What we learned from the Ducks’ 3-0 shutout win over the Canucks
The Ducks ended a three-game skid with a 3-0 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday.
It was John Gibson’s third shutout of the season and a bounce-back performance for the starting goalie after consecutive contests with four goals allowed.
Here’s what we learned.
1. The two veterans picked up at the trade deadline are starting to build chemistry together on the fourth line. Chris Kelly was signed after playing in the Olympics with Team Canada, and Jason Chimera was acquired from the New York Islanders on the same day last month.
Since then, they’ve been paired together on the fourth line, and though Kelly is 37 and Chimera is 38, the two have added speed to the lineup.
Chimera earned his first points as a Ducks player Wednesday with a goal and an assist, and Kelly scored points in consecutive games. The Ducks now have another line — in addition to Derek Grant — they can count on after general manager Bob Murray and coach Randy Carlyle tinkered with the fourth unit during much of the season.
“Scoring by committee is going to be big coming down the stretch and in the playoffs,” Chimera said. “Those guys [the first line] get all the tough assignments in the playoffs. You’re going to have third- and fourth-line contributing. ... You need contributions from everybody.”
2. The Ducks need Ondrej Kase to rediscover his scoring touch. The 22-year-old earned a secondary assist on one of Brandon Montour’s two goals, the winger’s first point in 11 games.
Before he went cold, Kase was a force for the Ducks as one of two speed-scoring wingers (Rickard Rakell being the other). Last month, Kase enjoyed a stretch with five goals in seven games.
If the Ducks are going to slide into the playoffs, they need production from players like him.
3. Ryan Kesler has been effective, but he’s clearly still reeling from offseason hip surgery. That’s no surprise given the circumstances. After all, Kesler had to learn to stride all over again.
He’s still battling all over the ice, still fore-checking ferociously, but the points haven’t followed.
Kesler has had nine points in 33 games this season following back-to-back 50-point campaigns. The Ducks need leaders like Kesler to start lighting the lamp.
Go beyond the scoreboard
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