The victories continue coming for the Ducks, but the thrill that usually accompanies a win is subdued by how they’re happening.
The Ducks won their sixth straight game Friday, 4-2, at last-place Edmonton, and complained afterward that they can’t step on a team’s throat.
Despite a lifeless effort until they trailed 3-0 and were blasted on the bench by former Anaheim goalie Viktor Fasth after he was pulled from the game, Edmonton pulled within 3-2 and caused Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen some extra pressurized work in his 17th consecutive game.
The Ducks (20-6-5) needed a breather to open a five-game journey across Canada, not that late nervous ride.
It’s a big deal not being able to finish a team when the opportunity presents
“It’s difficult to keep your foot on the pedal for 60 minutes, to keep going and going,” Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said. “But it’s something before game No. 82 that we’re going to be able to do, because you’re going to have to play 60 solid minutes [in] the playoffs.”
Defenseman Ben Lovejoy shined in his return from a fractured finger suffered in late October
Lovejoy played 18 minutes, 12 seconds, was plus-two, delivered three hits and blocked two shots with a takeaway.
“Great, solid defensive game,” Boudreau said.
On the opening faceoff of the second period, defenseman Vatanen, after scoring a first-period goal, took a faceoff win from Ryan Kesler and shifted the puck up to Palmieri, who sailed in for his fifth goal, a team-record seven seconds into the period.
Palmieri has his goals in just 13 games. Vatanen is up to eight goals and 15 assists.
The health report is getting rosier
As recently signed goalie Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 32 of 34 shots in his debut at minor-league Norfolk, Va., his former Minnesota Wild teammate from last season, forward Dany Heatley, returned to the ice after groin surgery last month.
Both could join the Ducks on this trip, as could defenseman Francois Beauchemin, who skated at Friday’s practice and said he’s progressing well.