By Adam Brady
ANAHEIM – The NHL’s top team definitely looked the part in a 5-2 takedown of the Phoenix Coyotes tonight at Honda Center.
Rookie defenseman Hampus Lindholm had his first career goal and an assist, and the Ducks power play broke out of a season-long slump, as Anaheim won its sixth straight at home and sixth of the last seven overall. Anaheim remains at the top of the NHL standings with a 13-3-1 record after slowing a Phoenix team that came in tonight riding a five-game winning streak.
Lindholm got the tying goal and assisted on the eventual game-winner late in the second period on a night when his father Jonas was among the home crowd.
Fellow defenseman Cam Fowler had his first goal of the season and emphasized the importance of tonight's game. "We knew the type of roll Phoenix was on coming in here, and it seems like nobody seems to be losing in our division right now," he said. "We understood how important these two points were, and luckily we were able to come out and put a good effort out there."
Phoenix scored the game’s first goal 4:25 in the first period, as perennial Ducks-killer Shane Doan took a headman pass from Mike Ribeiro on the breakaway and slipped the puck under Jonas Hiller.
Anaheim got even with five minutes left in the stanza on the milestone goal from 19-year-old Lindholm, playing in his 15th career game. The young Swede was set up by Mathieu Perreault, who showed patience on the rush before dishing the puck to Lindholm for the wrister from the top of the slot.
"I got a really good pass from Mathieu," said Lindholm, taken by the Ducks with the sixth pick of the 2012 draft. "The goalie was deep in the net, so I just tried to get a shot quick on the net. I saw it glide in, and it was a very good feeling."
Said Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau, "It’s nice to see anybody get their first goal. He was jumping up into the play which is what we’ve been trying to get the D to do, to get more offense from them. So, him doing that and getting that first goal is always pretty nice for a coach to see."
A Corey Perry tripping penalty led to Phoenix’s go-ahead goal 12:40 into the second, as Michael Stone went give-and-go with David Moss before one-timing it through from the right circle.
Anaheim tied it again on the power play with 4:24 left in the period, as Ryan Getzlaf tagged a one-timer that deflected off Martin Hanzal’s stick and darted inside the left post.
The Ducks went in front with just 1.1 left in the period, again with a big play from Lindholm. With the Ducks skating with an extra man thanks to a delayed penalty call, Lindholm one-timed a slap shot from the point that just ticked off Perry’s stick blade before getting behind goalie Mike Smith. It looked at first that Lindholm got the goal, but replays showed that Perry made slight contact with the puck.
Anaheim took a two-goal lead halfway through the third period on the power play, as Nick Bonino pulled the puck back on the faceoff, and Fowler hammered a one-timer that sailed over Smith’s glove.
The Ducks entered the night last in the league in power-play percentage at a 6.67 clip, but were two for four tonight.
The Ducks put it away with 1:02 left in the game as Andrew Cogliano filled an empty net from center ice. Cogliano appeared to hurt himself seconds earlier near the wall in front of the Ducks bench, but got up limping and found the puck at the red line before sliding it into the abandoned net.
The Ducks look to make it seven straight at home Friday night against Buffalo.
The Ducks are 6-0-0 at Honda Center this season, the best HOME start in club history (prior to the start of the season, the club never won more than two straight at home). The Ducks are the only NHL club with a perfect start at HOME this season. The last NHL team to start a season with a perfect 6-0-0 HOME record was Washington in 2011-12 (also 6-0-0). In addition, the club has outscored its opposition 26-10 in those six contests.
Anaheim’s seven-game standings point streak (6-0-1) is the longest current streak in the NHL.
Anaheim’s league-leading 13-3-1 (27 points) start is just one point shy of the club record for standings points through 17 games (28 points, 2006-07).
Corey Perry scored his League-leading fourth game-winning goal of the season tonight. With the game-winning goal, Perry passed Paul Kariya for sole possession of second in all-time GWG with 45 (Selanne, 75). Perry leads the NHL with 26 GWG since the start of the 2010-11 season (Stamkos second with 24). He has picked up 5-3=8 points with a +7 rating over the last seven contests. His 10 goals this season lead the Ducks and rank tied for fourth in the NHL overall.
The Ducks have scored 26 goals through the first six HOME contests, matching the most through six in club history (also 1995-96).
The Ducks have allowed just 10 goals against their opponents at HOME, the fewest allowed to start a season at HOME in franchise history (previously 11, 2007-08, not counting Sept. 30, 2007 contest in London).
Ryan Getzlaf has earned 4-5=9 points with a +7 rating over the last seven games. His team-leading 7-11=18 points this season rank tied for seventh in the NHL.
Hampus Lindholm scored his first NHL goal tonight at 19 years, nine months and 17 days. His +13 rating this season (+2 tonight) leads all NHL rookies and ranks tied for second overall in the NHL.
Dustin Penner leads the NHL with a +15 rating on the season (+2 tonight). Anaheim is 9-0-1 with Penner in the lineup.
Mathieu Perreault ranks third on Anaheim with 5-9=14 points this season. He has earned 1-4=5 points with a +7 rating in his last four games.
Tonight’s attendance was 14,045.
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