Not only had the WILD a win vs Bruins, with Backstrom in goal (48 saves!!!), Chad Rau's second period starter goal from Hedley and Clutterbuck followed by Cullen's goal with Setoguchi and Spurgeon on a PP, the game was enlivened by a fight between Thornton and Kassian in the 3rd.
AND in Sunrise at the Bankamerica Center in front of close to 17,000 fans including yours truly and Better Half the Anaheim Duck's Hiller got a shutout (saved all 31 SoGs) as well , which earned him the Number 1 star honors. And was he ever hot, making saves that seemed impossible. Saves when it looked as if he just did it without really seeing the puck.Somehow he MUST have just sensed it. Stunning.
Not that the Panthers were sweet lil Pussycats on ice. They skated aggressively, gave him a work out. The goal by Ducks, Selanne (number 2 Star) with Ryan and Koivu (not the Wild brother, a course) stayed the only one until the last minute of period 3 when Hagman from Perry and Getzlaf put the icing on the cake for the Ducks by getting, finally, an empty netter, after at least 4 attempts at such went awry.
Some familiar names were discovered on the various jerseys:
Theodore (once a Wild) 60 in goal (getting number 3 Star), Yonkman as 34, Robak 47, Strachan 23 in the Blues of the Panthers 3rd. Jersey instead of the Black of the Rampage, or the White as the case may be.
Saku, that is) 11, Beauchemin 23 (no relation to Rejean Beauchemin, a once Aeros, now CHL Goalie), and Getzlaf 15, of course Hiller wearing the number 1, and getting the number 1 star, too.
As already said, he really was HOT tonight
And as entertainment of the masses a fight took place between a ducky Parros and Panther Barch.
Few penalties called, some apparently not seen by any ref- none leading to PP goals.
Even the double minor for high sticking by Visnovsky (Ducks pp kill was effortlessly in evidence here) after a blatent hit in the face of Samuelsson.
A fast paced game, and a rather exciting one, even though neither team is a favorite, except for my neighbours at the rail a Quebecois couple on a lam from winter in warm Florida who favored the Panthers. With some difficulties in understanding their French I gathered that they promised to watch out for us next Sunday, when the Habs play at Sunrise and we will be there again while they are at home in Quebec and watch it on TV..
Me, wearing purple and black will be handily identified in center ice section 119 at railing, behing the penalty boxes, LOL. I swore I shall wave excitedly into the camera... "bon soir mes amis"!
Or wink :-) exaggeratedly...lookee we are still here.
Photos after returning next week...chers readers, be patient.