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Thursday, 03.15.2012 / 7:39 AM PT
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Ducks Off the Ice by Adam Brady
Remember when the guy on the left was the kid?
I typically call my dad on my way out of the parking lot after Ducks home games, most of which he has just attended. He’ll answer the phone, not with a hello, but with some kind of statement about the game. It’s stuff like, “Heck of a win” or “Tough one tonight” or maybe just, “Selanneeeeeeeee.”

Last night, he had a whole new one ready for me, one I never thought I’d hear before.

“Who needs a Perry,” he said with a smile I could hear through the phone, “when you’ve got a Palmieri.”

Indeed, the second straight absence of Corey Perry last night was overshadowed by the work of the 21-year-old Palmieri, who had two goals and contributed to another to help the Ducks trounce the Red Wings 4-0.

It was a depleted Red Wings squad, which again was missing stalwarts Nicklas Lidstrom (bruised ankle) and Pavel Datsyuk (knee surgery). But I don’t care if it’s the entire Grand Rapids Griffins roster wearing those red-and-white unis with the winged wheel. The Red Wings are still the Red Wings, and there is nothing quite so satisfying as beating them. And shutting them out, well that’s a whole different story.

Last night’s blanking, thanks in part to 23 saves by Jonas Hiller, was only the second time in history the Ducks had shut out Detroit (the last coming in May of 1997) and the first time at home. And it came on a night when the Ducks were also missing minutes-eating defenseman Luca Sbisa, who missed a second straight game with back spasms.

“Really?” said Bruce Boudreau after being told it was just the second shutout in 72 games against Detroit. “That seems…that’s really wild.”

All the scoring the Ducks needed was provided by a 21-year-old who came into the game with two career goals, and a 41-year-old who had 659 in his back pocket. Both Palmieri and the aforementioned Selanneeeeeeeee scored in a three-goal barrage in the second period, and it was Palmieri’s pressure on goalie Joey MacDonald, that made Bobby Ryan’s goal in that period possible.

Selanne led things off in that period with a workmanlike power play goal, forcing the puck past MacDonald after Cam Fowler had thrown it on net from the wall. It was his 1,400th NHL point, and it came in front of his boyhood idol Jari Kurri, who happened to be at the game, just two nights after Selanne passed him on the NHL scoring list.

Later in the period, Palmieri provided a beauty of a goal, stripping the puck from a helpless Brendan Smith before going right to the net and backhanding it top shelf (please excuse John Ahlers calling him Bobby Ryan on the video). It looked a little like a certain Ducks legend doing much the same thing in a certain overtime game against the Wings back in ’07, but we won’t go there.

Later in the period, Palmieri hovered over MacDonald enough to force him to stick away Ryan Getzlaf’s pass right to the actual Ryan, who promptly banged it home. And then in the third, the Ducks already comfortably in front, Palmieri artfully reached back to grab a Getzlaf pass, stayed onside and crashed the net for the pretty backhander.

Afterward, Palmieri did what any 21-year-old kid would do to describe a night like that: He used the word “awesome.”

"It was an awesome night for me," said Palmieri, who had an AHL-leading 32 goals in 42 games at Syracuse before being called up on Monday. "I was lucky enough to score two tonight. Confidence, it definitely feels good. Hopefully going forward, I can keep making an impact on the game and help this team put together a nice win streak."

The Ducks took today off from practice, but tomorrow they face another disliked archrival, as the Kings come into town for a Friday night battle. We’ll see if Perry is available for that game, and we’ll also see what Palmieri might do for an encore.

Most of all, I’m just wondering how my dad will describe it afterwards.


SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
6 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
7 x - NSH 82 41 27 14 228 215 96
8 x - MIN 82 38 33 11 216 206 87
9 COL 82 39 39 4 216 240 82
10 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 77 13 50 14 63
C. Perry 82 34 28 2 62
R. Kesler 79 21 32 5 53
R. Rakell 72 20 23 -1 43
J. Silfverberg 82 20 19 8 39
S. Vatanen 71 9 29 8 38
A. Cogliano 82 9 23 2 32
H. Lindholm 80 10 18 7 28
C. Fowler 69 5 23 -8 28
C. Stewart 56 8 12 2 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 22 9 7 .919 2.30
J. Gibson 21 13 4 .920 2.07

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