Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 12/7/11
When Bobby Ryan scored with 48.8 seconds remaining to break a 2-2 tie against the Los Angeles Kings Tuesday night at Honda Center, the Ducks provided Bruce Boudreau with more than his first win as the Anaheim Ducks Head Coach. They provided the entire locker room an opportunity to turn a gutsy win over their rivals into a major turning point of the 2011-12 season. "It's not out of the woods yet, but maybe you can build on that and hopefully go into a very tough building in St. Louis and maybe get lucky and win another one," Boudreau said. "And then the snowball gets bigger and starts rolling down hill." Winning streaks are often engineered or catalyzed by wins over rivals, come-from-behind wins, wins in challenging building, wins in overtime. Character-building wins. "When you're in a position that we are as a team, you look for building blocks to go in the right direction," defenseman Cam Fowler said. "I think this was one of them. Cross-town rival and protecting our own building, it was huge for us. It's a step in the right direction." The night started off as so many previous nights had. Anaheim led 2-0, much like recent losses to Chicago, Philadelphia and Minnesota. After the Kings had tied the game at two midway through the third period on Justin Williams' first goal in 18 games, there was an opportunity for the "fragile group" as Boudreau put it to slump their shoulders and stare down in disbelief. That never happened. That the Ducks abandoned that mentality shows that Boudreau's message is starting to get through. At his introductory press conference, and in subsequent chats with media, he's discussed his intentions to get his players to believe in themselves and exude confidence in tight situations. "They didn't look like their shoulders were slumped," Boudreau said. "They were saying Let's go, don't worry about it. That's done.' We're looking up, there's 10 minutes to go and we're tied. It's not like Oh, there's 10 minutes to go, when are they going to get the next one?' So it was a different kind of feeling, I think." Ryan was also provided a shot of confidence earlier in the day by a future Hall of Famer. With just two goals in his previous 13 games entering Tuesday, and with his name floated around in trade discussions the previous week, the losing streak was wearing heavily on him. Enter Teemu Selanne. "It's no secret. It's been a tough month, start to the season for me," Ryan said. "It's funny, Teemu told me this morning that things are going to start going. He's been through it a little bit in the past, not to this extent, but it's nice to rely on a guy that's scored that many goals when he tells you that you'll come out of it. For him to predict it tonight, it was huge." The focus now for the Ducks will be to string together some wins on the road, where they'll be for seven of the next eight games. A brief stop-over at the Honda Center next Wednesday against Phoenix will break up a jaunt to St. Louis and Nashville this weekend from a trip to Chicago, Winnipeg, Dallas, Los Angeles and San Jose that begins late next week. "We go into tough buildings," Boudreau said of the impending road schedule. "It's a different kind of see what we're made of'. If you ever come back from a successful roadtrip like that, the team gets to be together for a while and it'd be a good bonding thing, hopefully. If there is success to be had this season in Anaheim, it started with a key win Tuesday. "It's not the Cup, but it felt pretty good," Boudreau said. NOTES: The Ducks concluded a stretch in which they spent 30 of 31 days in Southern California, their only road games a 2-1 shootout loss in Los Angeles and a 4-2 loss at Phoenix. Anaheim posted a 3-8-2 record in the 13 games. Bobby Ryan has as many two-goal games (three) as he does one-goal games. He's tied with Teemu Selanne for second on the Ducks with nine goals. Corey Perry leads the team with 12 tallies. George Parros returned to Anaheim's lineup after missing 13 games due to a detached retina after taking several pucks to the face. He had four hits in 6:16 of ice time.
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