What we learned from the Ducks’ 5-3 victory over the Dallas Stars
The Ducks finished off their last home game of the regular season with a 5-3 victory over the Dallas Stars on Friday.
The victory capped off a perfect four-game homestand, during which they clinched a playoff spot, before they head to Arizona for the season finale Saturday night.
Here’s what we learned from the victory:
The Ducks’ checking line has been on fire lately
When the trio of Andrew Cogliano, Ryan Kesler and Jakob Silfverberg are producing on offense, the Ducks are hard to contend with.
Silfverberg had a goal during a three-point night, and Cogliano’s breakaway marker late in the third salted the contest. All three second-liners produced a point on that goal, and it’s clear their chemistry is peaking at the right time.
It might have taken awhile to find that comfort zone after Kesler missed more than two months at the start of the season following off-season hip surgery, but now they’re rolling.
“It’s been a little bit up-and-down for me [offensively], but our line has been struggling to find the back of the net consistently,” Silfverberg said. “We’ve been doing a good job playing solid defense.
“There is no better time of the year to get the confidence going. It’s not just me, it’s our whole line. Playing with more confidence.”
Ryan Miller wasn’t his sharpest Friday
The veteran continues to start in net with John Gibson sidelined by an upper-body injury, but Miller wasn’t at his sharpest Friday. Miller allowed Stars sniper Jamie Benn to beat him with a quick wrist shot from distance.
The puck grazed Miller’s right shoulder, and it’s the kind of shot he usually stops.
The other goals were off deflections through traffic before Miller finally settled down in the third period. He had an off night overall, with three goals allowed on just 26 shots, but he’s been awfully good when called upon this season.
The former Vezina Trophy winner sports a .925 save percentage along with a 2.46 goals-against average in 27 games this season. He’s set to start again Saturday, and with Gibson often injured, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Miller with the mask on again in the playoffs.
All Ryan Getzlaf does is produce
The star center’s vision and playmaking are among the best in the NHL, and it’s hard to find a game where he didn’t produce at least one point. If only the captain would unleash his devastating shot more.
With two more assists Friday, he reached the 60-point plateau, this despite missing 26 games. If Getzlaf hadn’t fractured his cheekbone early in the season, it’s likely he’d be on the short list for Hart Trophy consideration. He’s been that good and that consistent.
The 60-point campaign is his ninth in the NHL, surpassing Teemu Selanne’s franchise record of eight.
Go beyond the scoreboard
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