Dec 7, 2011, 2:07 AM EDT
Hot starts aren’t anything new for the Ducks under Bruce Boudreau. In their first game under the new head coach, the Ducks jumped out to a 3-0 lead before blowing it and eventually losing in overtime to the Flyers. The next game, they jumped out to an early 2-0 lead before falling 5-3 to surging Minnesota Wild.
So when they jumped out to an early lead against the rival Los Angeles Kings, the script seemed eerily familiar to anyone that has been following the Ducks. When the Kings came back to tie the score at 2-2 and dominated the 3rd period, it seemed like it was just more of the same from the team that has been able to find cruel ways of losing this season. But something happened on the way to Boudreaus’s third straight loss as the Ducks head coach…
“It’s not the Cup, but it felt pretty good.” Boudreau said about his first win as a member of the Ducks. “There is no doubt. I felt really good for the players because they were smiling. They worked so hard. Had it gone the other way after another lead like that, I was a little worried about it.”
A little worried about it? Who knows what Jonas Hiller would have said if the Ducks lost this one.
Instead, they were smiling because they got the bounce they finally got the bounce at the end of a game that they’ve needed for weeks. Instead of something going wrong at the moment of truth, they got a fluky goal off Bobby Ryan’s stick to give Anaheim the 3-2 win with only seconds remaining in the game. “There was a lot of traffic. I don’t know if it hit anything on the way in or not,” Ryan said about his game-winning goal. “It was a little bit of a changeup in speed and just found a way to go in. It’s a whole different feeling coming into this room tonight. It’s huge.”
No one cares at this point how they won. A win is a win.
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