ANAHEIM – It’s a shame the Ducks won’t play another game at Honda Center for three weeks, because they’ve gotten pretty comfortable in their home rink.
Anaheim’s 3-2 victory over the visiting Edmonton Oilers was a franchise-record 11th straight at home, a major reason the Ducks remain in the thick of the playoff race as they edge closer to the Olympic break. Tonight they pulled within two points of Calgary’s eighth spot in the Western Conference in winning their fifth game in the last six overall.
Bobby Ryan had two goals and Todd Marchant had the game-winner in the third as the Ducks handled the last-place Oilers, themselves losers of 11 in a row on the road. Edmonton has won just three times in its last 27 games.
But the Ducks didn’t put them away until they got Marchant’s deflection goal 8:21 into the third period and then withstood Edmonton’s efforts to tie it down the stretch. That included a late power play that became a brief two-man advantage when the Oilers pulled goalie Jeff Deslauriers, but the Ducks got help from a few of Jonas Hiller’s 37 saves.
"Jonas kept us in early and made some big saves for us," Marchant said. "The penalty killing came up big tonight, especially late in the game there. We know we have to be better. We’ll take the win. We need the points and just have to keep moving up."
Marchant's winner came when he got his stick blade on a James Wisniewski point shot and redirected it through. "We work on a drill in practice where we do the high tip," Marchant said. "I just happened to be the guy that went up there. Wiz made a great player. I just kept my stick on the ice and redirected it. It found its way through. It’s funny how the game goes sometimes. It could have easily gone the other way for them. Thankfully for us, it went our way."
Anaheim actually went down 2-1 in the second on two shorthanded goals by Edmonton, but drew even on Ryan’s second of the game. His wicked wrist shot from the right wing on the power play rush came 1:09 after Ethan Moreau converted shorthanded, picking up a James Wisniewski turnover and beating Hiller with a forehand on the breakaway.
The Oilers turned the tables on a Ducks power play for the first time earlier in the period, when Ryan Potulny took a Moreau feed from behind the net and sent it through.
That wiped out a first-period Anaheim lead courtesy of Ryan, who crashed the crease to reward a nice pass from behind the net by Corey Perry. "He passed it through quite a crowd," Ryan said. "It would have been wrong of me not to finish it for him."
Perry was playing without traditional linemate Ryan Getzlaf, as the center sat out after suffering an ankle sprain two nights ago against the Kings.
"It’s all about getting points and it doesn’t matter how you get them," said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle. "Every game isn’t a picture of beauty and tonight wasn’t one of those beautiful games this year. But we won the hockey game. That is the most important thing. You have to find way to win in the NHL and that is not easy in this league."
Anaheim hits the road for the last two games before the Olympic break, playing Saturday in Calgary and Sunday against these same Oilers in Edmonton.
"We’ve got two tough now back-to-back in Western Canada," Marchant said. "We have to play like we did against L.A., more so than the way we did tonight."
The Ducks have won five of the last six games (5-1-0) overall and are 13-5-0 in the last 18.
The club established a new franchise record tonight extending its win streak at HOME to 11 consecutive games. The previous record was 10 straight wins at Honda Center from Feb. 17 – Mar. 26, 2008. The streak equals the longest in the NHL this season (Washington also has a current streak of 11 straight home wins). The Ducks have picked up points at home in 12 straight (11-0-1), 16 of the last 17 (14-1-2) and 19 of 21 (17-2-2).
On Jan. 7, the Ducks were 12 points out of eighth place in the Western Conference, in 13th place. Since then, Anaheim has gone 12-5-0 to move to within two points of the eighth and final playoff spot.
Bobby Ryan recorded his fifth multi-goal game of the season (2-0=2 tonight). His team-best 27 goals on the season lead all US-born players. Ryan has 3-1=4 points in the last four games overall and has earned points in six of the last seven contests at HOME (5-3=8).
Corey Perry extended his scoring streak at HOME to eight games (3-7=10) and now has a five-game point streak overall (2-5=7).
