On a night when Ryan Getzlaf missed his first game of the season — along with injured forwards Teemu Selanne and Joffrey Lupul — Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle had his work cut out for him Tuesday against the Minnesota Wild. Divvying up the time on ice was a challenge, but the end result was a 4-2 victory.
The line of Bobby Ryan (18:27 TOI), Saku Koivu (20:26) and Dan Sexton (13:52) had a monster night, combining for three goals, three assists and a plus-7 rating. Ryan Carter (16:55) and Kyle Chipchura (19:26) both recorded season-highs in time on ice alongside Corey Perry (20:32) on a makeshift “first” line.
Troy Bodie (11:23) made his season debut at right wing with left wing Matt Beleskey (12:59) and center Todd Marchant (17:43), but spent more time (technically 12:00) in the penalty box. He incurred a two-minute unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and 10-minute misconduct for throwing punches with Minnesota’s John Scott, after the two had dropped gloves but were told not to fight. (Bodie, for his part, said “I’m not going to skate off and let him clock me,” after Scott literally shoved a linesman out of his way).
Evgeny Artyukhin (5:03) played his first game since Dec. 8 at left wing with Petteri Nokelainen (8:32) at center and Mike Brown (6:24) at right wing.
The Ducks’ bottom six looked just as different as their top six, and responded equally well to the change of scenery. Marchant “played his best game of the year,” in Carlyle’s opinion, saving his best work for a 6-on-4 penalty-kill, along with Koivu, James Wisniewski and Scott Niedermayer, over the game’s final 48 seconds.
Marchant was rewarded when he sprinted to track down a puck headed into the Minnesota zone, and scored into an empty net, with 9.4 seconds left in the game.
And for the record, your top three defensemen, in terms of minutes played: Ryan Whitney (25:41), Wisniewski (22:09) and Sheldon Brookbank (22:00). Niedermayer clocked in at 21:22.