ANAHEIM – It was a slump-breaking night in a number of ways for the Ducks on the way to by far their most lopsided victory of the season.
Teemu Selanne and Bobby Ryan – both mired in scoring droughts coming in – each scored twice, and a struggling power play came alive in a 6-0 rout of the Columbus Blue Jackets at Honda Center. Jonas Hiller eaerned a quiet shutout, his third of the year, saving all 27 Columbus shots to secure the fourth win in the last five for Anaheim.
"We were down and dropped a dud during the homestand," said Ryan, referring to a 4-1 defeat to Nashville two nights ago. "It’s an important time of year not to do that. Tonight revealed a lot of character about the team in the way we bounced back. You got a 20-man effort all the way through. It was nice to see guys stick together."
The win was the largest margin of victory for Anaheim at home since Dec. 20, 1996 vs. Calgary (7-0). The last win of six or more goals anywhere was Nov. 9, 2006 at Vancouver.
Selanne scored the first two Ducks goals, both on the power play, to snap an eight-game scoring drought, and Ryan added two insurance markers in the third to break a string in which he had just one goal in the last 10 games. One of Ryan’s tallies also came on a Ducks power play that broke out of a 1-for-14 drought.
"We tried to shoot the pucks and had good screens in front of the net," Selanne said. "We did a better job in that area. The power play and penalty kill, we know that if we can do a good job in those areas, we are going to win a lot of games."
Selanne opened the scoring 5:48 into the game, taking a Saku Koivu pass at the top of the right wing circle and one-timing it under goalie Steve Mason for the only goal of the first period.
The 40-year-old tallied again seven minutes into the middle session, taking a cross-ice pass from 19-year-old Cam Fowler and slapping it past Mason on the near side. It marked the 121st career multi-goal game for Selanne, the last coming April 6 vs. L.A.
"My timing has been better lately," Selanne said. "My own game, I haven’t really gotten the bounces that I have wanted lately. That is why is was a good feeling to get a couple in."
Matt Beleskey put the Ducks up three goals exactly six minutes later, receiving a Maxim Lapierre feed and rifling a one-timer from the top of the right wing circle. It was the second of the year for Beleskey and the first point as a Ducks for the Lapierre, acquired last week in a trade with Montreal.
Ryan’s two goals in the final period slammed the door on the game, the first coming just a minute and a half into the third period when he punched in his own rebound after a Corey Perry feed in front.
Then at 7:55, with the Ducks again on the power play, Ryan took in a Fowler pass, skated into the left wing circle and whipped a wrist shot that beat Mathieu Garon (who had just replaced Mason) stick side. The assist gave Fowler the first three-point game of his young career.
On a night when the Ducks seemingly scored every which way, they even got one shorthanded, as penalty-killing Brandon McMillan took a Beleskey feed on the rush and managed to roof a backhand from a bad angle to make it 6-0 with 4 1/2 minutes left.
"The feeling was great in the third period," Ryan said. "Guys were loose. You need that sometimes, games like that to boost some confidence. Hopefully it will get the train flowing offensively. "
Columbus came into the night having won just one road game, but it was at Honda Center on November 19, the fourth straight win for them in this building. The Ducks win (their seventh at home in the last 10) dropped the Jackets to 1-8-2 on the road this year.
The Ducks continue their homestand with a Sunday evening date with division rival San Jose.
The Ducks have won four of their last five games (4-1-0) and have gone 9-5-1 overall in the last 15 contests.
The Ducks have improved their record at home this season to 14-7-1, earning 29 of a possible 44 points. Anaheim has also posted a 7-3-0 record at Honda Center over the last 10 contests.
Tonight marked the largest margin of victory for the Ducks since Nov. 9, 2006 at Vancouver (6-0).
The club scored three power play goals (3-for-4 tonight) for the second time this season (also Oct. 15 vs. ATL, 3-for-7).
Jonas Hiller recorded his third shutout of the season and ninth of his career, stopping all 27 shots he faced tonight. Over the last five games, Hiller has compiled a .962 SV% (152-of-158) and 1.20 GAA (6 GA/299 MIN). He has allowed two-or-fewer goals in 11 of his last 12 starts (9-3-0 in that span) and one-or-fewer goals in five of those 12. Hiller’s three shutouts on the season rank tied for seventh in the NHL.
