VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Here’s what you need to know about the Ducks’ 4-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night:
THE GAME IN 140 OR LESS
– One goal just 23 seconds in. A second goal just 76 seconds later. The Ducks breezed from that point and they’re in the Stanley Cup dance.
– “We knew what was at stake. We’ve been building and building for this all season. That was a goal, to make the playoffs. We did that and now it has to snowball from here.” – Ducks right wing Corey Perry
– Antoine Vermette. A strong team effort was sparked by the veteran center, who assisted on two goals for his first points since coming back from his 10-game suspension. Also went 11-for-20 in the faceoff circle, with his win on the dot leading to Brandon Montour’s second NHL goal.
– The Ducks jumped all over Alexander Edler’s turnover behind the Vancouver net. Nick Ritchie grabbed the puck and found Corey Perry in the slot and the winger snapped it past Canucks goalie Ryan Miller for a 1-0 lead on their first shot on goal 23 seconds into the game. They would never give up that lead.
– So the Ducks are in. This was expected and if they didn’t make the playoffs, it would have been considered a colossal disappointment. They’ve been talking as if the postseason would be an eventuality from the moment training camp opened and now they can simply continue to build their game toward it and play for their seed. The latter is very much up in the air as five points separate the four playoff-bound teams – Anaheim, San Jose, Edmonton and Calgary – in the Pacific. So there is still plenty to play for and two things to get taken care of over the final six games is making sure that Ryan Getzlaf is as near to 100 percent as he can be and working John Gibson back into the goaltending mix. The former is probably easier to do as it appears the Ducks captain doesn’t have a serious lower-body injury. If it…