After a third straight home loss Wednesday night, the Anaheim Ducks ventured to Music City Saturday to take on the Nashville Predators in one handful of the last games hosted by the NHL prior to the Olympic break. With two of those recent losses coming as shutouts, the Ducks not only hoped for a much needed win, but a return to the high scoring game that has them leading the NHL rankings.
Despite stepping behind after an early Nashville goal in the first period, the Ducks gave good reason to why the NHL has dubbed them “the comeback kids” this season, with goals from Ryan Getzlaf, Emerson Etem, Mathieu Perreault and Corey Perry helping them hand a decisive 5-2 victory to Nashville.
But it was the return to top form and a three point game (the first and last goals along with one assist) of Getzlaf that set the tone Anaheim needed to make such a statement.
During the course of the year, Getzlaf’s play has been one of guaranteed go power, including two hat tricks (the first and second of his career), that has put him behind only Sidney Crosby and John Tavares as a points leader. When you win the Stanley Cup as early on in your career as Getzlaf did, you would think it hard to find another season to match such an ending, but the captain has given his entire team fire power through what could arguably be his best season yet.
While Anaheim isn’t in danger of losing their playoff spot anytime soon, the Ducks should hope this most recent win is the game turnaround they have been looking for to spring them out of a string of unnecessary losses. With the play and leadership Getzlaf has already shown this season, the Ducks need only to follow his path.
No one should find it a coincidence that right around the same time Getzlaf found the right doors to break out of this year, the Ducks did as well, because the best captains lead their team by example and Getzlaf’s play tonight renewed the promise that he isn’t looking to let his team falter anytime soon.