A strong first period and solid goaltending from Frederik Andersen led the Ducks to a gritty 2-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators at the Canadian Tire Centre on Friday night.
Andersen made 26 saves en route to his second career NHL victory, in his first career start, and the Ducks got goals from Patrick Maroon and Ryan Getzlaf in the first period to lead the Ducks to the victory. Earlier in the day, the 24-year-old native of Denmark signed a two-year contract extension with the Ducks, through the 2015-16 season.
“We bounced back really good from the last two games,” Andersen said. “It was fun playing with those guys.”
The victory improved the Ducks to 8-3-0 on the season as they make their way through a season-long eight-game road trip. The Ducks are also 2-0-0 on the second of back-to-backs this season.
The Ducks looked like a motivated team after losing two straight games to begin the road trip.
"This was the effort I was accustomed to watching," said head coach Bruce Boudreau. "Everyone was doing the right things and we came out victorious."
Maroon got the Ducks on the board at the 7:35 mark of the first period on a slick wrister that snuck underneath the leg pad of Senators goaltender Craig Anderson for his second goal of the season. The goal was his second in as many games, and his fourth point in his last four appearances (2g/2a).
Maroon, who played the entire game on the team's top line with Getzlaf and Corey Perry, drew praise from Boudreau after the game.
"We’ve often thought it would be a good fit," said Boudreau. "He’s very similar to Dustin Penner in size and strength, and what he does. Tonight, when they got a chance to play a lot together, they really came on. They showed a lot of good signs."
Getzlaf would give the Ducks a 2-0 lead on a gift goal with 2:22 remaining in the first period. After Anderson left the puck behind the net for defenseman Erik Karlsson, Karlsson fumbled it, and the puck slid right to Getzlaf, who was all alone in the slot to bury his fourth goal and 10th point of the season.
Ottawa got within a goal on the power play off the stick of Mika Zibanejad, who beat Andersen short side with a snap shot. The goal ended a streak of 4 1/2 scoreless periods for the young goaltender.
Andersen continued his strong play during the third period, when the Senators reeled off 12 shots on net, including several in close on a power play with less than 10 minutes remaining in regulation.
"He didn’t let rebounds go," said Boudreau. "He smothered everything and he can handle the puck, which is a luxury. This is a pretty hostile environment, and he came in and did what he had to do. He made great saves when he had to make them. That’s the sign of a good goaltender."
NOTE: Mathieu Perreault suffered an upper-body injury in the second period and did not return.