When you take a point in a place where nobody comes in and wins, and get another two in a place where you absolutely must, you've got to feel pretty good about the start of your road trip.
That's how the weekend went for your Anaheim Ducks, who played well to get that point at Joe Louis Arena (though it was still agonizing that they didn't get two) and followed up with a relatively convincing victory in Columbus last night. Corey Perry
notched his second hat trick against the Blue Jackets this year (the last one coming last month) in a 5-3 victory that somewhat took the sting out of the missed opportunity in Detroit. Yes, the Ducks got a point in a place where few opponents do, but they oh-so-narrowly missed a chance to snap an 18-game home win streak by the Red Wings at JLA. (That streak, incidentally, started way back on November 20, a 5-0 victory against ... you guessed it ... Anaheim.)
Never was that close call more stomach-churning than during a rare 3-on-3 in the middle of overtime, when Cam Fowler
looked poised to win the game on a breakaway, but his backhand clanged off the right post (2:10 mark of this video
). That was just one of a number of missed opportunities for the Ducks, who went scoreless on seven power play opportunities. They also, it should be noted, killed off a death-defying Red Wings 5-on-3 in the final half-minute of OT. Detroit's 24 shots on the night were the fewest they've had at home all season.
But Anaheim's only goal was George Parros
' in the first period, his first since scoring two against Florida in December of 2010. Another apparent goal by Niklas Hagman was waved off
when officials determined Parros interfered with goalie Joey MacDonald.
And it was MacDonald who came up big in the all-important shootout, denying Perry and then Bobby Ryan
, just minutes after Todd Bertuzzi gave Detroit the lead with a painfully slow approach to Jonas Hiller
and a successful backhand.
"It was tough to watch that," said Parros. "We had a lot of opportunities. We certainly played hard. Just couldn't capitalize on some of them."You let a good team like that hang around, it'll burn you eventually. That's what happened tonight."
But two nights later the Ducks left no doubt, despite the fact that a snowstorm delayed them to the point where they didn't arrive to their hotel in Columbus until a little after 2 a.m. Saturday morning. Perry's play was a big reason for the win, as his hat trick came on 11 shots, one short of the team record set three times by a guy named Kariya. Meanwhile, after that disappointing night in Detroit, the Ducks cashed in three times on the power play.
Yet Bruce Boudreau was more pleased with how the Ducks played in Detroit than how they did in Columbus. "It was a sloppy game," he said. "I told them to never complain about winning a game. If we want to continue to win on this trip we have to get more like we played in Detroit rather than [how] we played here."
Perry's triple gave him 26 goals on the season through 55 games. Last season he had 28 goals at that point -- on his way to 50.
Perry scoring goals in bunches in nothing new, but Lubomir Visnovsky
getting into a fight certainly is. And Ducks fans had to be in disbelief at what they were seeing on their flatscreens when they saw Lubo get into it with Derick Brassard in the second period last night. Visnovsky and Brassard began throwing down in the middle of a pileup behind the Anaheim net, with Brassard getting the better of Visnovsky after his jersey went over his head. Here's some video, in which that young Jackets fan looks just as shocked as anybody that Lubo's fighting:
"Show the team something a little bit, you know," Visnovsky told the OC Register afterward. "It doesn't matter. We win the game. We needed two points. It's perfect for us. The team was a little bit laughing about me because they never seen me fight."
Indeed, there is no record of Visnovsky ever fighting before on hockeyfights.com
, but he said he's had five in his 11-year career, the last coming against Dustin Byfuglien while Lubo was with the Kings.
This time Visnovsky got five for fighting and another two for roughing, and was actually given a game misconduct for not having his jersey properly fastened to his pants. That left the Ducks a defenseman short for the rest of the game.
"I don't tie up the jersey because I never think I'm going to fight," Visnovsky said. "Maybe I start to tie it up."
It's doubtful he'll need to anytime soon, but Lubo still said he gave George Parros
a little warning. "I told George, be careful for next season," he said. "I maybe take your job."
Retorted Parros to the OCR, "He can have it. I'll take his job. No problem with that switch."
The Ducks were able to get in some rare road practice time this morning in St. Paul, to get ready for the Wild tomorrow night. Here's more on that from Dan Wood
- - -
Ducks prospect Emerson Etem
is continuing to light it up in juniors, scoring his 50th and 51st goals yesterday (in just his 50th game) for Medicine Hat of the WHL. You can check out the 50th and 51st in this video
, starting at around the 2:20 mark.
Etem is the first Medicine Hat Tigers player to score 50 games in a season since a guy named Joffrey Lupul had 56 in the 2001-02 campaign. Etem's also the first WHL player to score 50 goals in 50 or fewer appearances in a season since 2000-01.
The 19-year-old Etem, the Long Beach native who was taken 29th overall by the Ducks in the 2010 draft, was one of the last players to be left off the opening night roster for the Ducks out of training camp back in September. He was sent to to his junior team and is not eligible to be brought up by the Ducks this season. But he would again appear to again have a strong shot to make the team out of next season's camp.
"I got cut the last two years and it was disappointing," Etem told Yahoo! Sports. "It makes me want to make the team next year that much more. I think I'm ready for the NHL. It will be their decision, but I'm going to go to camp in great shape and be motivated to make the team."
This just in: Here's video of all 51 goals from this season so far
, which today was tweeted by Etem himself