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Ducks' Big 3 have calmed waters on the Pond

Monday, 11.03.2008 / 11:00 AM / The Hot List

By John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

Thanks to the trio of Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Teemu Selanne, the Anaheim Ducks have remembered how to score goals -- and win games. Perry, Getzlaf and Selanne are the main reasons the Ducks have gone from 1-5-0 and struggling to score to 7-5-1 and among the hottest teams in hockey.

Getzlaf, a center, usually has Perry on his right. The two combined for 19 points last week, with Getzlaf going 2-8-10 and Perry 2-7-9 as Anaheim went 3-0-1 last week. Both players had 5-point nights -- Getzlaf set up all 5 goals in the Ducks' 5-4 overtime win over Detroit, while Perry had 4 assists and a sixth-attacker goal that forced Friday's game against Vancouver into overtime, though the Ducks eventually lost 7-6 in a 13-round shootout.

Selanne had his 4-game goal-scoring streak end in Sunday night's 3-2 win against Calgary, but an assist extended his scoring streak to 6 games. Selanne had a hat trick against Detroit and finished with 6 goals and 8 points in 4 games.

The Ducks will need more weeks like that from their big three to get back into the Pacific Division race.
   
Five up -- Five players who are playing well:

Tim Thomas --
Thomas staked his claim to the No. 1 goaltending job in Boston with back-to-back 1-0 shutouts at Edmonton and Vancouver. For the week, he went 3-1-0 and allowed just 4 goals in 4 games.

Miikka Kiprusoff --
Much of the credit for Calgary's 6-game winning streak goes to Kiprusoff, who allowed just 9 goals in that span before giving up three in a 3-2 loss at Anaheim on Sunday. He's played every minute for the Flames this season.

Mike Knuble -- It took Knuble 6 games to start scoring, but since then he hasn't stopped. The veteran winger scored again Sunday in Philadelphia's 5-4 loss to Edmonton to extend his goals streak to 5 games.

Mike Smith -- Tampa Bay is off to an up-and-down start, but not because of any problems in goal. Smith won both his starts last week, allowing only 4 goals (just 1 at even strength). For the season, he's 3-2-2 with a 2.07 goals-against average and a .941 save percentage.

Zach Parise -- The Devils are enjoying an unaccustomed offensive burst, and Parise is a big reason why. He had 2 goals in Saturday night's rout of Atlanta, extending his goals streak to 6 games.

Five down -- Five players who are struggling:

Brendan Morrison -- As hot as Getzlaf, Perry and Selanne have been, the Ducks still need some help from Morrison, who has just 1 assist in 12 games and hasn't had a point in 8 games.

Marty Turco --
Dallas' starting goaltender has had allowed fewer than 3 goals in just 1 of 10 starts. He got a couple of games off -- and still allowed 5 goals to the offensively challenged Bruins on Saturday,

Jonathan Toews -- Chicago's young captain got the shootout winner Saturday, but he has yet to get a goal during regulation or overtime. Six assists in 11 games isn't enough production from a Calder runner-up.

Mike Fisher -- Ottawa's No. 2 center, a three-time 20-goal scorer, has yet to put up a point and is minus-5 in 9 games. Fisher is a good checker, but the Senators need him to score -- he has taken just 12 shots on goal thus far this season.

Ed Jovanovski -
- Jovanovski is coming off a 51-point season, so his failure to put up a point through 9 games is a major problem for the Coyotes. He also is a minus-6.
 
Injuries, news and notes --
Daniel Alfredsson apparently will be a Senator for life. Ottawa's captain signed a 4-year deal last week that includes a no-movement clause. He'll reportedly join the Sens' front office when his playing career is done.

Out -- New Jersey will be without goaltender Martin Brodeur for Monday night's game against Dallas. Brodeur left Saturday's game against Atlanta early in the second period with what the team called a bruised elbow. … Atlanta defenseman Zach Bogosian, the third pick in the 2008 Entry Draft, will be out for about 6 weeks with a broken left leg sustained in Tuesday's loss to Philadelphia. Goalie Kari Lehtonen also missed both weekend games due to illness. … Philadelphia rookie Darroll Powe sustained a concussion in the win over the Thrashers. … Florida forward Gregory Campbell is out with a hip-flexor injury. … Islanders defenseman Freddy Meyer went down with a sports hernia that required surgery. The Isles say he'll miss 2-4 weeks. … Dallas forward Joel Lundqvist went will miss 4-6 weeks after injuring his shoulder. … New Jersey lost defenseman Andy Greene for about 6 weeks after he broke the knuckles on his right hand blocking a shot against Toronto on Wednesday. The injury required surgery. … Anaheim forward Brad May is expected to miss a couple of weeks after he injured his right knee while making a check during Wednesday's win over Detroit. … St. Louis rookie T.J. Oshie left during the second period of Saturday's loss to Pittsburgh after sustaining a high-ankle sprain.

