The Ducks exploded for five goals in the first two periods — two of the goals coming from star Corey Perry – as Anaheim had to hold on late to secure their third straight win and move up to 43 wins and 91 points on the season. The Ducks have regained some of the consistency, which appeared to be an issue before the Olympic Break. Winning by either their defense or offense forces the opposing teams to plan for both.
The performance of Frederik Andersen was solid as well, as he stopped 49 shots en route to his 15th victory of the season. With great goaltenders and a balanced display of offense and defense, the Ducks look poised for another run in the postseason. The dangerous thing about this team is that you have no idea what kind of battle that the team will put up. You will either get a defensive struggle or an offensive outburst.
I have stated before that if they kept the defensive side of the puck strong, they would be a big favorite to win the Stanley Cup. I am going to change my view a little bit and say that as long as either the shutdown defense or explosive offense can keep the team going the rest of the way, they will be a difficult out no matter whom they play. They have the star players in Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, and Teemu Selanne as well as a defense not afraid to step in front of the puck to block shots. Add a three-headed goaltending beast in Andersen, Jonas Hiller, and Viktor Fasth (when he returns from injury) in that mix and you have quite a team.
Look out for the Ducks as they try to lock up a playoff spot and become the team to beat in the NHL.