x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

The Ducks hold their nerve

Giguere is the hero for the Anaheim Ducks as the Maple Leafs left to reflect on decision to change goaltenders.

Ryan Carter, in white,  of the Ducks, is checked by Jamal Mayers and Pavel Kubina of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Ryan Carter, in white, of the Ducks, is checked by Jamal Mayers and Pavel Kubina of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

TORONTO // The struggling Anaheim Ducks earned their second victory of the season on Tuesday with a 3-2 shoot-out win over the Maple Leafs in Toronto. Corey Perry and Teemu Selanne scored in the shoot-out while Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 36 saves to give the Ducks a badly needed win in the opener of a set of four away games

Anaheim, the Stanley Cup champions in 2007, had managed only 13 goals in their first six games of the season and needed a dominant performance from Giguere to help them get the better of the rebuilding Leafs. "We have to start somewhere," Giguere said. "We need a better 60-minute effort and we need to start scoring more goals. "But when you are going the way this team has been going, well, any win is a good win."

The Ducks went 2-0 up in the first period thanks to goals by Francois Beauchemin and George Parros, but the Leafs dominated the second and third periods, out-shooting the Ducks 28-4 in the last 40 minutes of regulation, including 13-0 in the third. "We were fortunate to get a win, getting out-shot and out-played like we did over the final two periods," Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said. "The way we have been going [in recent games], we'll take everything we possibly can."

After a scoreless overtime Ron Wilson, the Toronto coach, put Curtis Joseph in the net for the shoot-out instead of Vesa Toskala, who had played in regulation. Joseph had an impressive record of five wins from eight shoot-outs, which probably was the reasoning behind Wilson's move. The move did not pay off, however, as Giguere stopped Nikolai Kulemin and Tomas Kaberle while Selanne and Perry fired shots past Joseph.

"I was playing percentages," Wilson said. "I had nothing to lose. The bottom line is that I saw a lot of good things from this team before the shoot-out too." Nik Antropov scored both goals for the Leafs in regulation, his second goal tying the game with Toskala on the bench for an extra attacker with less than a minute left. "We are playing hard each and every night," Antropov said. "We need to work on the shoot-outs though."

Toronto have now lost three games in shoot-outs this season. * Reuters