The old adage is that it’s sometimes better to be lucky than good. Kyle Palmieri of the Anaheim Ducks has been a little of both in their first-round matchup with the Detroit Red Wings.
Palmieri has three goals and two assists in six games, tying him for the team lead in goals and points. His plus-5 leads the Ducks.
He’s been able to accomplish this in just 10:19 time on ice per game. His highest total was 12:59 in Game 1; in Game 6, he skated just 8:45.
But he scored a game-tying goal in Game 5. In Game 6, he scored his third goal of the playoffs on a bit of a lucky bounds off of Red Wings defender Brendan Smith:
He’s even survived a Kronwall’ing in this series.
The fourth line for the Ducks has been among their best, as Palmieri, Emerson Etem and David Steckel have made the most of their minutes. Said Coach Bruce Boudreau to the Detroit News:
"I think that's been a strength all year," Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said after his team's morning skate. "If you look at the teams, we were in the top 10 in scoring and nobody with more than 15 goals. I think it's a good thing that if one line is not going at any point in a game or for a couple games, we've got other lines to pick up the slack.”
The Ducks and Red Wings faceoff in a Game 7 on Sunday. They’ll need more heroics from players like Palmieri, even in limited minutes, to overcome Detroit.