underperforming it is so easy to take minuscule successes and blow them out of proportion. The Ducks could fall to both the Islanders and the Rangers in the next two games and the victory against the Devils will mean absolutely nothing.
Anaheim’s win against New Jersey was far from pretty and left viewers with very little to oooh-and-awww about. Of course any win should be welcomed with open arms but it is still way to premature to claim that the Ducks have turned anything around. They are still the last place team in the worst division and should still be treated as such until they can string together a few more victories.
The Ducks will have Sunday off and then travel to the Barclays Center to take on the New York Islanders on Monday night. The Islanders currently sit in third place in the Metropolitan Division with a 18-11-5 record.
John Gove is an elementary school educator who writes about hockey in his spare team. Over the past five years, John has covered the game at various levels. Now, he exclusively focuses his coverage on prospects and the developmental leagues.