By Adam Brady (firstname.lastname@example.org)
ANAHEIM – Less than 24 hours after escaping with a win despite a mediocre effort in L.A., the Ducks left little doubt about how good they are right now.
Anaheim played extraordinary hockey from start to finish in trouncing the visiting St. Louis Blues, 5-2, for the Ducks' eighth win in the last nine games.
|Getzlaf (middle) had two goals and an assist to lead the Ducks to their eighth win in the last nine.
Ryan Getzlaf had two goals and an assist to run his season point total to18, tied for the NHL lead. Getzlaf had just one point in his first six games and now has 17 in the last nine.
Meanwhile, the Ducks have taken over the NHL lead in goals with 49.
"The team is playing well and everybody is contributing in different areas," Getzlaf said. "Our penalty killing and power play is playing well. We’re getting great goaltending. It’s a matter of things are clicking right now and we just have to continue playing the way we are."
Getzlaf’s goals were on the only two shots he took all night, the last coming with some flair as he launched the puck nearly the length of the ice for an empty-netter to put the game away. St. Louis had gambled by sending goalie Chris Mason to the bench for an extra attacker on a power play with a little more than two minutes left, and Getzlaf made them pay.
Jonas Hiller, getting the start in net on the second of back-to-back games, had 30 saves for the Ducks.
"We have to be happy with our work ethic, first and foremost," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "We played in a game last night in L.A. and [the Blues] were here waiting for us. We did some things that we have to do to be successful. We did those more consistently tonight than we did last night and that was our goal."
After not finding the net for more than 60 minutes in last night’s 1-0 overtime victory at Los Angeles, Rob Niedermayer struck just 36 seconds into tonight’s game. Niedermayer received a pinpoint pass just over the red line from Samuel Pahlsson and fired a quick wrist shot on the breakaway that eluded Mason.
The Blues got even less than three minutes later, as Patrik Berglund took advantage of a Bret Hedican turnover in the Anaheim zone and put a move on Hiller before sending a backhand underneath him.
|Perry scored the eventual game-winner in the second period, giving him 16 points in his last nine games.
The Ducks took charge in the second period, thanks to the still-hot sticks of Teemu Selanne, Corey Perry and Getzlaf. Selanne got his NHL-leading eighth power play goal of the season by one-timing a Scott Niedermayer pass from the bottom of the left wing circle that flew over Mason’s shoulder 2:07 into the session.
A power play goal from the slot by former Duck Andy McDonald drew the Blues even again, but Anaheim retook the lead when Corey Perry threw a shot on net from a bad angle below the extended goal line. The puck got caught briefly in Mason’s skates before squirting over the stripe.
Getzlaf gave the Ducks a coveted two-goal lead with 4:37 left in the period on his first shot of the game after he had passed up several open looks. Perry set it up with a pretty pass from below the net across the slot, and Getzlaf batted it top shelf.
The Ducks ran their record to 9-5-1 on the season, as they return to Honda Center on Friday to face the Dallas Stars.
"You have to put most of it on [Getzlaf's] shoulders," said linemate Chris Kunitz of the Ducks' resurgence. "He sat out in Toronto because of a [dental procedure]. He came back, we got a goal that first game in Ottawa, and ever since then it’s just elevated everybody’s game. The power play started clicking after that. Teemu starting scoring a bunch of goals, Corey started getting a bunch of points and Prongs and Scotty. I think Getzy is probably the cornerstone of how it all started to go."
With tonight’s win, the Ducks extended their standings point streak to nine games (8-0-1), which is the longest current streak in the NHL.
The Ducks have scored 36 goals over their last nine games (4.0 per game), recording three-or-more in eight of the nine contests. Anaheim has also scored 19 goals in their last four home games (4.8 per game)
Ryan Getzlaf (6-12=18) is tied for the league lead in points (also Malkin, 4-14=18). In addition, Corey Perry (4-13=17) is tied for second in the NHL in scoring.
With two goals and an assist tonight, Getzlaf extended his season-high point streak to eight games (6-11=17). In addition, Getzlaf has a career-high seven-game assist streak, one game shy of the franchise record (Scott Niedermayer, Dec. 26, 2006 – Jan. 7, 2007).
Teemu Selanne has extended his point streak to eight games (8-5=13). He continues to lead the league in power play goals with eight.
