Nothing comes easy for the Ducks. Nor are they ever boring.
The Ducks, previously 0-7 in games that ended in overtime, finally took that goose egg off the board with a 3-2 win against the Arizona Coyotes on Friday that took some twists and turns.
Unsung players led the way with Ondrej Kase getting the game-winning goal and Chris Wagner and Joseph Cramarossa also scoring as the Ducks moved to 7-0-1 in their last eight home games.
Here’s what we learned:
Kase is resilient. The 21-year-old was briefly knocked out of the game when he tumbled into the boards late in the first period. But he returned for the start of the second period and played the rest of the way with the same jump that has kept him up with the Ducks.
“He’s one of those guys who is kind of like the Energizer Bunny,” Ducks Coach Randy Carlyle said. “He just keeps going and finds ways. If he gets knocked down, he picks himself back up. He delivers in clutch situations for us, in the shootout and overtime.”
Corey Perry isn’t working overtime. Perry didn’t play a shift in the extra session in what has been a curious reoccurrence this season.
Carlyle has tended to opt for defensemen, sometimes two at a time in the three-on-three format — which would leave less room for forwards. But it still seems odd that such a skilled player as Perry wouldn’t be utilized.
Perry has looked more active lately and played a big part in the Ducks’ first goal Friday. He’s also working on an 11-game scoring slump. Perry went 18 games without scoring earlier this season.
Nothing comes easy for the Ducks. On paper, they should have put away a last-place team that eventually lost its ninth straight game and didn’t have three players in the third period because of injury.
Instead, they were in a dogfight with the Coyotes in game No. 41 that could portend a challenging second half of the season. Arizona has given Anaheim fits in recent seasons, though, and Cam Fowler gave respect to his opponent.
“Obviously that team’s going through some things, but if you watched the game, they played with incredible pace tonight,” Fowler said. “They were physical, extremely aggressive and they made us earn everything all over the ice. It’s the National Hockey League … you still have to earn it every night. They play with a lot of pride, but our guys stuck with it.”