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Cheap Anaheim Ducks Jersey Wholesale From China For Sale

Anaheim Ducks

Anaheim Ducks

PITTSBURGH — John Gibson grew up in Pittsburgh. He downplayed his annual homecoming Saturday night, but his teammates with the Anaheim Ducks understood this wasn’t just any game and it wasn’t just any arena for the 24-year-old who has helped keep them afloat during an uneven first half of the season.

What better way to thank Gibson for hanging in there than helping him shut down the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions. Gibson turned aside 29 shots and the Ducks pounced on several sloppy mistakes by the Penguins in an easy 4-0 victory.

“It might sound silly, but for us, it was important,” said Anaheim defenseman Cam Fowler, who capped the scoring with his fourth goal of the season. “Mainly because of what John’s done for us all season. I mean, he’s stood on his head multiple times and given us opportunities to win hockey games.”

Gibson didn’t quite have to go that far in picking up his first victory in his hometown. The Penguins got to him for five goals last year and six in the 2015-16 season opener. They didn’t get one by him this time.

While he wasn’t particularly busy, Gibson’s night included a sprawling blocker save on Sidney Crosby in the second period that preserved a three-goal lead.

“Just throw something over there and hope (the puck) hits it,” Gibson said.

Rickard Rakell, Andrew Cogliano and Ondrej Kase also scored for the Ducks, who wrapped up a six-game road trip with a flourish.

“I think the last few games, we’ve obviously been playing a lot better, especially defensively,” Gibson said. “I think we’re kind of getting in our zone and feeling confident. Definitely trending in the right direction.”

The Penguins not so much.

Matt Murray made 10 saves on 13 shots before he was pulled early in the second period after Cogliano turned a short-handed breakaway into his fifth goal. The Penguins have lost five of seven and are one point out of last place in the Metropolitan Division.

“We made some big mistakes,” Crosby said. “Sometimes you can make those and get away with them and tonight they were big ones, some Grade A chances that we ended up giving up the other way.”

Two days after an emotionally charged shootout victory over Columbus that the Penguins hoped would be the start of a surge needed to get back in the mix, they instead fell into an all-too familiar pattern of questionable decision-making that ended with their goaltenders exposed and an early deficit.

“When you go down two goals early, it makes for an uphill battle and there’s been a lot of those lately,” coach Mike Sullivan said.

Kase pounced when a lazy and inaccurate cross-ice pass by Kris Letang intended for teammate Brian Dumoulin instead hit the boards behind Dumoulin and bounced toward the middle of the ice. Kase jumped on it, split Dumoulin and Letang and flipped a shot by Murray to put Anaheim up just 3:10 into the game.

Rakell doubled the lead when he took the puck away from newly acquired defenseman Jamie Oleksiak and slipped a shot by Murray that trickled between the goalie’s pads just past the midway point of the first period.

The Penguins had an early power-play chance in the second, but the momentum vanished quickly. Brandon Montour’s clear for Anaheim skipped by Crosby and went right to Cogliano. He broke in alone and beat Murray between the legs to make it 3-0 at 3:42, and Murray skated to the bench in favor of Tristan Jarry.

While Jarry allowed only Fowler’s power-play goal with just 3.4 seconds to go in the second, the damage was already done, leaving the 502nd consecutive sellout crowd at PPG Paints Arena to boo another listless night.

“We show signs of it where we put some games together where we’re playing to the identity that this group has had success with,” Sullivan said. “But we haven’t done it nearly consistently enough this year.”

NOTES: The Ducks finished their road trip 3-2-1. … Anaheim went 1 for 2 on the power play. The Penguins were 0 for 2 with the man advantage. … Pittsburgh scratched D Matt Hunwick and C Dominik Simon. … Anaheim scratched Ds Korbinian Holzer and Andy Welinski and F Dennis Rasmussen.

UP NEXT

Ducks: Begin a three-game homestand next Wednesday against Vegas.

Penguins: Face Columbus for the second time in less than a week on Wednesday. Pittsburgh beat the Blue Jackets 3-2 in a shootout on Dec. 21.

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Canadiens winger Max Pacioretty

Canadiens winger Max Pacioretty

Is Max Pacioretty in a slump or is he merely adjusting to the new reality of playing without Alex Radulov?

Pacioretty has scored only one goal in the last 11 games and he has eight goals for the season heading into Thursday’s home game against the Calgary Flames (7:30 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN-690, Radio).

When asked whether he was happy with his production, Pacioretty replied: “Not at all, but I like my game, it’s just that the chances aren’t there. It’s a different game than I’m used to and I have to adjust. I think it will make me a more multi-dimensional player.”

When asked what was different from last season, Pacioretty cited the absence of Radulov, who moved to Dallas after he became a free agent in July.

I’m trying to hold on to the puck longer a lot more where at times in the past, I would cycle and give it to 47 (Radulov) and then get lost and look for a scoring opportunity,” Pacioretty said. “I’m trying to hold it more and create opportunities for myself and the chances haven’t been there as much as I would like, but this is a completely different way to try to produce offence.”

Pacioretty has a reputation for being a perimeter player, but one of the ironies in his current slump is that most of the goals he has scored this season have come from close range.

“Almost all my goals have been a certain distance from the net,” Pacioretty said. “We have to find ways to create. By holding on to the puck longer, you want to tire out the defence and wait for them to make mistakes. I’ve always been able to score from distance, that’s my specialty, but I have to get in a position where I have chances.”

Pacioretty said he would like to emulate Radulov.

“Radu is one of the best puck possessors and he wore down the defence,” Pacioretty said. “He would tire them out and get a step and someone would have to come over to help out and then a player was open.”