The eight-game point streaks by Getzlaf and Selanne equal the longest current streak in the NHL (Malkin) and is one-game shy of the longest streak overall in the NHL this season (Hossa, nine games).
Chris Pronger extended his point streak to five games (3-5=8). He is tied for the league lead in defensemen scoring with 4-9=13 points (also Markov and Kuba).
Perry has 4-12=16 points in his last nine games, with points in eight of the nine.
On Chris Kunitz’s first assist (two tonight), he reached the 100-assist mark in his NHL career. He has earned 1-9=10 points in the last nine contests.
Tonight’s attendance was 16,144.
20:00 - END OF GAME - The Ducks play solidly from start to finish in taking down the Blues, 5-2. Anaheim had won eight of nine.
18:55 - ANAHEIM GOAL - RYAN GETZLAF - With the net empty, the Blues can't get anything serious around the net and Getzlaf ends up with the puck beneath the extended goal line. Out of character for tonight, he decides to send it on net, flinging it in the air the length of the ice as it comes down near the far blueline and skips into the middle of the net. Unbelievable play by Getzlaf, who has two goals on two shots.
17:50 - Mason heads to the bench to give the Blues an extra attacker.
During the timeout, the video board alternates back and forth between a dude in a Blues jersey and Power Players dancing. "Boo ... yay ... boo ... yay..."
16:23 - ANA Penalty - Nathan McIver, 2 min. holding. During an agonizingly long delayed whistle period, the Blues almost slap one through, but Hiller hangs tough. However, Beauchemin does take a puck in the face during the session. He appears okay.
12:01 - Sutherby does a great job to steal the puck away in the Blues zone as the power play seconds wind down to zero.
10:07 - ANA Penalty - Ryan Carter
, 2 min. cross checking.
8:40 - Tkachuk skates circles around Beauchemin and he thinks he's alone, but Niedermayer bails out his partner by slapping the puck away from behind and somehow avoiding a penalty, even though it looked like a trip.
7:59 - Morrison tees off on a rolling puck inside the blueline and Mason gloves it. Man, do I want him to get a goal.
5:01 - TV is reporting a "lower body injury" for Kariya and he probably won't be back.
2:51 - Hiller reaches high to glove a David Perron shot, looking a little like Gary Matthews Jr. Although, Hiller's a better hitter.
0:00 - Here we go in the third.
Paul Kariya played just one shift in the second period, which produced the McDonald power play goal, and didn't return. Word is he took a shot off his foot. We'll see if he's back in the third. Maybe he just doesn't want to see Selanne break his coveted record.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Great period for the Ducks, as they get goals from Selanne, Perry and Getzlaf to take a 4-2 lead.
17:45 - Robbie Niedermayer gets some room near the right wing circle and turns and fires a shot that caroms off the crossbar. Almost looked like it hit net.
One of the cool things about the St. Louis TV feed up here is that it's shown without commercials, so we get a glimpse during the timeout of St. Louis players on the bench (including Andy McDonald) watching the Bumps and Bruises segment with rapt attention.
15:23 - ANAHEIM GOAL - RYAN GETZLAF - This time Getzlaf doesn't pass up the shot and it pays off. After Perry tries again to force one through from a low angle, the puck is saved and pops back out to him. So, he slides a pass across the slot to a waiting Getzlaf, who one-times it top shelf. It's the fifth of the year for Getzy and it's 4-2 Anaheim.
Don't forget that Teemu Selanne is one assist away from breaking the Ducks record that he currently shares with Paul Kariya. We have some imaginative theories on what Teemu might do to celebrate that, which include giving the puck to PK and pointing at the Stanley Cup banner that Kariya never earned.
11:35 - Brewer gets on the right wing on a mini 2-on-1 and takes the shot that just barely deflects off Hiller's shoulder.
9:00 - ANA Penalty - Nathan McIver, 2 min. interference. No penalties in the first, three in the first 11 minutes of the second. By the way, St. Louis has the second-best power play in the league right now.
Only, one tennis ball tonight, sittin on the aisle, though he was a few seats in during the first period.
6:06 - ANA Penalty - Samuel Pahlsson, 2 min. holding. Sammy in the box again. Sammy in the Box. That would be a good name for a band.
