"It was a great win," said Bobby Ryan, who had a goal early in the third to give Anaheim some breathing room. "Twenty guys contributed tonight. All four lines got a chance to play down the stretch. The effort was all around."
The Kings' win in Detroit that finished just before they dropped the puck in Anaheim meant that the Ducks only moved up one spot to 10th with the win. Their 77 points matches ninth-place Minnesota's total, but the Wild win the tiebreaker by virtue of having fewer non-shootout wins.
It was the first visit to Honda Center for the Rangers since December of 2008, and the first win for Anaheim against them here since 2000. It was also the last game vs. an Eastern Conference opponent this season for the Ducks, who in their last 15 games face nothing but Western foes, all but three of which are at or near playoff position.
The Ducks recovered from a slow start and an early Brandon Dubinsky goal by reeling off three unanswered to take a 3-1 lead through one. All three goals, two from Visnovsky, came off deflections.
"Even though we gave up the first goal it didn’t deter our attitude towards the hockey game," said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle. "We went out and did what we had to do to get the job done. Our players were rewarded for their hard work."
Perry tied the game at 7:34 by recovering his own rebound behind the extended goal line and throwing it into the crease, where it kicked off Dan Girardi’s boot and slid under Henrik Lundqvist.
Visnovsky tallied less than two minutes later, firing a high slap shot from the point that deflected off the shoulder of defenseman Marc Staal and fluttered into the net.
It was Visnovsky again with 41 seconds left in the period, as he let go of a shot that ticked off Artem Anisimov’s stick shaft, bounced off the ice and flew over Lundqvist’s left shoulder. Combined with the hat trick two games ago, that gave Visnovsky five goals in a three-game span, a first for a Ducks defenseman.
The two teams battled through a scoreless second, thanks to some good recovery work by Lundqvist and by Ellis, who saved 18 straight after allowing a goal on New York’s first shot of the game.
Ellis’ biggest save of the night transitioned into a Ryan goal at the other end to give the Ducks some big insurance in the third. Ellis dove across the crease to stop a Dubinsky putback try with the shaft of the stick, and the Ducks were soon on the rush. That’s where Perry fed across the ice to Ryan, who popped the water bottle with a wrist shot from the left circle.
The Rangers got within two goals at 5:31 on a Marian Gaborik one-timer from in deep, but Perry’s second of the game with 5:24 left put it out of reach. Ryan waited for a sliding Girardi to get out of his target line before sliding a pass to Perry, who bobbled the puck then chipped it through for his career-high 33rd of the campaign.
It was part of a big night for the top line of Ryan, Perry and center Ryan Getzlaf. "The puck just seemed to work for all three of us tonight," Ryan said. "We were able to hold onto it. Perry behind the net wore down defensemen by making them turn different ways. We were good on the forecheck. It was a nice night all around for the three of us."
The Ducks came back nicely from a 3-0 defeat Sunday night at the hands of Vancouver. "In the Vancouver game we got a bit away from our structure," Ellis said. "We took the practice and a couple little meetings to fine-tune some things. We had better support tonight and better control of the puck. Defensively, we were very solid as well. We came out with a determined effort to have a bounce back game and I think we did well tonight."
The Ducks head to Colorado for a game Friday night with the Avs before returning home Sunday vs. the Coyotes.
The Ducks conclude their season-long seven-game homestand with a 4-2-1 record. The club is 21-11-2 at home this season, with seven games remaining on the regular season schedule at Honda Center (eight on the road).
Lubomir Visnovsky is the first defenseman in club history to record five goals over a three-game span (5-2=7). Two previous defensemen had scored four over three games - Bill Houlder (four goals from Jan. 6-10, 1994) and Fredrik Olausson (four goals from Feb. 5-10, 1999). Visnovsky’s 14-40=54 points on the season rank tied for first in the NHL among defensemen and his 14 goals rank tied for third among league blueliners. Visnovsky has 6-17=23 points in the last 24 games.
With 2-1=3 points tonight, Corey Perry has established a new career high in goals with 33. He has a team-leading 33-38=71 points this season and is just five points away from matching his career high set last season (27-49=76). Perry ranks sixth in the NHL in points and tied for fourth in goals. He has notched 8-12=20 points in his last 15 games.
Bobby Ryan scored his 31st goal of the season tonight (31-26=57), which ranks seventh in the NHL. He is four goals shy of matching his career high (35) set last season. Tonight marked Ryan’s fifth game this season with three-or-more points (1-2=3 this evening). He has points in six of the last seven games (3-6=9) and 16-13=29 points over the last 24.
Teemu Selanne has points in three of the last four games (1-3=4) and 7-13=20 points over his last 17. In 1,244 career NHL games, he has scored 627-694=1,321 points. He is just five points away from a share of 31st in all-time points (with Gilbert Perreault) and two assists shy of matching Sergei Fedorov for 52nd in all-time assists.
Defenseman Luca Sbisa appeared in his 100th career NHL contest tonight. He signed a four-year contract extension with the Ducks yesterday (runs through 2014-15 season).
