By Adam Brady
Chemistry can be a funny thing. It can be overrated. It can be underappreciated. It can stem from the unlikeliest of sources at the unlikeliest of times.
The loss of Teemu Selanne for more than a month with a broken hand was once thought to be devastating for the Ducks’ second forward line. But thanks in part to the stellar play of rookie Dan Sexton, that line of Sexton, Saku Koivu and Bobby Ryan has been blazing in the last week.
Sexton scored a big goal in Anaheim’s 3-1 win at Columbus on Saturday night, giving him four goals in his five NHL games since being called up for the first time on Dec. 3 in the wake of Selanne’s injury. Among active players, only Selanne and Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin have more goals (five) in their first five NHL games than Sexton.
And while the 22-year-old out of Bowling Green is thrilled with his hot start, he isn’t overly surprised with his ability to mesh with his talented linemates.
“When I came in, I just looked at it as I’m playing with two good players,” said Sexton, who was recalled by Anaheim after 18 games in Bakersfield of the ECHL and five with Manitoba of the AHL. “I didn’t know what else to think. I didn’t know about chemistry or anything. I just said I’m going to try to keep up. So far it’s just kind of worked out to the point where we’ve made a lot of good plays and we’ve been rewarded for them.”