The Ducks started strong Friday with three goals in the first period and never fell behind en route to a 6-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. The injury bug bit the team again, though, and there’s new concern for a top player. Here’s what we learned:
Fowler’s prognosis uncertain: Cam Fowler, who signed an eight-year, $52-million deal in the offseason, lost an edge early in the first period and awkwardly bent his right knee backward. The alternate captain lay on the ice for a couple of minutes before he finally headed to the locker room, placing no weight on his right skate. Randy Carlyle said Fowler would be reevaluated in the morning, but it didn’t look good. On the bright side, the Ducks coach said, Hampus Lindholm, who is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, could return Tuesday against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Gibson shines: The Ducks goalie has been sharp since the season started, but perhaps never better than on this night. John Gibson turned away 49 of 51 shots and was stellar during an onslaught of shots in the second period, 30 in total. Those 28 second-period saves were the most in franchise history for a Ducks goaltender in a single period.
Grant, power play break out: Derek Grant thought he had his first career NHL goal — and the team’s first on the power play of the new campaign — during last week’s win over the New York Islanders. An offside review canceled the goal, but Grant scored two Friday night, and his first broke the team’s power play drought. The Ducks, at 22 power play opportunities, are the last NHL team this season to score a goal on the man advantage.
“It was a good feeling,” Grant said. “It’s nice for the team to get one on the power play, as well. Hopefully we can get that one going a little more.”
Multipoint nights: The team’s first blowout victory of the season carried four players to multipoint games: Antoine Vermette, Chris Wagner, Brandon Montour and Kevin Bieksa. All four were factors in the Ducks’ third-period rally with three goals in less than three minutes. For Wagner and Montour, who have impressed in the absence of Lindholm and Sami Vatanen, it was the first such performances of their careers.