It was only one game, against a team hobbled by injuries, in early October when games tend to get lost in hindsight — but the Ducks did kill all four of their penalties on Wednesday against the Minnesota Wild.
What’s more, they did it without overstraining their usual PK suspects;Todd Marchant (4:21) chipped in the most of any Ducks forward but got help from Ryan Getzlaf (3:12), Saku Koivu (3:39), Joffrey Lupul (2:40) –even Bobby Ryan for a good 69 seconds.
“I think we’re just experiencing different looks,” Ryan said. “(The penalty kill) hasn’t gone as well on the road trip and in a few other games, we’ve given up too many chances. I think it’s just trying new personnel, trying to find if guys are capable.”
They were all capable on Wednesday, which hopefully serves as a building block for a team that had allowed a league-worst eight power play goals in its first five games.
“I did notice we had a couple short-handed chances — that’s probably first and foremost, that we created more,” head coach Randy Carlyle said. “You don’t go into killing a penalty with those expectations. I think our structure was better. We were better at opportunities to clear the puck, and I think the biggest thing was our faceoffs” — 5-of-7 on the PK and 28-of-51 overall.
The Blues learned Friday they’ll be without forward Alex Steen, who has a fractured wrist, for six-to-eight weeks. Steen is one of the Blues’ top penalty-killing forwards.