Originally written on On the Duck Pond  |  Last updated 11/17/14
Maybe shortened seasons aren't so bad after all.   After defeating the Minnesota Wild 3-1, the Ducks are now 4-1-1 to start the season.  Historically, Anaheim is a slow starter and picks up speed in the second half of the season.  This time, instead of having to play catch up, the Ducks are doing just fine holding their own and improving. Coach Bruce Boudreau is unafraid to shake up his line combinations.   While the first and third lines have been productive, the second line was not doing as much.   So put Bobby Ryan at center (an experiment that had been attempted before with not much success) and settle Teemu Selanne and Kyle Palmieri on the wings.  Results?  Success. Palmieri had two of the Ducks goals (an appropriate way to celebrate your 22nd birthday).  Ryan had the insurance marker.  And that old Finnish Flash?  He has now been dubbed the Finnish Facilitator with three assists. "Me and Bobby both had basically tap-ins and they were all because of Teemu's passing," said Palmieri after the game. "I think it gets a little overlooked because of how many goals he's scored. The crazy amount of ways he finds the back of the net.  That vision definitely doesn't stop at goal scoring. It helps in finding other guys and the open guys on the team." The Wild got the scoring going in the first period with Marco Scandella  putting the puck behind Viktor Fasth at 9:44.  As it was in his NHL debut, Fasth recovered from the initial goal and stopped 26 shots for the victory.  The hard work of the Ducks was finally rewarded in the second period when Palmieri got his first of the night to tie up the game at 6:49.  Niklas Backstrom kept the Wild in the game, pretty much single-handedly, including an onslaught in the beginning of the third period.  Emerson Etem had several good chances and put pressure on the Wild and got the crowd going with some exciting play in Minnesota's end. Palmieri followed that up with his second goal, the eventual game winner, at 4:21. Part of Anaheim's success could be attributed to their discipline.  They took only one penalty the entire evening and never gave Minnesota a chance to get going on the power play.  Late in the third, Ryan was tripped up and the Ducks were awarded a penalty, although Ryan did seem to embellish his fall just a little bit.  Instead of being 4 on 4, Ryan added insult to injury and got the insurance marker at 18:26 with the power play goal.   It was a gorgeous and perfectly placed pass from Selanne and Backstrom had no chance at all. Selanne now has 1414 points, tied for 17th all time with Doug GIlmour.  Remember when he got 1000 points?  That was January 30, 2006, against the Kings.  Guess who is coming to the Honda Center this evening?   Chances are good Selanne will get point #1415 against Los Angeles as the Ducks play the second of back to back games.  Whether scoring or facilitating, the Ducks will take it because they are making points where it counts - in the standings. In other notes:  Sami Vatanen made his defensive debut. He played 13:52 and had a shot on goal and a +1 rating.   He was paired with Luca Sbisa.  Toni Lydman was given the night off for "wear and tear."  Lydman should be in the line up this evening against the Kings and Jonas Hiller is expected to take the net.      
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Pablo Sandoval 'cut things off at the root' with Giants

Scott Boras taking shots at Cubs' history over Kris Bryant

Kingdome debt finally paid off 15 years after demolition

49ers waive Jonathan Martin

Former MLBer Curt Ford assaulted, told to ‘go back to Ferguson’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Russell Westbrook was very ‘confused’ by media after loss

NCAA 'concerned' over Indiana's 'religious freedom' bill

Report: James frustrated with Love’s inability to fit in

Shane Victorino rips radio hosts for twisting Hamels trade talk

Jerry Jones on Greg Hardy: He's paid a 'terrific price'

Senators to fans: Stop throwing hamburgers on the ice

Toronto Raptors limping into the playoffs

Best picks ever at every spot in first round of NFL Draft

Alonzo Mourning confirms “Who wants to sex Mutombo?”

CC Sabathia attempting to get healthier by getting … fatter?

You can bid on Andrew McCutchen’s recently cut locks

Is Chuck Pagano receiving the Jim Harbaugh treatment?

Wideouts wearing out their welcome

Dean Smith willed $200 to each of his former players

10 best coaches who have never been to the Final Four

Five under-the-radar American League MVP candidates

Michigan sent recruit Naseir Upshur’s girlfriend a letter

Five MLB teams that could disappoint in 2015

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Five under-the-radar AL MVP candidates

Michigan sent recruit's GF a letter

MLB teams that could disappoint

25 years ago, the best Sweet 16 of all time was pure madness

The 2015 bad quarterback carousel

17 facts to know before the Sweet 16

Agent: Sam was horrible at veteran combine

Keeping judo ‘pure’ in Europe means keeping MMA out

The Sweet 16 should be seen as success

On the Browns, Hard Knocks, questions and narratives

Sweet 16 West Region preview

Sweet 16 Midwest Region preview

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.