What we learned from the Ducks’ 4-3 shootout victory over the Jets
The Ducks escaped with a 4-3 shootout victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday to push their point total to 57 headed into the All-Star break. The win also completes the Ducks’ five-game homestand, and now they’ll have to sit and wait to find out about the health of goalie John Gibson, who went down with a lower-body injury. Here’s what we learned:
Ryan Getzlaf is the Ducks’ best player, but he was a liability at times versus the Jets. The Ducks captain’s two turnovers directly led to Jets goals. First, he had the puck ripped from his stick by Jets wunderkind Patrik Laine, who immediately pivoted and shot it past Gibson for the game’s first goal.
Later, Getzlaf’s clear attempt found Jack Roslovic’s stick, and he scored the game-tying goal that forced overtime.
Getzlaf was impressive with his physical play, though, planting fellow captain Blake Wheeler with a vicious corner hit that sent him to the ice. The No. 1 centerman has been an offensive force all season, but he can’t afford too many nights like this.
Adam Henrique is everything the Ducks were looking for and more. He has nine goals and six assists in 25 games since arriving in Anaheim on Dec. 1. The trade with the New Jersey Devils cost the Ducks Sami Vatanen, but it’s clear who got the better part of the deal.
Henrique has impressed on both ends, and his first goal Thursday showed just how valuable he is. Not only did he steal the puck from Laine, but he contended with the winger’s stick around his body and still was able to rip it past Connor Hellebuyck.
The shootout goal also came off Henrique’s stick on a nifty backhand move, and he’s been an impact player so far.
“He’s been kind of a difference-maker for us,” coach Randy Carlyle said.
Ryan Miller has been a difference-maker too. Sure, the Ducks’ No. 2 goalie doesn’t play much, but when he’s called on, he’s been effective. That was never more true than Thursday, with the goalie pressed into action in a 3-3 tie with 6:40 left against a high-scoring squad.
He somehow didn’t face a shot in regulation or overtime, but he did fend off five shooters in the shootout to grab the victory.
“It’s a tough situation to put a goalie in cold and then doesn’t see a shot until the shootout,” Carlyle said. “He’s a veteran guy and I don’t think much fazes him. He just goes in and goes about his business.
“That’s one of the strengths to have a player with that kind of background and experience. He’s not going to look at it as anything overwhelming.”
Go beyond the scoreboard
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