Originally posted on On the Duck Pond  |  Last updated 2/2/13
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.      
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

DeMarco Murray unhappy with role in Eagles' offense

George Karl apologized to DeMarcus Cousins for trade comment

Jason Whitlock, ESPN part ways again

Devonta Freeman is scoring touchdowns at a historic rate

Joe Philbin not worried about being fired

NFL deciding how to share random PSI data during season


Report: LeSean McCoy has tear in hamstring

Report: Jay Cutler expected to play hurt against Raiders

Report: Marshawn Lynch not likely to play against Lions

WATCH: Adrien Broner uses Bruce Jenner zinger after win

ESPN explains reason for Dabo Swinney interview error

Brian Kelly: Kizer made right call on 2-point play

Jay Feely shares thoughts on why NFL kickers are struggling

Female reporters blocked from entering NFL locker room

Pierre Garcon makes awesome game-winning TD catch

WATCH: Mario Williams obliterates Rashad Jennings

WATCH: Ed Dickson scores TD on crazy fumble recovery

WATCH: Nelson Agholor makes incredible one-handed catch

London PR guy has hilarious reaction to angry Suh

Former LSU staffer had championship rings stolen from home

Giants LB Devon Kennard makes incredible interception

Andrew Bogut lost 22 pounds thanks to sugar documentary

Ohio State fans rip Cardale Jones on Twitter despite victory

LeBron has message for Tristan Thompson on Instagram

Rangers fire social media staffer over Charlie Strong tweet

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.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Philbin not worried about job status

London PR guy trolls Suh

10 takeaways from Week 5 of the college football season

Rick Pitino and the shadows that never leave

Chad Johnson ... Steelers kicker?

Flacco deserves more from the Ravens

Time for Neymar's Barcelona

Seth Rollins, WWE depth, Divas and winning

Madison Keys and the future of women’s tennis

Most underrated games in NFL Week 4

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker