What we learned from the Ducks 4-3 shootout win against the Vancouver Canucks: Their quick two-game trip to Western Canada ended on a high note, a swing in the proper direction after many disappointments in shootouts this season. A few takeaways from Ryan Kesler's night:
Walking on sunshine
He was bound to be booed, no doubt. But former Canuck and Ducks center Ryan Kesler was given the business all night on Thursday by his old fan base in his first game back in Vancouver since getting traded to Anaheim in June.
Sure, there were a couple of positive signs held up by a few brave fans in the crowd at Rogers Arena.
Kesler admitted that the mixed reception stung.
But there was good news on many fronts. The first game in Vancouver is out of the way. Anaheim and Kesler emerged with temporary bragging rights. And he managed to mention the Southern California climate -- again.
“Get back to the sunshine,” he said.
On a rain-soaked Friday morning in Vancouver, you had to admit the man had a very good point.
Extra time, again
Pretty soon the stat gurus at Elias Sports Bureau are going to have to start dusting off their overtime-record keeping. The Ducks have gone to overtime in eight of their last 10 games.
“It’s just nice to get a win,” said Ducks forward Matt Beleskey, who scored his ninth goal of the season. “We’re playing hard, not getting that many goals right now. But we get that win, [goalie] Freddie [Andersen] played like that, it’s huge.
“Just win the game. Two points is two points. Of course we don’t want to give up two-goal leads, but it’s going to happen.
“We’re playing 50 minutes, instead of 60. But we’ve got lots of time to work on that. “
They’ve required a shootout to decide the issue in the last two games and in three of the last four. You have to go back to the start of the month to find the Ducks’ last regulation victory: a 3-2 win at Colorado on Nov. 2.
So everyone got to see one last dry scrape before overtime in Vancouver. The dry scrape is history, as of Saturday, and the Ducks don’t play again until Sunday.
Said Corey Perry, who scored in the shootout: “It wasn’t perfect but we found a way to win.”
Once it was clear that defenseman Bryan Allen was going to be the odd man out, the Ducks moved swiftly to make a deal, acquiring out-of-favor forward Rene Bourque from Montreal for Allen on Thursday afternoon.
Bourque could well be an option on the Perry-Ryan Getzlaf line, and his recent playoff pedigree is intriguing. He had eight goals in 17 playoff games with Montreal last season.
Of note, Kings Coach Darryl Sutter traded for Bourque back when Sutter was general manager of the Calgary Flames, in the midst of the 2007-08 season. The deal, with Chicago, was considered one of Sutter’s best trades. Bourque is from Lac La Biche, a northern Alberta community, not that far from Sutter’s hometown of Viking.