While Pacioretty said he wasn’t happy with his numbers, he said he was pleased with the way the team was trending and he would help in whatever way he could.

Coach Claude Julien said he wasn’t overly concerned about the slump.

“He’s strong on the forecheck behind the net, he’s playing on the penalty kill,” Julien said. “I know you look at goal scorers and because they have x-amount of goals, that’s what we’re looking at. But Max is doing a lot of good things other than what we’re talking abut now. He’s also a guy when the pucks start going in for him, they come in bunches. I would expect that to happen as well.”

Speaking of which, it should be noted that, at this time last season, Pacioretty had eight goals. He started the push for his 35-goal season on Dec. 10 when he scored four goals against the Colorado Avalanche.

In other news, Jonathan Drouin is ready to rejoin the team as soon as he shakes off a flu bug that has kept him off the ice the past two days. He could face Calgary, but the more likely scenario is Saturday against Edmonton.

And Victor Mete was not among the 32 players invited to the national junior team training camp on Wednesday. There were no NHL players invited to the camp but he may still added to the squad.

Julien said no decision has been made on making Mete available for the world junior championships, but he said the Canadiens would do what was best for Mete and the team.

Canadiens’ prospect Will Bitten was not among the invited players. He was at the summer camp, but has struggled this season with the Hamilton Bulldogs.

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Jonathan Quick makes the save against Brandon Sutter

Jonathan Quick makes the save against Brandon Sutter

LOS ANGELES — You’re often supposed to be careful what you wish for.

Travis Green knew what awaited his club Tuesday and he sounded part hopeful and part prophet.

“It’s a good challenge, a big challenge and I like it when you face some hard games,” the Vancouver Canucks coach said just before his club met the Los Angeles Kings. “You learn a lot about your team. And there might not be a bigger challenge in our division than coming into L.A.”

Well, he nailed that one.

The Canucks dug a two-goal hole before four minutes elapsed against the National Hockey League’s second-stingiest team and top-ranked penalty kill. They were overmatched and even overwhelmed at the outset and looked like they were going to go quietly into the SoCal night.

Then Derek Dorsett got mad.

Then the Canucks got resilient.

Then they found new power play combinations that actually worked.

It turned the improbable into an impressive 3-2 victory. And it capped a revealing four-game road trip in which the Canucks rode a roller-coaster of indifferent play yet finished 2-2 because they finally found some power play mojo.

Here’s what we learned:
Boeser and the dot

Brock Boeser was feeling it. He not only got to the faceoff dot on a new-look power play to let that heavy wrist shot go, it struck Jonathan Quick on the shoulder and Bo Horvat was there to jam home the rebound.

The goal was encouraging on several fronts.

For starters, there was movement. There was the symmetry of Henrik and Daniel Sedin and the smart cross-ice pass by the captain to find Boeser in his favourite shooting spot.

What took so long?

It was also Henrik’s first power play point of the season and the centre actually started the comeback. His shot off the wall went off the butt of Nick Short and found the short side.

And because you can’t really quibble with the Canucks’ play at even strength, the power play adjustment ended an 0-for-11 funk after being blanked with the man advantage in San Jose and Anaheim.

Green had three different power play alignments in practice Monday and said he had options. And his gut told him to find the right shooter and net-presence guy to complement the Sedins. It not only worked, it’s a bonafide first unit because there’s a passer, shooter and finisher.

If that wasn’t enough man-advantage hope, the game winner started with a sweet cross-ice feed by Thomas Vanek to Sven Baertschi on the second power play unit. He got Quick moving the wrong way and went far side.
Dorsett being Dorsett

Green didn’t expect Derek Dorsett to back down against the Kings, even though the pesky winger and leading goal scorer is skating on thin suspension ice. He has two instigator penalties and a third warrants a two-game suspension.

That didn’t stop Dorsett when he attempted to shift momentum after the Kings needed just 23 seconds to open scoring on Anders Nilsson, who got better as the game progressed. He stopped Tanner Pearson on a short-handed break with the game tied 2-2 early in the third period and then stopped Adrian Kempe with 3:48 left.

Dorsett took on Andy Andreoff but made sure he didn’t start the bout or throw the first punch. After that, he landed several blows.

The Canucks attempted to get Dorsett’s instigator penalty Thursday in Anaheim against Josh Manson rescinded, but the league cited distance travelled and fight initiation in its ruling. So, what do you say to a guy who needs to play on the edge, but not go over it?

“There’s not much to say,” said Green. “He’s an aggressive player and sticks up for his teammates. You never want to take that away from a player. I think both of his instigator calls could have gone either way, to be honest.

“He’s not a guy who goes and instigates a lot fights — he fights straight up his whole career.”
Gaunce versus Virtanen

Green said his rationale for playing Brendan Gaunce with Sutter and Dorsett was based on moving Markus Granlund to the middle between Vanek and Sam Gagner. Gaunce is a big body, but so is Jake Virtanen and there’s the debate.

Both have played 80 NHL games, but Virtanen is a better skater, has more scoring potential and Tuesday was tailor made to bring physicality back to his game. He sat while Gaunce took a bad offensive-zone tripping penalty in the first period that led to an Anze Kopitar goal.

You could argue giving Virtanen more minutes on a shutdown line might be too big an ask, but why not find out? Then again, it was Gaunce’s backhand saucer pass that sprung Sutter and resulted in his failed penalty shot.

OVERTIME: Green said he expects to have Chris Tanev (thumb) back in 1 1/2 weeks. That might make the defenceman eligible to return at some point in the team’s six-game road trip that opens next Tuesday in Philadelphia.