Returning -- Buffalo center Paul Gaustad made his season debut Thursday. He'd been out after undergoing thumb surgery in early October. … Washington defenseman Tom Poti returned Saturday after missing more than 2 weeks with a groin injury. … Raffi Torres made his season debut for Columbus on Saturday night. He separated his right shoulder during training camp and missed the Blue Jackets' first 10 games. … Pittsburgh defenseman Hal Gill returned Thursday after missing 3 games with a hand injury. … Injured Dallas defenseman Sergei Zubov and forward Jere Lehtinen may return for Friday's game against Anaheim. … Buffalo center Tim Connolly made his season debut Saturday night after missing the first 10 games with a hairline fracture of his vertebrae. … St. Louis defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, the fourth pick in the 2008 Entry Draft, returned Saturday after missing 6 games with an upper-body injury.

Still out -- New York Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro will miss 4-6 weeks after having arthroscopic knee surgery. He hasn't played since Oct. 25, when he was lifted after the first period against Carolina with what was later described as a lower-body injury unrelated to the hip and knee surgeries he's had in the last year. … Florida defenseman Bryan McCabe, out for the past 3-plus weeks with a strained back, has started skating alone and shooting pucks. He hopes to practice this week. Center Stephen Weiss has missed 4 games with a groin injury. … St. Louis goaltender Manny Legace hasn't played since injuring his groin against Los Angeles on Oct. 24.

The week ahead -- It's a mixed bag in terms of the schedule. Detroit has nearly a whole week off, while 8 teams play 4 times. Nashville, St. Louis and Tampa Bay start lengthy trips, and Edmonton continues a 6-game swing through the East, while Vancouver began a 6-game homestand Sunday and Anaheim starts one Wednesday.

 
 
Games to watch:

Washington at Ottawa (Nov. 4, 7:30 p.m. ET, RDS) -- The Caps expect Alex Ovechkin to be back from Russia for this game; he's missed 2 games to be with his ailing grandfather. That could be good for Ovechkin, who had 4 goals in his last visit to Scotiabank Place, last Dec. 29.

Minnesota at Colorado (Nov. 6) -- The Wild come to the Pepsi Center for the first time since being eliminated by the Avs in the first round of the playoffs last spring.

Dallas at Anaheim (Nov. 7) -- The Ducks would like a measure of revenge against the team that ended their reign as Stanley Cup champions last spring.

Montreal at Toronto (Nov. 8, 7 p.m. ET, CBC, RDS, NHLN-US) -- The Canadiens pay their second visit to the Air Canada Centre for the annual Hall of Fame Game.

Florida at Phoenix (Nov. 8) -- Ex-Florida captain Olli Jokinen, traded to the Coyotes in June, faces his former team for the first time as the Panthers trek to the desert.

Tough week ahead:

Calgary Flames -- The Flames have home games Tuesday and Thursday before a Saturday-Sunday trip to Columbus and Chicago.

Nashville Predators -- The Preds start a two-week trip with games in Vancouver, Calgary and Colorado, before heading to California next week.

St. Louis Blues -- The party's over for the Blues, who played just 3 road games in October and ended a 7-game homestand Saturday. They start a 5-game trip with 3 in 4 nights in California -- but with an itinerary that goes Anaheim-San Jose-Los Angeles.

Easy week ahead:

Detroit Red Wings --
The Wings get a breather after their Western trip, with 5 days off before playing their only game of the week -- Saturday, when New Jersey comes to town for the first time since 2005-06.

Boston Bruins -- Like the Wings, the Bruins get a chance to take a breath after a hectic stretch that included a Western swing. They get 4 days off before hosting Toronto on Thursday and Buffalo on Saturday.

Chicago Blackhawks --
The Blackhawks host Colorado on Monday in the opener of a 5-game homestand, then get 4 days off before Calgary comes to town Saturday.

I didn't think it would actually work, but it ended up working, so I'm thanking my lucky stars tonight.

— Columbus forward Nick Foligno on scoring the overtime goal after telling the Blue Jackets in the locker room that he would win the game