5:53 - ANAHEIM GOAL - COREY PERRY - Perry takes the shot from below the extended goal line and it briefly gets caught in Mason's skates as he refuses to drop down for it. As Getzlaf tries to pounce on it, the puck somehow slips over the stripe, possibly knocked in by Mason. It's the fourth of the year for Perry and the Ducks retake the lead.
3:04 - ST. LOUIS GOAL (POWER PLAY) - ANDY MCDONALD - The Blues make the Ducks pay right away, as McDonald sneaks into the slot to receive the puck, then whips a slap shot off Hiller's skate and through. They announce McDonald on the goal and he somehow gets scattered boos. Then they announce Kariya on the second assist and the boos are much louder and more frequent. Incidentally, the 2,500th power play goal in St. Louis history, which means absolutely nothing. More importantly, it's 2-2.
2:44 - ANA Penalty - Samuel Pahlsson, 2 min. hooking.
2:07 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - TEEMU SELANNE - We've seen this one somewhere before. Selanne waits patiently in the botton of the left wing circle before Niedermayer feeds him from the slot and Selanne slaps it over Mason's shoulder. That's nine goals, a league-leading eight on the power play for Selanne. It's 2-1 Ducks.
0:59 - STL Penalty - Barret Jackman, 2 min. cross checking. Jackman tries to get Perry off Mason after the goalie freezes the puck. He hits Perry once, no penalty. Then he decided to slam him in the back again and Perry plays the victim as he flops against the crossbar. That drew the minor.
0:00 - Off and running in the second.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - The Ducks get a very early one, but St. Louis gets on back and we're at 1-1 at the end of 1. Shots are even at 10-10 too.
19:50 - Here's a guy you don't have to worry about shooting the puck. Corey Perry
goes hard to the net and his backhand shot is saved as he's pushed into Mason.
16:40 - Getzlaf continues to refuse to put the puck on net. He's passing up more shots than a Mormon at an Irish wake.
It's trivia time and Steve from Torrance is asked which day of the week did the Ducks post their best record last year? He guesses Wednesday and ... he's RIGHT! No way he could have known that.
11:31 - Carter does some slick skating to get deep on the Blues, then gives Morrison a nice feed, but he fires it so far over the net it actually clears the glass (might have been deflected). Wow, is he struggling.
9:10 - The Ducks get on a 3-on-2 rush and Sutherby trails the play as Selanne feeds him in the slot and the shot is just gloved by Mason.
Video board shows a sign in the crowd that says, "Sammy is the Best!" That's true.
4:50 - Twice in a span of seconds, Getzlaf passes up a shot he probably should have taken. If there's one knock on him, it's that he's sometimes too
unselfish. The exact opposite of how girls I've dated have described me.
4:09 - Montador takes exception to a hit from Cam Janssen and drops the gloves. Montador takes most of the punishment as he never really looked like his heart was in it. Janssen ultimately drags him to the ice.
3:20 - ST. LOUIS GOAL - PATRIK BERGLUND - Bret Hedican turns the puck over in the Anaheim zone and Berglund skates through the Ducks D before putting a move on Hiller and sending a backhand underneath him. Quick strike back by the Blues and we're tied 1-1.
0:36 - ANAHEIM GOAL - ROB NIEDERMAYER - Samuel Pahlsson gives a pinpoint feed to Niedermayer over the redline that launches Niedermayer on a breakaway. Just as he heads between the circles, he fires a wrist shot that flies past goalie Chris Mason's glove. After going more than 60 minutes without a goal last night, the Ducks get one in the first 36 seconds. Third of the year for Robbie.
0:00 - We're underway at Honda Center.
7:07 p.m. - A few notable sights during the anthem: Singer Christina Reyes seems to have a different look each of the half dozen times she's sung here. Meanwhile, during the scan of the Ducks bench on the video board, Nathan McIver had an expression on his face like he was about to cry, while Bret Hedican was looking up at the flag with a face that appeared as if he was trying to read Japanese.
Starting Goaltenders - ANA Jonas Hiller
; STL Chris Mason
Starting Skaters - ANA Francois Beauchemin, Scott Niedermayer, Samuel Pahlsson, Travis Moen, Rob Niedermayer; STL Eric Brewer, Barret Jackman, Keith Tkachuk, Andy McDonald, Brad Boyes
Scratches - ANA George Parros
, Brad May; STL David Koci, Steve Wagner
Hiller gets the nod on the second half of a back to back.