By Adam Brady
ANAHEIM – Just about the only negative thing you can say about the Anaheim Ducks right now is that they won't be at home for the next week.
The Ducks showed once again how comfortable they've made themselves at Honda Center, pulling off a 4-2 victory over the Blues in front of a sellout crowd that was a team record-tying 11th straight win at home.
Despite starting the game sluggishly and getting outshot 31-22, the Ducks got some timely scoring and a solid game from Jonas Hiller (29 saves) in grinding out another comeback victory. Corey Perry scored twice in the third period (the last an empty-netter) and Francois Beauchemin had three assists on the evening.
“We’ve played in all different situations throughout the year," said Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf, who assisted on Perry's game-winning goal. "We’ve played with leads, we’ve played from behind. We’ve won close games and other games. When you’re playing well, you try to stick with that confidence that you have the ability to do it. Stick with your system that works. And that’s what good teams do.
"The game is three periods long and whenever you win it, you win it.”
The win improved the Ducks to 18-3-3 at the halfway point of the season, their best start through 24 games in club history.
"It feels good," Perry said. "Everybody here knows what’s going on and the role they’re supposed to be playing. Everyone is adapting to it. We’re staying positive when we get down in games, whether it’s early or like tonight in the third period, we find a way to win. We don’t deviate from our game plan. It has definitely helped us confidence-wise, especially when it starts from the goalie right on up.”
The Blues took a short-lived lead just 1:41 into the third period, and a half-minute after the Ducks failed to cash in on a period-opening power play. After Bobby Ryan’s second penalty of the year (a tripping call), St. Louis’ Patrik Berglund fired a shot from the top of the left wing circle that sailed through a David Backes screen through Hiller.
But Ryan made up for the penalty soon afterward, as a Francois Beauchemin one-timer hit Ryan Getzlaf in the back, and Ryan pounced on the loose puck before punching it through to tie it.
A little more than two minutes later, Getzlaf helped give the Ducks their first lead on the power play, as he faked a slap shot, then sent it on net, where Perry tipped it past Jaroslav Halak.
Perry put the game away with 20.0 seconds left and Halak on the bench for an extra attacker. He got the puck from Beauchemin at the blue line, faked like he wanted to bank it off the wall, then sent it past defenseman Alex Pietrangelo and into the empty net.
St. Louis scored the game’s first goal 6:09 into the opening period, as Wade Redden threw the puck into traffic and it was tipped past Hiller by Ryan Reaves.
Anaheim didn’t tie it up until 11:36 remained in the second period on a beauty of a shorthanded goal by Andrew Cogliano. With St. Louis on the power play, Emerson Etem made a nifty pass to catch Cogliano in full flight. Cogliano chipped it off the boards and by a Blues defenseman and wristed a shot past Halak on the breakaway.
“Those are massive plays when you‘re talking about momentum shifts within a game," Getzlaf said. "It gets us right into the game. It allows us to keep pushing forward.”
That goal came a few minutes after the Ducks missed a golden opportunity to score during a lengthy two-man advantage, but the league’s top power play couldn’t convert and was 1 for 7 in the game.
The Ducks have to leave Honda Center next week, as they play at Minnesota in the first of three road games.
“When you believe you can win, when you’ve been in all situations, it really helps," said Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau. "If we were a team that was 5 and 12 or something, we probably would’ve said, ‘Here we go again. We played good.’ But when you’re a team that has had a little bit of success here, you’re going to start thinking you’re going to find a way.”
Nick Bonino was a late scratch for tonight’s game with flu-like symptoms.
Anaheim’s 11-game HOME winning streak ties the club record. The club also accomplished the feat Dec. 8, 2009 – Feb. 10, 2010. Since the start of the 2009-10 season, there have been only four instances in which a club has won as many as 11 straight home games – twice by the Ducks. The other two instances were Detroit in 2011-12 (23 games) and Washington (under Bruce Boudreau) in 2010-11 (13 games). Anaheim’s 11-1-0 record at Honda Center is the club’s best HOME record to start a season.
Anaheim’s 18-3-3 record (39 points) is the club’s best-ever mark through 24 games (previously 16-2-6 for 38 points in 2006-07). The club has won three straight games (3-0-0) and earned standings points in seven straight (5-0-2, 12 points). Additionally, the Ducks have picked up points in 13 of the last 14 contests overall (11-1-2, 24 points).
