Feb 15, 2013, 10:28 PM EDT
At some point, the question following Viktor Fasth might change from “Is he for real?” to “What took the NHL so long to find him?”
The 30-year-old “rookie” improved his career-opening record to 7-0-0 as the Anaheim Ducks dispatched the Detroit Red Wings 5-2 on Friday. Fasth stopped 26 out of 28 shots against a Red Wings lineup that lacked Pavel Datsyuk.
The Ducks strengthened their grip on the Pacific Division lead to 21 points, placing them second overall in the West behind the even-hotter Chicago Blackhawks. (They’re also tied for second in the NHL with the New Jersey Devils, who also have 21 points.)
What’s especially impressive is that a road swing isn’t slowing them down; they’ve won four out of five contests with one away contest left in the six-game trip (tomorrow against the Predators in Nashville).
While the Teemu Selanne-Saku Koivu-Bobby Ryan remained hot, the scary thing for the rest of the league is that Corey Perry showed signs of breaking out of his early slump. He scored his second goal of the season and added an assist as part of a more varied Ducks attack.
The latest update from the OC Register is that Jonas Hiller still needs time to recover from his lower-body injury. The Ducks might not be too anxious about that, although with a back-to-back game scheduled, Bruce Boudreau might face a tough choice in net.
(If he opts to rest Fasth, they’d start journeyman Jeff Deslauriers.)
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