What we learned from the Ducks’ 4-3 overtime victory at Winnipeg on Sunday:
Frederik Andersen probably needs a game off
The young goaltender has started 15 consecutive games, but the Ducks’ precarious goaltending situation dictates that he probably won’t get a break for a while. John Gibson (groin) and Jason LaBarbera (broken hand) are still injured, and Coach Bruce Boudreau isn’t eager to start backup Igor Bobkov.
“I don’t get days off,” Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf said.
Then nobody should. “Exactly,” Getzlaf said. “He’s young. He’s excited. He wants to play. It would be different if he was asking for days off. Freddie wants to play. He wants to get in a rhythm where he’s playing well. And they’re trying to let him do that, I think.”
Kyle Palmieri, who scored the winner Sunday, voted yes for giving Andersen a day off. “He’s been playing so well. He’s a big guy who takes up a lot of net,” Palmieri said. “He just works so hard and competes that you hate to see the couple little squeakers he lets in because he’s always in position. He’s been playing great down the stretch here.”
Andersen said he was looking forward to resting Monday — the Ducks made their practice optional — and getting back at it.
“You always learn from playing. You don’t learn from sitting on the bench,” he said. “Every time, it’s more experience and more experience playing a lot, and I’m trying to soak it in.”
The Ducks can so score power-play goals
The entered Sunday’s game in a one-for-24 slump over eight games but converted two advantages against the Jets.
What was the difference Sunday?
“We moved the puck a little bit,” Coach Bruce Boudreau said. “And we shot the puck when we had the opportunity rather than look for the perfect, perfect pass.”
Center Ryan Kesler, a standout with one goal, seven shots, several drawn penalties and a 64% success rate in the faceoff circle, also said shooting often was crucial.
“I think a lot of shots, a lot of movement, and when you shoot and you move, you confuse their PK,” he said of the penalty killers. “I thought we had them confused out there tonight.
“You want to generate shots. You want to generate momentum. You’re not going to score every time. We know that but you don’t want to take away momentum from the team. After the penalty is over you want to have momentum and get going again. I thought we did that tonight.”
Ducks can overcome adversity
Despite having three key defensemen and two goalies on injured reserve — and playing Sunday without Corey Perry — who was scheduled to undergo tests Monday on the left-knee injury he sustained Friday — the Ducks keep winning.
Some nights, they make it tough on themselves and cough up leads. Their last 10 victories have each been by one goal and they lead the NHL with 14 triumphs in one-goal games (14-0-5). But they’re getting scoring from a lot of sources, including Rene Bourque’s first goal as a Duck on Sunday.
“We’ve had a lot of those overtime games and overtime losses and they’re tough,” Palmieri said. “And a couple games where we didn’t start where we wanted to…We want to get off to good starts and I think lately we’ve been doing a little better with that. The team kind of gets better as the game goes on.”
Kesler said players have taken it upon themselves to compensate for the loss of Perry, who led the team with 14 goals.
“When you miss a guy like that obviously you can’t replace him but everybody can pick up the slack,” Kesler said. “That’s what we’ve had the past couple games—we’ve had everybody chipping in. Palmy had a great goal tonight. We need that.”