The Anaheim Ducks will get another crack at the St. Louis Blues on Sunday. They might not want it.
The Ducks pulled their goaltender just two minutes into the game Saturday, and the Blues cruised to a 6-1 victory. The score was not as bad as the opening minutes suggested.
The Blues’ Jordan Kyrou scored 20 seconds into the game, Zach Sanford made it 2-0 at 57 seconds, and at the 2:06 mark, Kyrou scored again. The three goals came on six early shots, leading the Ducks to pull John Gibson in favor of veteran Ryan Miller.
Gibson, who otherwise has been sharp this season, could be right back in net when the teams finish off their back-to-back Sunday.
It is shaping up to be another rough season for the Ducks. They did win consecutive games within the past week, but they have scored more than two goals in a game just once this season.
Saturday’s game is not something their resume needed.
“Handling the puck, competing … those are the areas where we need to get better,” said Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf, who had an assist on Anaheim’s lone goal on the night, scored by Max Jones. “The compete level needs to go through the roof. When you are in a situation against a team like that, it’s about being hard on pucks, making strong plays, especially early in hockey games.”
What is the answer for the rematch? Getzlaf said three Anaheim goals in the opening three minutes would be a start.
The Blues improved to 2-0-0 on their road trip, following a 5-4 shootout victory over the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday. It was supposed to be a four-game trip, but Thursday’s game at Vegas was postponed because of COVID-19 issues with the Golden Knights.
After an on-again, off-again start to the season, the Blues have won consecutive games for the first time. They have a chance to make it three straight in advance of four consecutive home games starting Tuesday against the Arizona Coyotes.
The Blues took a 3-1 lead into the first intermission Saturday, got a goal from David Perron in the second period, and Kyle Clifford and Vince Dunn netted third-period goals. Kyrou has five on the season, while Perron has four.
Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington needed just 23 saves in the victory.
The Blues had their fastest three goals in a game in franchise history.
“That’s probably one of the hottest starts in my career, to be honest,” Kyrou said. “It was definitely a good start to get off to in that game.”
Said Sanford, who scored his first of the season: “That was a great start for us. Exactly what we want to do. Attack right away, play hard, play aggressive.”
Getzlaf insists the Ducks will be ready to run it back again. They won’t lack energy in the early going Sunday.
“The nice thing about having a back-to-back is that you get to get right back at it,” Getzlaf said. “When you come out and lay an egg, so to speak, like we did, you get to forget about it in about a half hour and get ready for the next one to prove ourselves.”
–Field Level Media