Cam Fowler recorded a career high three assists tonight (0-3=3). It is the third multi-point game of his career. His 3-18=21 points in 38 games this season lead all NHL rookie defensemen. His 18 assists rank second among all NHL rookies. Fowler has 1-8=9 points in his last 15 contests.
Selanne has 2-1=3 points in the last two games and 2-7=9 points in his last seven games. He is now just three points shy of 1,300 career NHL points (618-679=1,297 in 1,221 career games).
Corey Perry has points in four of the last five games (2-2=4), 5-4=9 points in the last nine contests, 9-8=17 points over the last 14 and 11-11=22 points in the last 20.
Toni Lydman, who appeared in his 700th NHL game tonight, has points in three of the last four games (0-4=4). He also has 0-8=8 points in the last 13 games.
With two assists tonight (0-2=2), Lubomir Visnovsky recorded his ninth multi-point game of the season. He has 2-2=3 points in the last four games, 3-3=6 points in his last nine and 4-8=12 in his last 14.
Tonight marked the first short-handed goal of Brandon McMillan’s career. He has points in four of his last five games (1-3=4).
With two goals tonight, Bobby Ryan recorded his fourth multi-goal game of the season. Ryan has 4-3=7 points in his last 12 games, 10-3=13 in 23 and 16-9=25 in 36.
Matt Beleskey recorded his first multi-point game of the season (1-1=2) and first since Apr. 9, 2010 at St. Louis.
Tonight’s attendance was 12,815.
20:00 - END OF GAME - Ducks close the book on a 6-0 rout.
18:00 - Jonas Hiller may be working on the quietest shutout you've ever seen.
15:22 - ANAHEIM GOAL (SHORTHANDED) - BRANDON MCMILLAN - The Ducks get on the rush down a man, as Beleskey feeds to McMillan on the right wing and he somehow manages to flip a backhand top shelf from a bad angle. It's 6-0.
14:45 - Hiller with another big stop, snatching a Huselius shot out of the air with the glove.
14:02 - ANA Penalty - Andy Sutton, 2 min. instigating, 5 min. fighting, 10 min. misconduct and Jared Boll, 5 min. fighting. Sutton and Boll get into it pretty heavy in front of the benches. That's it for Sutton's night.
13:58 - McMIllan takes the puck away and races out to a 2 on 1, firing a slap shot wide. Ducks still putting the pressure on.
12:41 - Bob almost gets his third, trying to force in a rebound off a Blake try.
11:42 - ANA Penalty - Corey Perry and CBJ Penalty - Derek Dorsett, 2 min. each roughing. A little trouble in front of the Columbus bench as Perry and Dorsett start shoving each other.
10:27 - CBJ Penalty - Andrew Murray, 2 min. hooking. Yeesh.
7:55 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - BOBBY RYAN - Ryan takes in a pass from Fowler on the left wing, skates into the circle and slings a wrist shot that beats Garon on the stick side. It's the second of the game for a noticeably satisfied Ryan and it's 5-0 Ducks. Three-point game for Fowler, BTW.
7:35 - CBJ Penalty - Fedor Tyutin, 2 min. hooking. Selanne sprints down right wing with both him and the crowd hoping for the hattie. He fires off the outside of the post just before the play is blown dead for the penalty as Koivu was hooked on the rush.
7:02 - Columbus makes a goalie change out of the TV timeout.
6:00 - Hiller stands strong as Huselius fires away from point blank.
4:40 - Ryan trips and falls behind the net and takes Mason down with him. No penalty. Lot of interaction between the top two Calder finalists from 2009.
4:05 - Hiller a nice kick save on a slap shot by Klesla. He's quietly pitching a shutout.
1:26 - ANAHEIM GOAL - BOBBY RYAN - Fowler feeds ahead to Perry to start a 2-on1 rush, but Perry loses the handle trying to cut to the net. He picks it back up behind the net and quickly feeds to Ryan for the one-timer that hits Mason, and drops out in front of him, allowing Ryan to punch it through. It's 4-0 Ducks.
0:00 - Here we go in the third.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - It's a nice 20 for the Ducks, who get goals from Selanne and Beleskey and lead it 3-0.
