The Ducks’ sluggish power play finally broke out Thursday with three goals in a 4-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks in Anaheim. Two of those man-advantage goals came off the sticks of defensemen, with the third going to Jakob Silfverberg, who added an even-strength goal in one of the team’s best performances of the season. Here’s what we learned:
Power play comes alive: The special teams united ranked second to last in the NHL heading into the contest. The Ducks had converted on just 10.6% of their opportunities for a total of four goals. But against the Canucks, the unit was smooth. Hampus Lindholm and Brandon Montour scored on the man advantage, and it was another night when they were two of the best players on the ice.
“That was huge for our confidence,” said Lindholm, who fired a game-high five shots. “We have to build on that. We need to keep working on the good things we did.”
Montour stands out again: The second-year blueliner is making everyone notice his game. He isn’t afraid to shoot, and when he does, pucks are finding the back of the net. The second-round draft pick already has five goals, which eclipses his mark of four from a season ago. And his skating is hard to miss. He’s seemingly always in position. Chalk it up to a silver lining of Cam Fowler’s injury. Montour is receiving more ice time with the top-pair defenseman out, and he’s taken full advantage.
Rickard Rakell making plays: The Swede’s experiment as a center was short-lived, but he’s creating even more chances at his natural wing spot. He’s posted at least one assist in five consecutive games, and he had three on Thursday. His dynamic skating opened up the ice and allowed his teammates to easily find the slot. He’s still looking for the net too, with four shot attempts in the win.