With two assists tonight, Scott Niedermayer has earned 0-9=9 points in the last nine HOME games. Niedermayer has picked up three assists (0-3=3) in the last two games.
Steve Eminger has picked up points in three of the last four games (0-3=3).
With a goal this evening, Todd Marchant has earned points in three of the last four contests (1-2=3).
Hiller has won five of his last six starts (5-1-0), stopping 206-of-218 shots for a .945 SV% and 1.97 GAA (12 GA/365 MIN) during that span. In his last 17 games, he has gone 13-4-0 with a .929 SV% (514-of-553) and 2.34 GAA (39 GA/1,000 MIN) during that span. In Hiller’s last 25 appearances, he has compiled an 18-7-0 mark with a 2.37 GAA (58 GA/1468 MIN) and .929 SV% (755-of-813).
Tonight’s attendance was 14,766.
20:00 - END OF GAME - The Ducks hang on in the final minute and clinch a club record 11th straight home win.
19:10 - Big kill.
18:55 - Deslauriers to the bench.
17:10 - ANA Penalty - Petteri Nokelainen, 2 min. tripping. Nokelainen gets tangled with Pouliot on his way to the net.
15:34 - Last timeout and the Ducks need to finish this thing.
15:06 - The Ducks escape when Hiller stops a point blank shot by Horcoff.
Oilers coach Pat Quinn's face is pretty damn red. That's not an expression. It's really red.
13:15 - Bodie hits Jacques hard enought to knock his glove off him. Tough night for Jacques, who was already cut by Parros in a first-period fight.
10:55 - Hiller kicks a shot away and then gets a break when he's out of position but O'Sullivan's one-timer goes wide.
8:21 - EDM Penalty - Bench minor, 2 min. unsportsmanlike conduct. Obviously some objection to whatever led to that Anaheim goal. So, the Ducks follow that tally with a power play.
8:21 - ANAHEIM GOAL - TODD MARCHANT - Wisniewski measures and fires a slap shot from the point and Marchant dips his stick blade into the path of the shot to deflect it just inside the left post. A jolting "YEAH!" erupts from the Honda Center crowd and the Ducks lead it 3-2
7:34 - Nope.
5:50 - Selanne slapper from the circle rings the iron.
5:34 - EDM Penalty - Steve Staios, 2 min. interference. Staios gets caught driving Marchant into the wall in front of the Oilers bench as Marchant chases the puck. We'll see if the Ducks can do something more with this power play.
5:27 - Ducks looking a little sluggish in this period.
1:24 - Not a good power play for the Ducks, the lone shot a Wisniewski drive deflected over the net.
0:00 - Here we go in the third, the Ducks facing 1:24 of power play time.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - The Ducks give up two shorthanded, but get one back on Ryan's second and we're tied 2-2.
19:23 - EDM Penalty - Patrick O'Sullivan, 2 min. interference. The former King blocks the path of Niedermayer in the Anaheim zone.
16:33 - Blake races down the wing and fires a shot off Deslauriers' jersey.
15:22 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - BOBBY RYAN - The Ducks get one back on Ryan's second of the game. On the rush, Nokelainen backhands a pass to Ryan who unleashes a deadly wrister from the right wing circle that is out of the reach of Deslauriers on the glove side. We're tied 2-2.
14:13 - EDMONTON GOAL (SHORTHANDED) - ETHAN MOREAU - Wisniewski loses the puck trying to make a d-to-d pass to Niedermayer and Moreau picks up the deserted puck. He splits Wisniewski and Niedermayer on his way to the net, and with Wisniewski on his tail, he swings to the forehand and roofs it past Hiller. Second shorthanded goal of the period given up by the Ducks and the Oilers lead it, 2-1.
14:04 - EDM Penalty - Ladislav Smid, 2 min. holding. Smid gets the call from the same official, grabbing onto Blake behind the Edmonton net.
12:00 - Koivu heads down on a shorthanded rush, skids to a stop and fires a slap shot from the point that Deslauriers stops.
10:51 - ANA Penalty - Troy Bodie, 2 min. kneeing. Bodie puts a knee into an Edmonton player after a pass out of their zone.
