Three consecutive losses. Outscored 18 - 6. Something had to change.
Putting a line up that consisted primarily of players who will be on the opening night roster certainly helped. Yelled at by coach Randy Carlyle probably did not hurt.
In Vancouver, the Ducks finally learned that the fourth time was the charm. A 4 - 1 victory felt really, really satisfying, but as Carlyle always has pointed out, enjoy it for 10 minutes then move on. The Los Angeles Kings are next tomorrow evening.
But we are still in our 10 minute glow time,so let us enjoy this win fully.
After having a much stronger start to their game, Saku Koivu got the scoring started at 15:29 of the first period. His shot went right through Cory Schneider's legs.
Cam Fowler extended the lead to 2-0 at 10:43 of the second period. It was the first two goal lead of the pre-season for the Ducks. Those two goals also equaled the total production in the past two pre-season tilts.
Late in the second period, the top line of Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Bobby Ryan finally figured things out. Perry got on the board with a tip in shot on the power play at 18:05. It was classic power play goal with the shot by Getzlaf landing at Perry's feet, who was perched right in front of the crease, continuing to vex and harass netminders everywhere.
Less than a minute later, Andrew Gordon got his second goal of the pre-season by roofing the puck. It was yet another feather in the young man's cap and hope that he might provide some much needed depth scoring if he can survive final cuts to the team roster.
The Ducks headed into the third period with a 4-0 lead. Perhaps the best sign of all was not the score, but the fact that Jonas Hiller was taking the shut out with him into the locker room. It was Hiller's first game since suffering severe vertigo symptoms last spring. While Jeff Deslauriers took over for the third period, Hiller could breathe a sigh of relief that things went well for him. Duck fans, too.
The shut out did not remain. Kevin Connauton got the Canucks on the board at 12:55, but that was all Vancouver wrote. Anaheim was able to hold on, despite the chippy nature of the remainder of the game.
There is no rest for the Ducks, who now fly back to LA for their third game in as many nights. No matter who is in the line-up, the Ducks have to duplicate these efforts against the Kings and keep the momentum going.