ANAHEIM – After losing late leads and settling for shootouts in each of their last three games, the Ducks’ vaunted top line made sure it wouldn’t happen again.
The so-called RPG line of Bobby Ryan, Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf combined for an impressive 11 points – led by Perry’s first career hat trick – in a convincing 6-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild at Honda Center. It was a nice show for a home crowd that won’t see the Ducks here for awhile, as they head out for a seven-game trip that will keep them on the road until New Year’s Eve.
"It was just a matter of finding that groove and going with it," Perry said about the win. "Everything was going our way tonight. Hopefully, we can continue to play that way."
Perry got his third goal with 4:13 left in the game and the Ducks on the power play, taking the puck down low from Getzlaf and wristing a shot from just outside the crease to make it 6-2. Perry had 16 career two-goal games coming into tonight, but this was the first time he had gotten three.
"It’s been a long time coming and it is pretty special," Perry said. "When you have a lot of two-goal games, that hat trick feels nice. There were a lot of guys in here that helped with that tonight. It’s something I won’t forget. That is for sure."
Perry scored at even strength, shorthanded (penalty shot) and on the power play, only the second time in club history a player has scored in all three situations.
He also further ensured the Ducks wouldn’t suffer the same fate of their last three contests, where Anaheim squandered two-goal leads in the third period, winning two of those in shootouts.
"It’s been awhile since we’ve had one where we had a three-goal lead and we didn’t make it interesting in the hockey game," said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle. Minnesota played last night in L.A. and won a big hockey game. They exhausted a lot of energy in that and then they were short-staffed. They didn’t have Madden or Cullen. We had a lot of energy tonight."
The Ducks broke the game open with three goals in the second period from each of the members of that top line. Two straight Minnesota penalties early in the period led to a two-man advantage for the Ducks, and Getzlaf capitalized with his second goal of the night to give the Ducks a 3-1 lead. Getzlaf got it by taking a a Perry pass at the top of the right wing circle and rifling a one-timer off the inside of the post.
Marek Zidlicky connected on the power play to pull the Wild within a goal, but Perry cashed in a penalty shot to put the Ducks back in front by two. With the Ducks on the penalty kill, Perry picked off a pass and was hooked from behind by Cam Barker as he headed on a breakaway. On the ensuing penalty shot, he swung in from the left wing and whipped a shot under Niklas Backstrom for his second tally of the night.
Three minutes later, Ryan made it 5-2 Ducks on one of the most bizarre goals you will ever see. During a battle for the puck in the corner, Mikko Koivu, who had lost his stick seconds earlier, pulled Ryan’s stick from his hands and kept it. Ryan, after helping draw the puck out of the corner, picked up Koivu’s stick that was laying on the ice. Second’s later, a Toni Lydman shot rebounded off Backstrom right to Ryan, who chipped it into the open net, showing off the stick he did it with as his teammates converged for the group hug.
"There was some kind of tangle up in the corner. I looked down and saw my own stick," Ryan said. "I knew I wasn’t holding it. I wasn’t quite sure what to do. The puck came out and I just picked up the first thing that was there. It was (Koivu’s) and the puck came right to me.
"The only ref I talked to at center ice was also talking to Havlat. He said he had no idea and never had seen anything like it. As far as he was aware, there was no rule against it. I will take them any way they come right now."
Perry and Getzlaf helped put the Ducks in front by a goal in the opening period, with Perry getting on the board just 19 seconds after the opening faceoff (tied for fourth-fastest in team history). It started with Backstrom losing the puck behind the net to Ryan, who quickly fed Perry for the one-timer as Backstrom scrambled back in front.
Brent Burns scored off a Martin Havlat feed at 6:36 to tie it, but Getzlaf promptly put the Ducks back in front, as Ryan lost the puck while charging down the left wing, falling to the ice and taking two Wild players with him. Getzlaf picked up the loose change, walked into the left wing circle and whistled a shot over Backstrom’s glove.
The Ducks leave tomorrow morning for season-long trip that won’t see them back at Honda Center until December 31.
The Ducks have earned points in four straight games (3-0-1). The club is 6-2-1 in its last nine contests and 12-6-3 in its last 21.
The club’s six goals tonight match a season-high (also Nov. 27 @ PHX, 6-4).
