By Adam Brady
ANAHEIM – After grinding out a 1-0 victory two nights ago in their first game back from the Olympic break, the typically high-scoring Ducks poured it on early and often tonight against the visiting Hurricanes.
Anaheim had five goals in the first 29 minutes of the game while handing Carolina a 5-3 defeat in front of a sellout crowd of 17,174 at Honda Center. It was the 18th game with five goals or more this season for the Ducks, who improved to an NHL-best 43-14-5 (91 points).
"We’re just building now," said Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf. "Last game, we didn’t execute that well, but we played well. It was nice to see us rebound like that and come out in this first period. We just need to keep building and getting better along the way."
Almost quietly, considering the offensive barrage from his teammates, Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen had 49 saves on the night while improving to 15-3-0 this season. He and the Ducks proved fallible in giving up three unanswered to the Canes in the second and third periods, but it was too little too late for Carolina (26-26-9).
"He was fabulous tonight," said Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau of Andersen. "He did what he had to do, and he kept the team in the game. He won the game for us."
Two of Anaheim’s five goals came off the stick of Corey Perry, who had both of his goals in the first period. He opened the scoring 6:39 into the game, seconds after getting robbed on the doorstep by goalie Cam Ward, who didn’t have his best night. Perry’s redemption came when Dustin Penner fanned on a shot from the slot, and the puck came to Perry who fired it through from near the left post.
Perry struck again with 3:33 left in the first, taking in a pretty little pass from Cam Fowler and connecting from the left wing.
A few minutes before that goal, Francois Beauchemin got his first since New Year’s Eve, hammering a slap shot from the right point that handcuffed Ward and got behind him.
"It’s all about having good starts and jumping on your opponent," Perry said. "We played our style of game. Quick puck movement and getting in on the forecheck and creating chances. It proves it works."
Anaheim kept it going into the second, as Andrew Cogliano got his third shorthander of the year (tied for second in the NHL) 3:31 into the period. With the Ducks killing a Nick Bonino hooking minor, Cogliano sprinted up the left wing and slipped a shot between Ward’s leg pads.
The Ducks made it 5-0 just prior to the mid-point of the period, as Jakob Silfverberg dug the puck out of the side of the net and tucked it inside the left post. Silfverberg, one of the Ducks and Canes honored before the game for their Olympic participation, played center tonight for the first time since he was 17 years old.
"We knew they played yesterday," Perry said. "They’re fighting for a playoff spot, and we knew if we got on them early, they might sit back."
Carolina got its first goal with 4:40 left in the second, as Andrej Sekera eluded a poke check from Andersen and sent it past him. They scored another 11:29 into the third, as John-Michael Liles’ shot from the slot caromed off the post to Patrick Dwyer, who punched it in to make it 5-2 Ducks. They got their third straight with just over a minute left in the game, as Alexander Semin wristed a shot past Andersen on the breakaway.
The Ducks play the third game of their five-game homestand on Wednesday night against Montreal, which will be Social Media Night at Honda Center.