Oct 18, 2013, 12:23 PM EST
In case you hadn’t noticed, the Anaheim Ducks have shaken off their season-opening 6-1 loss to Colorado in rather impressive fashion.
Five straight wins. Twenty goals scored. Just eight surrendered.
Tonight, they’ll try to make it six straight when Phoenix, another team off to a good start, visits The Pond.
Here’s what the Coyotes will be facing:
—- A team that’s getting great goaltending. Particularly from Jonas Hiller, who’s 3-0-0 with a .959 save percentage and one shutout. Even with the other half of the tandem, Viktor Fasth, allowing six goals in one game to the Avs, the Ducks’ team save percentage stands at .922, the ninth highest in the NHL.
—- A team that’s been outstanding five-on-five. It’s had to be with a power play that ranks last in the NHL (4.3%) and a penalty kill that ranks 26th (72.2%). The Ducks’ excellent even-strength play is illustrated in their individual plus-minuses — veteran d-man Francois Beauchemin leads the team at plus-8, while Cam Fowler (-3), Saku Koivu (-1), and Matt Beleskey (-1) are the only minuses.
—- A team that’s getting scoring from its newcomers. Like Jakob Silfverberg (4G, 2A) and Mathieu Perreault (2G, 3A). The former was acquired from Ottawa in the Bobby Ryan trade; the latter came to Anaheim in a deal with Washington. Even much-maligned winger Dustin Penner, signed as a free agent, has chipped in with a pair of goals and a pair of assists.
—- A team that’s getting off to good starts. Only San Jose (12) has more first-period goals than the Ducks (10). “Our first periods have been generous to us,” said head coach Bruce Boudreau. “We’ve gotten out to a lead and just had to protect it. Last season, we would usually have to come from behind.”
All that said, the Ducks didn’t play their best Wednesday, ultimately getting outshot 35-22 by the Flames in a game Anaheim managed to hang on and win, 3-2.
“I didn’t think we had much flow at all,” Boudreau said. “When you’re used to seeing what we saw the previous two games, it’s tough to take.”
Obviously, “tough to take” is a relative phrase. We assume most Ducks fans will take 5-1-0 after six games.
- Leafs’ Panik latest to be fined for diving 0
- Video: Zidlicky’s first goal with Detroit gives Red Wings OT win over Rangers 30
- Video: P.K. Subban illustrates hockey instincts through GoPro camera perspective 4
- Video: Lundqvist could be back in 10 to 14 days 7
- Isles’ Martin suspended one game for ‘reckless’ knee on Daley 12
- More bad luck for the B’s — Connolly out 6 weeks with fractured finger 23
- Fehr willing to give Panthers ‘a reasonable opportunity’ to redevelop market 50
- Video: Isles’ Martin to face hearing for ‘stupid’ knee-on-knee hit 39
- NHL on NBCSN: Reloaded Red Wings, Rangers set to battle tonight 51
- Bernier bests Panthers as Luongo goes from injured (and in street clothes) to back in net 4
- Wild beat Avs, dying seconds fight set stage for rematch (171)
- Petrovic: Chicago will ‘probably seek revenge’ for Kane injury tonight (82)
- Winners and losers of the 2015 trade deadline (78)
- Trade: Blackhawks acquire Vermette from Arizona for Dahlbeck, first rounder (74)
- Wings get Zidlicky from Devils (74)