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Ducks finally finish against rival Kings for Boudreau’s first win

Dec 7, 2011, 2:07 AM EDT

Bobby Ryan AP

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…

They won.

“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.

  1. danphipps01 - Dec 7, 2011 at 1:00 PM

    Boudreau and Hunter are having mixed results early, but there’s a lot to like.

    For Hunter, the Caps have stopped surrendering all the goals in the world. The downside is, they also never shoot and are still losing to everyone. At least it’s only by one goal each game now…? For him, the challenge is trying to get his forwards to score like their stratospheric salaries imply they should. And maybe getting Vokoun to suck less. That’d be nice.

    For Boudreau, the Ducks got one finally, but it wasn’t pretty. They play a lot like the Caps back when the Caps didn’t lose all the time – they run and gun and they do it spectacularly. Problem is, they go up 2-0 or 3-0 in the first period and forget there are two more to play. The old Caps kept going all game, and if Boudreau can get them to do that, they’ll get to winning a LOT more. This is not a team that enjoys own-zone play. If Hunter’s challenge is getting the Caps to shoot more and score more, Boudreau’s is to get them to keep doing it once they’ve started.

    Once those things happen, both will start to see turnabout.

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