Perry's five points tonight (3-2=5) match his career high set on Oct. 31, 2008 vs. Vancouver (1-4=5). It is the 13th five-point performance (club record) in club history (last: Jason Blake, 1-4=5, Mar. 31, 2010 vs. Colorado). Perry has 4-3=7 points in his last three contests, 6-6=12 points in his last eight, 10-9=19 in the last 16 and 12-13=25 in the last 21. He now ranks tied for seventh in the NHL in scoring (16-19=35) and tied for fifth in goals with 16.
The Ducks are 10-for-23 all-time in penalty shots, the last successful attempt coming on Dec. 10, 2007 at Columbus (S. Pahlsson).
Ryan Getzlaf’s two goals tonight (2-1=3) tied his career high. It was his 11th two-goal game (last: 2/14/10 @ EDM, 2-2=4). Getzlaf has 3-4=7 points in the last seven games and 3-8=11 points in the last nine. He also has 3-10=13 in the last 13 and 8-16=24 in the last 26.
Bobby Ryan’s three points tonight (1-2=3) match a career high (nine times, last: Nov. 27, 2010 @ PHX). Ryan has 5-2=7 points in his last nine games and 7-2=9 points in his last 12.
Jonas Hiller has gone 6-2-1 in his last nine appearances, stopping 250-of-270 shots for a 2.39 (20 GA/502 MIN) and .926 SV%. In his last 19 games, Hiller has gone 11-6-2 with a 2.62 GAA (48 GA/1,099 MIN) and .917 SV% (533-of-581).
Tonight’s attendance was 14,338.
20:00 - END OF GAME - A convincing 6-2 victory for the Ducks.
19:55 - Lupul throws it on net a couple times.
19:15 - Ducks look like they're getting a seventh, with the puck loose and Backstrom on his back, but McMillan can't lift it enough and it gets knocked down and frozen in the scrum.
17:42 - Marchant goes down and stays down after getting hit in the face ... with something. No penalty.
15:47 - ANAHEIM GOAL - COREY PERRY - HAT TRICK! Perry gets the puck down low and deep from Getzlaf, skates to his right a bit and wrists a shot that beats Backstrom from point blank. Hats all over the ice as Perry gets the first hat trick of his career. It's 6-2 Ducks.
14:36 - MIN Penalty - Jared Spurgeon, 2 min. tripping. The trip on Getzlaf sends him awkwardly into the boards and he's feelin' it.
12:00 - Bonino just misses after Backstrom is drawn out, but it was too tough an angle.
11:10 - Lupul slings a one-timer on net, saved by Backstrom. Kind of want him to get one tonight.
10:40 - MIN Penalty - Cal Clutterbuck, 2 min. boarding. Clutterbuck throw Sbisa into the wall behind the Anaheim net.
6:15 - Ducks get on the rush with Chipchura and Parros after taking the puck away,, but Chipchura can't decide whether to pass or shoot and gets it chipped away from him.
0:10 - Ducks on the power play, by the way.
0:00 - Off and running in the third, hoping the Ducks treat a three-goal lead better than they've done with two-goal leads lately.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Heck of a period for the Ducks, who give one up, but get goals from each of the RPG line -- Getzlaf, Perry and finally Ryan to take a 5-2 lead.
19:00 - MIN Penalty - Nick Schultz, 4 min. (double minor) high sticking. Schultz cuts Perry behind the Minnesota net.
Upon further review, Ryan picked up Mikko Koivu's stick after Koivu lost it about 30 seconds earlier. Ryan lost his in that scrum in the corner, picked it up and scored with it. Then showed it to him.
17:26 - ANAHEIM GOAL - BOBBY RYAN - Ryan gets rewarded for helping the Ducks win a lengthy battle in the corner for the puck. It comes out to Getzlaf, who hits Visnovsky, who hits Lydman for the shot that rebounds off Backstrom right to Ryan, and he pours it into the open net. Ryan holds the stick up to show it off because I don't think it was his stick, since he lost it seconds earlier. Ryan trying to catch Perry for the team lead again, getting his 14th of the year and it's 5-2. We're goin' to Hooters!!
14:19 - ANAHEIM GOAL (PENALTY SHOT) - COREY PERRY - Perry swings in wide from the left side of the rink and whips a wrist shot under Backstrom for the goal. Perry also had the winner in the shootout to help the Ducks win Friday night. This one counts as an actual goal, his second on the night, and it's 4-2 Ducks.