19:30 - ANA Penalty - Matt Beleskey, 2 min. roughing and CBJ Penalty - Derek Brassard, 2 min. interference. Ryan absolutely blasts Klesla behind the Jackets net and Brassard approaches Ryan for payback, drawing the penalty. In the process, Mason takes Bobby down with a glove to the head and gets no penalty. Beleskey gets dinged for jumping in after that.
13:02 - ANAHEIM GOAL - MATT BELESKEY - From the high slot, Lapierre sends it to Beleskey at the top of the right wing circle, and Beleskey one-times an absolute rocket past a helpless Mason. Second of the season for Beleskey and first point as a Duck for Lapierre. This game is getting fun. It's 3-0 black.
12:35 - Selanne just misses getting his stick on a rebound for that magical third.
10:14 - ANA Penalty - Corey Perry, 4 min. roughing and CBJ Penalty - Jared Boll, 2 min. roughing and 2 min. high sticking. Big pileup scuffle around the Anaheim net involving all 10 skaters as Boll cross checks Beleskey in the head and starts wildly throwing punches after Hiller freezes the puck with Pahlsson on top of him.
8:09 - Hiller makes a nice stop on a Nash shot from point blank after some confusion leads to a Ducks giveaway.
7:02 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - TEEMU SELANNE - Scoring slump? What scoring slump? Selanne gets his second of the night, waiting for a Fowler cross-ice pass in his familiar spot in the left wing circle and slapping it past Mason. It's 2-0 Ducks. It's the 121st career multi-goal game for 8, the last coming April 6 vs. L.A.
6:30 - Koivu gets robbed of a sure goal by Mason, who was on his back when he knocked the puck away.
6:14 - CBJ Penalty - Samuel Pahlsson, 2 min. hooking. I still miss Sammy.
Kiss Cam ends with a dude in a ski cap kissing his beer instead of his woman. Classic. Hope the couch is comfy.
6:14 - Action around the Columbus net ends with Blake trying a wraparound off Mason's foot.
3:15 - ANA Penalty - Lubomir Visnovsky, 2 min. tripping. Looked like Nash lost an edge, but Lubo gets the gate.
3:20 - Lapierre with a nice hip check on Klesla. Kinda liking this guy so far.
0:17 - Sexton has a chance to give the Ducks a quick one, getting on the breakaway and firing too high.
0:00 - Off we go in the second.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Selanne's power play tally puts the Ducks up 1-0.
12:10 - Little bit of a scrap in front of the Jackets bench between Lapierre and Methot, but nothing major. Lapierre should be careful. Methot is recovering from the flu.
10:57 - Parros and Jared Boll square off, and not for the first time. The two frequent combatants each land a couple of shots, with Parros losing his helmet, before it's broken up due to exhaustion. Not the best fight we've seen between the two, but not bad.
10:01 - Ryan gets in very deep and gets robbed by the guy who beat him for the Calder, Mason.
9:45 - Crowd applauds the kill. They're into it tonight.
9:00 - Perry steals the puck in the Columbus end, then does about four change-of-direction moves behind the Jackets net to keep the puck in that end as the PP clock winds down.
6:00 - Ryan slams on the breaks on left wing, spins and sends it on net, and it deflects just barely wide off Perry. Still, somewhat exciting.
6:30 - Selanne going for another one with a rocket on the move from the right wing, just off the mark.
5:48 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - Two things that haven't gotten going lately -- Teemu Selanne and the Ducks power play -- come through on this one. On the man advantage, Koivu feeds from the edge of the right wing circle to Selanne, who one-times it between Mason's wickets. First goal in nine games for Selanne and it's 1-0 early.
5:35 - CBJ Penalty - Matt Calvert, 2 min. high sticking. Calvert gets Fowler in the face. Ducks get a couple of shots during the delayed whistle, ending with a Lupul one-timer that Mason saves, and Perry is knocked down by MacKenzie trying to poke in the loose one.
0:10 - Ducks in their third jerseys tonight. They've won three in a row in them.
0:00 - And we're underway at Honda Center.
7:07 p.m. - Alto-voiced Amanda Guerrero delivers another beauty of an anthem.
Newish Duck Lapierre gets the start on a line with Lupul and McMillan Starters in bold/italics.