The Anaheim Ducks will take their confidence on the road and hope their recent success follows when they visit the Vancouver Canucks in the opener of a two-game trip on Tuesday night.
The Ducks have won four in a row for the first time in nearly three years after sweeping their four-game homestand against the Montreal Canadiens, New Jersey Devils, Arizona Coyotes and St. Louis Blues by a combined score of 15-4.
“The greatest thing that we have right now on this team is competition,” Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said following a 4-1 win against the Blues on Sunday.
After struggling to find a role with the Ducks his first three seasons in Anaheim, right wing Troy Terry has taken some of the biggest strides in the NHL this season.
Terry is riding an 11-game point streak with eight goals and six assists in that span. It’s the longest point streak in the NHL this season and the longest by an Anaheim player since Ryan Getzlaf also produced an 11-game streak from Feb. 8-28, 2016.
“I was fortunate to kind of get off to a good start and just get a couple of points early, and feel good and kind of take that pressure off and just play,” Terry said. “It’s amazing when you just come to the rink not worried about anything else.”
The Canucks enter the game on a high note as well.
They scored four goals in the second period to overcome an early 1-0 deficit against the visiting Dallas Stars on Sunday and eventually win 6-3.
“It’s just one game,” said Vancouver center J.T. Miller, who scored two goals against the Stars. “It’s important that we keep this going into the next one.”
The Ducks and Canucks haven’t played since Feb. 16, 2020, a 5-1 win by Anaheim in Vancouver.
The Ducks averaged about half that many goals that season (2.56), which was third-fewest in the NHL. They were the lowest-scoring team in the league last season (2.21).
Anaheim has changed course this season, however.
The Ducks are averaging 3.23 goals a game, which was 10th in the NHL entering Monday night’s games.
The boost in offense can be traced to Anaheim’s power play, which finished last in the NHL last season at 8.9 percent, the lowest mark in the league since they began tracking the statistic in the 1977-78 season.
The Ducks have been successful on 27.3 percent of their power plays this season, which ranks sixth in the league entering Monday.
“When you’re going out there and you feel like we’re going to score, it’s a better feeling to have with the power play,” said Terry, who has scored three of his eight goals with the man-advantage. “The big talk for us is not being satisfied that we’re doing good and just getting better.”
The Canucks haven’t seen as big a jump in their offensive numbers, but their scoring is up to 2.67 goals a game from 2.64 last season, and their power-play success has increased from 17.4 percent to 18.4.
Vancouver scored three goals with the man-advantage in the win against the Stars on Sunday.
“Opponents had figured us out and we just tried to come up with new ways and get some movement,” Canucks forward Elias Pettersson said. “Let our skill take over and not just have set plays.”
–Field Level Media