14:19 - Perry steals the puck away at the point and gets hooked from behind by Barker heading off for a breakaway, getting the penalty shot.
12:39 - ANA Penalty - Andreas Lilja, 2 min. interference. Lilja puts a hand on Bouchard's back and he goes sprawling into the wall.
11:40 - Lupul fires a loose puck quickly on net from the slot, and Backstrom barely gets back to deflect it.
10:35 - Parros doesn't like how hard Peters goes into Hiller after Hiller covers up after a long Wild shot and some shoving and name-calling ensues. Not much more to it than that though.
9:49 - MINNESOTA GOAL (POWER PLAY) - MAREK ZIDLICKY - Seconds after firing wide with a look at an open net, Zidlicky doesn't miss this time, gathering up a rebound off a Mikko Koivu shot and sending it through in front of Sutton. It's 3-2 Ducks.
9:00 - ANA Penalty - Luca Sbisa, 2 min. slashing. Another power play for Minny. Knock it off, Ducks.
8:30 - Not sure how, but Hiller slides over to absolutely rob Havlat on a one-timer from point blank. Save of the game so far.
It's a holiday edition of Kiss Cam (meaning there is mistletoe lining the video board). Husband kisses wife with young daughter sitting next to him, and somehow the daughter isn't completely appalled.
6:39 - ANA Penalty - Jason Blake 2 min. interference. Blake runs into ... a Wild player I couldn't see. Doesn't matter. It's 2 in the bin for Blake.
4:05 - Perry whiffs on the puck in his own end, but Hiller bails him out with a save on a Clutterbuck shotterbuck.
2:51 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - RYAN GETZLAF - The Ducks move it around the rink on the 5 on 3, before Perry sends the puck to a skating-in Getzlaf, who rifles a one-timer that rings the post and tickles the twine. Second of the game for Getzlaf and it's 3-1 Ducks, who remain on the PP.
1:48 - MIN Penalty - Bench minor, 2 min. too many men on the ice. Kobasew comes off the bench too early and the Ducks get a 5 on 3.
1:35 - Bonino grabs the puck away and slings a shot from the slot that Backstrom kicks away.
1:09 - MIN Penalty - Marek Zidlicky, 2 min. hooking. Zidlicky gets Marchant behind the net.
0:00 - Here we go in the second.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - A nice 20 minutes for the Ducks, who get goals from Perry and Getzlaf to go up 2-1.
As the clock approaches 1:00, a fan yells, "HOW MUCH TIME IS LEFT??" and Phil Hulett, as if on cue, announces, "One minute remaining in the first period." Actually kind of funny.
17:15 - Fat rebound off a Blake shot, but Bonino can't get it out of his skates. May not have seen it right away.
15:00 - Andy Sutton is playing some wing tonight with the Ducks having a few out with injuries/flu. Coincidentally, it was the Wild that tried to turn him into a wing years ago, before he was traded to Atlanta.
9:15 - Ryan gets robbed by Backstrom on a one-timer from in deep.
7:08 - ANAHEIM GOAL - RYAN GETZLAF - Ducks get the lead back in a hurry, as Ryan goes down hard while charging down the left wing, losing the puck and taking a couple of Wild defenders with him. Getzlaf picks up the puck in the left wing circle and walks in before snapping a shot just over Backstrom's glove. It's 2-1 Ducks.
6:36 - MINNESOTA GOAL - BRENT BURNS - After another Ducks giveaway, Havlat has the puck near the extended goal line and feeds across the crease to an uncovered Burns for the one-timer into the open net. It's 1-1.
6:25 - Visnovsky loses the puck behind the net to Havlat, then looks to be in a little pain after blocking his shot.
0:19 - ANAHEIM GOAL - COREY PERRY - Backstrom tries to play the puck behind his net and gives it away to Ryan, who quickly sends it in front to Perry for the one-timer. Perry goes in front of Ryan for the team goal lead with 14 and it's 1-0 very early.
0:00 - And we're underway at Honda Center.
5:07 p.m. - The four-woman Harborlite Quartet harmonize beautifully on the anthem.
Selanne (strained groin) and Koivu (flu) out for Anaheim. Perry and Marchant wearing the As tonight. Starters in bold/italics.