Bobby Ryan unveiled a new aspect of his game — straight to the shoulder of Edmonton’s Sam Gagner, viciously knocking the Oilers’ forward off his feet with full force at 8:04 of the first period. That brought out the first (but not the last) chants of “Bob-by, Bob-by!” from 17,257 at Honda Center. It also gave the Oilers their favorite target for the final two and a half periods.
Twice Ryan was the victim of a high-stick to the face, the latter of which sent Jean-Francois Jacques to the sin bin for a four-minute double minor late in the third period.
Ryan needed stitches at midgame to close the first wound. Welcome to the playoff chase, Bobby.
“That’s a little bit of baptism by fire,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. “You play in these tough games, playoff-type hockey, and it’s going to be physical. Every player’s going to get involved in it. It’s not going to be playing the outside. You’ve got to be inside, and be willing to go into these tough areas and pay the price.”