The Ducks have gone 11-for-28 on the power play since Feb. 18 vs. Columbus, a 39.3% success rate. Anaheim leads the NHL in power play percentage this season (20-for-72, 27.8%).
With two games in hand, Anaheim’s 39 points are good for second in the NHL and six points shy of league-leading Chicago (26 games, 21-2-3, 45 points).
Corey Perry scored his fifth game-winner of the season tonight, ranking tied for second in the NHL (first on the Ducks. With a two-goal game tonight, he has points in four straight (4-2=6, +6) and has earned 8-10=18 points (+11) over the last 12 contests (points in 11 of the 12). Perry’s nine goals on the season rank second on the Ducks.
Ryan Getzlaf has a 10-game point streak at HOME (6-12=18, +11) and a four-game point streak overall (3-6=9). Getzlaf has earned 7-15=22 points with a +11 rating over the last 13 games. His team-leading 10-21=31 points rank fifth in the NHL.
Bobby Ryan extended his point streak to a career-tying seven games (3-5=8). It is his third career seven-game streak, with the previous two taking place from Dec. 8-22, 2009 (3-6=9) and Jan. 16-31, 2009 (5-3=8).
Tonight marked Andrew Cogliano’s fourth career shorthanded goal (last:Mar. 5, 2011 with Edmonton at Colorado). He has earned 4-3=7 points with a +7 rating over the last six games. His eight goals on the season rank third on the club.
Jonas Hiller has won his last five HOME contests, stopping 123-of-132 shots for a 1.78 GAA (9 GA/304 MIN) and .932 SV% in that span.
Tonight marked Francois Beauchemin’s fourth career 3+ assist game (most recently had a four-assist game on Feb. 24 vs. Colorado). His 2-14=16 points this season leads club defensemen and ranks tied for 10th among NHL blueliners.
Tonight’s attendance was 17,174, a sellout
20:00 - END OF GAME - This one's over, 4-2
19:20 - ANAHEIM GOAL (EMPTY NET) - COREY PERRY - Perry picks up the puck near his red line and looks like he wants to bank it off the wall. That fake gets Pietrangelo to move over, allowing Perry to fling it into the empty net and ice this thing. He puts his hands up in the air in a "Hey, look at me" gesture and it's 4-2. Ducks.
18:50 - Halak to the bench.
18:30 - Getzlaf, Perry and Selanne out there right now, looking for an insurance marker.
17:42 - Selanne somehow beats Pietrangelo to the puck to avoid the icing call, then feeds nicely in front to Beleskey. Mildly impressive. He's 42.
16:50 - Hiller drops a Schwartz shot with the glove, but quickly smothers it.
15:00 - Ryan has trouble getting back to the blue line after his stick gets stuck in a skate, but does just in time for Perry to try a slap shot that gets blocked.
13:40 - Cracknell tries a wraparound, but Hiller is there.
11:45 - Souray winds and fires, kicked away.
10:09 - STL Penalty - Ric Jackman, 2 min. slashing. Jackman and Perry exchange a couple of half-hearted, one-handed pushes, and then Jackman takes it up a notch by slashing Perry in the back of the leg. He'll pay for it.
8:10 - Getzlaf slips a pass through traffic that Ryan nearly cashes in.
5:20 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - COREY PERRY- The Ducks' patience on that power play finally pays off, as Getzlaf surveys the scene at the top of the right wing circle, and slings a shot on net that Perry tips through Halak. They originally credit the goal to Perry, but change it after seeing the replay. Either way, it's 3-2 Ducks.
3:41 - STL Penalty - Roman Polak, 2 min. tripping. Ducks get another shot on the power polay after Polak takes down Koivu.
3:11 - ANAHEIM GOAL - BOBBY RYAN - Ryan makes up for that penalty in a hurry, as Beauchemin tags a one-timer that hits Getzlaf in the back and Ryan pounces on the loose puck and punches it in. He jumps off the glass to celebrate it and we're tied 2-2.
1:41 - ST. LOUIS GOAL (POWER PLAY) - PATRIK BERGLUND - The Blues strike early into the power play, as Berglund skates toward the top of the left wing circle and fires a shot through a Backes screen that beats Hiller. It's 2-1.
1:17 - ANA Penalty - Bobby Ryan, 2 min. tripping. Ryan dives and trips up Polak, just before Getzlaf drills Oshie into the glass.
