Anaheim 3, Chicago 1
ANAHEIM, Calif - Teemu Selanne and Joffrey Lupul scored third period goals, Rob Niedermayer added an empty net tally and Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 34 shots as the Ducks beat the Chicago Blackhawks, 3-1, on Sunday evening at the Arrowhead Pond.
Chicago and Anaheim skated to a scoreless stalemate for nearly 50 minutes in the hockey game.
“From our perspective, we weren’t very good in the first period,” said Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle. “We were downright ugly. But we got it going in the second period. What we really tried to do is try to be ten percent better as a group. We’ve got five or six guys battling stomach flu and it showed in our energy level.”
The Mighty Ducks received another strong outing from their young netminder who savored Sunday’s victory against his Russian counterpart Nikolai Khabibulin.
“We’re both Russian goalies and he’s a great goalie, so it’s a great feeling to beat him,” said Bryzgalov.
Selanne (14, Lupul, McDonald) broke the scoreless tie at 9:29 of the third period when the winger slipped past Blackhawks captain Adrian Aucoin and banged a rebound past Khabibulin.
Lupul (9, Hedstrom) scored what would prove to be the game-winner at 16:26 of the third period to give the Ducks a 2-0 lead. Jonathan Hedstrom fed Lupul who finished a two-on-one with a backhander past Khabibulin for his ninth tally of the season.
“I hadn’t had a goal in a while before tonight, and I’m a guy who plays lots of minutes for us, so I should be scoring,” said Lupul. “Sometimes it feels like you’re getting goals when you shouldn’t and other times you’re right there and they’re not going in. If we just keep working hard and shooting the puck and going to the net, the goals will come.”
Chicago's Mark Bell (10, Ellison, Calder) scored his 10th goal of the season with his own net empty to cut the Ducks lead to 2-1 at 18:02 of the third period. Blackhawks head coach Trent Yawney pulled his goaltender with more than three minutes to play in favor of the extra attacker.
The Ducks would answer with an open-net tally by Rob Niedermayer (5, Beauchemin) to seal the victory.
“We did what we needed to do to win tonight, said Lupul. “We could have been a little better and a lot sharper, especially in the first period. But the bottom line is we won the game.”
Anaheim has won three of their last four games and the Ducks are 2-0 on this current five-game homestand.
The Ducks will face the Phoenix Coyotes on Wednesday at 7:30 PM at the Arrowhead Pond.