Ducks needed just two games to see this offseason move might be their best

He’s played only two games for the Ducks, but goalie Ryan Miller already has proven his worth.
(Gerry Broome / Associated Press)

He’s played only two games for the Ducks, but Ryan Miller already has proven his worth.

The former Vezina Trophy winner, now 37, signed with the Ducks during the offseason to provide top-notch insurance behind starting goaltender John Gibson.

But what Miller brings is a lot more. When Gibson has needed a rest on the tail end of a back-to-back, Miller has impressed in net.

He did so again Saturday in a shootout loss to the Sharks in San Jose. Miller faced a barrage of shots — 45 in all — and emerged with only one goal allowed.


It took him a while to make his debut after he sustained a left wrist injury during the preseason, but now that’s he here, Miller is making a case for even more work behind Gibson.

“You sign somewhere, you want to make an impact and build some trust,” said Miller, who sports a 1.85 goals-against average and a .951 save percentage through two games. “If I wasn’t feeling any better, I would have been more resigned to it.”

Miller may be representing a Southern California team for the first time in his 15 NHL seasons, but he’s been in the area for about seven years.

Miller married actress Noureen DeWulf in 2011 and the couple resides in West Hollywood with their 2-year-old son, Bodhi, making for some grisly game day commutes.

Of course, he wanted to play close to home, and he got wish this summer when he joined the Ducks on a two-year, $4 million pact.

Now that he’s healthy, the move is paying dividends for both sides.

Fowler recovering quickly

Cam Fowler is recovering nicely from the right knee injury he suffered two-and-a-half weeks ago.

It looked grim when he awkwardly collapsed to the ice and had to be carried to the locker room, but coach Randy Carlyle gave hope Monday that the defenseman could beat the four-to-six week timetable for his return.

“Cam’s been looking very good actually; we think that his prognosis is one where we think he’s going to start to skate shortly,” Carlyle said.

“I don’t know that I can say there’s a timeline that’s been moved up; I wouldn’t say that. But he feels real good about it. Our medical staff and doctors feel really good about it.”

When Fowler does return, it’ll be the first time all season the Ducks are at full strength on the blue line. Hampus Lindholm and Sami Vatanen, both of whom underwent offseason shoulder surgery, have been back on the ice since the end of October.

Now, the Ducks just need Fowler to return to his rightful spot on team’s top defense pairing.

Up Next


When: Tuesday, 7 p.m. PT

On the air: TV: NBCSN; Radio: 830 for Ducks; 790 for Kings

Update: The Southern California rivals square off for the first time this season, but the Kings (10-2-2, 22 points) are the ones who resemble Stanley Cup contenders. … Jonathan Quick, who rested Saturday but figures to start against the Ducks, has been excellent so far with a .939 save percentage (second in the NHL). … Gibson also had the night off Saturday, but is expected to face off with Quick. … Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf has been sidelined for the past three games, all losses, after taking a puck to the face. He was re-examined Monday, but there’s still no update from the Ducks (6-6-2, 14 points).