By Adam Brady
ANAHEIM – It was Throwback Night at Honda Center, and the Anaheim Ducks definitely looked mighty in this one.
On a night where they turned back the clock 20 years to 1993 and honored the original Mighty Ducks team, this year’s Ducks dominated the visiting Ottawa Senators from start to finish in a 4-1 victory in front of an enthusiastic sellout crowd of 17,177.
Clad in their old Mighty Ducks uniforms, Anaheim set a franchise record for shots on goal with 56 (breaking the old mark of 54 against Edmonton in 2009), burying four of them to earn a fourth straight victory. Corey Perry had a pair of goals and came within a whisker of a third in pacing the Ducks (4-1-0).
Just before the game, 15 members of the original (1993-94) Mighty Ducks were honored with a ceremonial puck drop, and the current Ducks didn’t take long to get things going after that. They set a franchise record for shots in a first period with an eye-opening 24 in the opening stanza, converting two of those courtesy of a couple of guys who actually once wore the eggplant and jade – Perry and Ryan Getzlaf.
Just 27 seconds into the game, right off a Getzlaf faceoff win, Patrick Maroon sent the puck from the right faceoff circle into the slot, where Perry banged it home.
Less than four minutes later, rookie Hampus Lindholm sent a shot on net from the point that kicked hard off goalie Craig Anderson, and Getzlaf sent it through from the slot. It was the first career point for the 19-year-old Lindholm, who wasn’t even born when the Ducks played their first game on October 8, 1993.
Ottawa pulled Anderson for backup Robin Lehner, who fared better despite being peppered by Anaheim shots.
The Sens got one back with less than a minute left in the period, as former Duck Bobby Ryan got free near the left post and got a nice feed from Kyle Turris for the easy goal.
It was more of the same in the second period for Anaheim, as Perry got his second of the game just 3:18 into the session. On the rush, Lindholm made a nice backhand feed across the slot to a streaking Perry, who went on one knee to plant it inside the near post.
Later in the period, Perry was robbed of a hat trick by Lehner, who splayed across the crease and stuck out a leg pad to deny what looked like a sure goal.
The Ducks ultimately did get a fourth goal with 4:32 left in the period, as Nick Bonino picked up the puck right off a draw in the Ottawa end and fired it inside the left post.
Jonas Hiller, who sported a mask painted in homage to the old Mighty Ducks, had 30 saves on the evening.
The Ducks improved their 2013-14 record to 4-1-0, equaling the best start in club history. The other top starts:
2011-12, 4-1-0 for 8 points
2006-07, 3-0-2 for 8 points
The club’s 56 shots on goal are the most in club history (previously 54, Mar. 27, 2009 vs. EDM). In addition, Anaheim’s 23 shots in the first period matched the club record (record for any period remains 26).
Ryan Getzlaf has scored back-to-back game-winning goals, the first time he has accomplished the feat since Dec. 12, 2010 vs. MIN and Dec. 15, 2010 at WSH.
Jonas Hiller has won all three of his starts this season (3-0-0, including one shutout), posting a 1.30 GAA and .959 SV%.
Corey Perry has points in four straight games (3-3=6, +4), including the 34th multi-goal game of his career (2-0=2 tonight).
Francois Beauchemin is a +9 over the last four games with his +4 tonight matching a career best (third time, last: Feb. 6, 2007 at SJ).
Hampus Lindholm recorded his first two NHL points this evening (0-2=2, +4).
The Ducks are 2-0 at HOME for the fourth time in club history (also 2011-12, 2006-07, 1999-00)
The club’s opening homestand continues with contests vs. Calgary (Wednesday, Oct. 16, 7 p.m.), Phoenix (Friday, Oct. 18, 7 p.m.) and Dallas (Sunday, Oct. 20, 5 p.m.).