9:30 - The puck boogies around the crease for a good while, but the Ducks can't punch it through.
7:45 - EDM Penalty - Ladislav Smid, 2 min. holding. Former Duck Smid (left in the Pronger trade) pulls down Selanne from behind in front of the net.
6:22 - EDMONTON GOAL (SHORTHANDED) - RYAN POTULNY - Turn of the tables for the Oilers, who get a shorty when Ethan Moreau feeds from behind the net to Potulny, who puts it through. Hiller immediately looks to the official, feeling that Moreau interfered with him, but it was simply a good screen. It's 1-1.
5:45 - A Niedermayer try is just kicked away and Koivu chips the rebound attempt a bit wide.
4:55 - EDM Penalty - Steve Staios, 2 min. tripping. Staios takes down Koivu, following up on Perry's shot.
4:53 - Perry gets loose on the wing but fires off the goalie's chest.
3:07 - Ducks escape unscathed. And guess what? Everyone here gets a taco!
2:55 - Nilsson and Horcoff slam into each other. Not the best power play for the Oilers.
1:07 - ANA Penalty - Todd Marchant, 2 min. hooking. Marchant takes down Pisani in front of the Anaheim net. Ducks go down 2 men.
0:38 - ANA Penalty - Scott Niedermayer, 2 min. tripping. Niedermayer takes down Robert Nilsson with the stick.
0:00 - Off and running in the second.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - They won't send this one to the Hall of Fame, but it ends with the Ducks up 1-0.
18:55 - Hiller uses some quick reflexes to bat away a deflected shot.
15:00 - Penner charges in from the wing, kicked away by Hiller.
It's trivia time and Shawn is told that 14 years ago today Teemu Selanne scored his first goal as a Duck. Which team was it against, Oilers, Avs or Islanders? He says Avs and it's ... Islanders. Sorry, bud. Now the row behind you gets DVDs of Couples Retreat. I haven't seen it. Just sayin'.
13:58 - ANAHEIM GOAL - BOBBY RYAN - Perry, controlling the puck behind the net, reverses his field to get Smid off his back before feeding in front to a crashing Ryan, who redirects off the skate of Deslauriers and through. It's the 26th of the year for Ryan and it's 1-0 Anaheim.
12:42 - Parros takes a post-pass hit from Jean-Francois Jacques and the two get ready to rumble in a rematch of their bout last time these two teams played at Honda Center (last March). Jacques (who has the name of a guy you'd face in an early round of Mike Tyson's Punchout), is cut around the left eye by a Parros punch. A couple more are landed between the two before they drag each other down. Parros to the bin, Jacques to the locker room for repairs.
Shot on the Honda Vision of Hilary Duff, girlfriend of Oilers forward Mike Comrie.
11:39 - Beleskey out of the tunnel and back on the bench after taking that puck to the face.
11:00 - Wisniewski rips a one-timer off Deslauriers. Ducks on the doorstep that entire shift though.
9:10 - Ducks looking a little out of sorts on the PP. Might be related to a lack of 15.
7:45 - EDM Penalty - Ryan Potulny, 2 min. hooking. First power play for Anaheim.
6:00 - Rolling puck comes to a lonely Pouliot in the slot, and he spins and fires a slap shot that Hiller stops.
3:55 - Koivu centering the top line with Perry and Ryan.
3:39 - Ryan Potulny picks up a loose puck and fires from the high slot, but Hiller is there.
2:40 - Beleskey takes a deflected puck right to the face. Fortunately, he's right by the bench and gets a towel on it right away. Play goes on. Doesn't appear to serious, but we'll see.
1:32 - Grebeshkov appears to flip the puck over the glass from the deep corner, but the officials convene and determine it was deflected first. Well, it wasn't.
1:15 - Edmonton owning the ice early, firing the first four shots of the game. Nothing too dangerous, however.
0:00 - And we're underway at Honda Center, the Ducks looking for 11 straight at home.
7:09 p.m. - Brad Haynes overcomes a slight lyrical gaffe early in O Canada in delivering both anthems. Starters in bold/italics.