1:09 - Ducks look a little out of sorts on that power play. One shot.
0:00 - We drop the puck for the third with the Ducks on the PP.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Cogliano gets a shorty to make it 1-1, and the Ducks will have 1:09 of power play time when we start the third.
19:08 - STL Penalty - Kris Russell, 2 min. hooking. Russell gets tangled up with Winnik near the Blues blue line.
17:58 - Hiller gloves a Backes slapper.
17:18 - Ryan with a pass from behind the net to Getzlaf, who is stopped by Halak, though he can't find the puck.
Just reported: Bonino has the flu and won't play tonight.
14:09 - Selanne swipes the puck and nearly sneaks it by Halak, then takes a hit for it.
12:15 - Etem absolutely killing it out there. Flying.
9:20 - Ryan flips a pretty backhand in front to Perry, who just misses making it 2-1.
8:24 - ANAHEIM GOAL (SHORTHANDED) - ANDREW COGLIANO - Cogliano quickly makes up for the missed opportunity, as he's off and running with the puck that came off the boards from Etem, and he wrists a shot on the breakaway past Halak. We're tied 1-1 on Cogliano's nine of the season.
8:15 - Etem and Cogliano on the shorthanded 2 on 1, but Etem's pass gets by Cogliano.
6:56 - Ducks on the PK all of a sudden.
6:26 - ANA Penalty - Corey Perry, 2 min. interference. Costly one as Perry knocks down Pietrangelo in front of the net.
6:10 - Selanne whacks at a loose puck, into Halak's belly. Ducks trying to find the perfect pass on this 5 on 3.
4:56 - STL Penalty - Barret Jackman, 2 min. slashing. With the Ducks already on the power play, Jackman costs the Ducks some money when he slashes Getzlaf's stick in half.
4:30 - STL Penalty - TJ Oshie, 2 min. goaltender interference. Some contact between TJ and JH.
4:25 - A couple of scary moments in front of the Anaheim net. Blues own this period so far.
0:10 - Bonino not on the Ducks bench. We'll have a report as soon as we can.
0:00 - Off and running in the second.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Reaves' goal is all the scoring in that period as the Ducks trail it 1-0.
19:52 - St. Louis escapes on that power play.
19:00 - Selanne gets in deep for a couple of shots, but Halak is a wall.
17:52 - STL Penalty - Wade Redden, 2 min. hooking. Getzlaf runs down the puck at center ice and draws the hook, just before making a nice backhand feed to McMillan, who's stopped by Halak.
16:50 - Hiller kicks away an Oshie bid.
16:23 - ANA Penalty - Matt Beleskey, 2 min. tripping. Beleskey takes down Redden in the corner.
15:45 - For some reason, Nick Bonino has yet to take a shift. Not sure why.
14:45 - Holland with a heck of a shot from the wing that's saved, but Winnik was celebrating.
14:24 - Ducks don't get it done on this power play.
12:24 - STL Penalty - Adam Cracknell, 2 min. tripping. Cracknell takes down Lovejoy away from the puck.
11:50 - Polak steps up to meet a puck off the wall and rips a one-timer that clangs the outside of the pipe.
10:38 - Hiller with a good stop as Oshie provides some traffic.
9:35 - Hiller with a nice gut stop as Berglund slings one at him from the right wing.
During the timeout, two guys (one of them with a mustache that makes his resemble 1980s Bill Buckner) battle in lip-syncing to Hit Me Baby, One More Time by Britney Spears and they're VERY into it. The winner? Neither of them, if you ask me.
6:09 - ST. LOUIS GOAL - RYAN REAVES - The puck comes out to Redden at the point, and he saucers it toward the net, where it possibly hits off McMillan's stick, but Reaves gets a piece of it to send it past Hiller. It's 1-0 Blues.
4:30 - Ducks pepper the net out of the timeout, as Ryan, Getzlaf and Perry each get shots at it.
3:56 - St. Louis takes an oddly timed timeout. They may have been gassed after an icing call forced them to leave their unit on the ice.
0:40 - Lovejoy's one-timer from the point is the Ducks' first shot of the day.
0:00 - And we're underway at Honda Center.
It's Hiller vs. Halak in net tonight. Staubitz scratched and McMillan gets a chance.
Starters in bold/italics.
|ST. LOUIS BLUES||ANAHEIM DUCKS|