In six contests with Anaheim, Dan Ellis has gone 4-1-1 with a 2.25 GAA (14 GA/373 MIN) and .911 SV% (144-of-158). Over his last 10 appearances (four with TB, six with ANA) he has stopped 241-of-262 shots for a .920 SV%, 2.06 GAA (21 GA/612 MIN) and 6-1-2 record.
Tonight’s attendance was 14,251.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Ducks take this one in decisive fashion, 5-2.
19:40 - Crowd gets on its feet as the clock winds down.
14:36 - ANAHEIM GOAL - COREY PERRY - Perry gets his second of the night when Ryan holds the puck in the right wing circle waiting for a diving Girardi to clear out of the way. He then slides it to Perry on the doorstep, who bobbles it, then chips it through. It's 5-2 Ducks and WE'RE GOIN' TO HOOTERS!!
14:24 - Selanne gets into some open ice, waits, and feeds Ryan, whose shot is deflected out of play.
13:20 - Ducks dancing around the net, but nothing more.
8:40 - Koivu gets tangled with Sauer near the net as the puck goes the other way and Lundqvist gives him a shove to the head. No calls.
7:40 - Dubinski dives to get a shot off and it looks as if it went off the post. He's two close calls away from a hat trick.
5:31 - NEW YORK GOAL - MARIAN GABORIK - Prospal holds the puck behind the net and gives it quickly to Gaborik, who gets the stick down to chip it past Ellis. It's 4-2.
5:00 - How good is Perry on that PK? He takes the puck away three times in a matter of seconds, getting off a shot from in deep after one of them.
3:35 - ANA Penalty - 2 min. too many men on the ice. Come on, boys.
2:19 - ANAHEIM GOAL - BOBBY RYAN - Ducks get on the rush right after that save, where Perry slides it over to Ryan in the left wing circle and he pops the water bottle with a wrist shot. Quick review to see if that Dubinski goal went over the line, but it's not close. Great transition play for the Ducks and it's 4-1 on Ryan's 31st of the year.
2:10 - Ellis makes the save of his Ducks life, diving out with the stick to somehow stop a Dubinsky rebound. WOW.
0:00 - Here we go in the third.
Johnny Ahlers' suit makes him look like he's heading to a speakeasy after this game.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Ducks have a couple of chances go awry as we're scoreless in the second. Still 3-1 home team.
I've Got the Power by Snap plays in the arena. There's a blast from the past.
16:31 - Ellis stretches out to make a nice glove save on a McCabe shot.
13:30 - Ducks all over the NYR net on that power play, but a couple good kick saves keep them out.
12:55 - Sbisa with a second straight missile that Lundqvist stops up high.
11:12 - NYR Penalty - Artem Anisimov, 2 min. elbowing. Lydman kicks the puck out of trouble along the back wall and takes a late shot to the head from Anisimov, so he gives it right back with some hands to the face. Lydman used to see these guys lots when he was in Buffalo.
9:32 - Koivu a nice feed to Selanne for the slap shot, stopped by Lundqvist.
6:28 - Ducks now on the PK.
5:58 - ANA Penalty - Brad Winchester, 2 min. goaltender interference. Winchester knocks down Lundqvist in the crease. Tough one.
5:17 - Visnovsky goes for No. 3 on a one-timer off a Getzlaf feed, but Lundqvist is there.
4:28 - NYR Penalty - Marc Staal, 2 min. holding. Ryan draws the penalty in a beautiful way, doing a little dipsy-doodle around Girardi before Staal is forced to hold him as he's heading in alone on Lundqvist.
3:30 - Selanne has buddy Koivu wide open driving up the middle of the ice, but the feed is a little late and in his skates.
0:00 - Off and running in the second.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Ducks respond to bad start with three unanswered and it's 3-1.
19:19 - ANAHEIM GOAL - LUBOMIR VISNOVSKY - Visnovsky winds and fires from the right point again, and it hits off Anisimov's stick, bounces off the ice and darts over Lundqvist's shoulder. It's gotten to the point where every time Vish fires, you think it's going in. He's one away from a second hat trick in the last three games and it's 3-1 Ducks.
18:40 - Sbisa delivers a nice shot on Boyle and knocks him to the ice. Four more years of that? We'll take it.
17:22 - Kill.
15:22 - ANA Penalty - Bobby Ryan, 2 min. hooking. Ryan takes down Stepan near center ice. Thought they might have let that go, but they did not.
It's Guess the TV Theme Song and we get the unmistakeable melody of Knight Rider. Other choices are X Files and Hill Street Blues,.but you aren't foolin' no one.
14:34 - Little bit of roughhousing after Ellis freezes the puck.
12:37 - Koivu with a nice lead pass to Winchester, who moves to the backhand but gets stonewalled from point blank.
11:23 - NYR Penalty - Dan Girardi, 2 min. hooking. Not his period so far.
Just watched that last goal about six times, and still not sure whether it hit Staal or not. It had such weird action on it, it may have changed direction in mid air. Not kidding.
9:19 - ANAHEIM GOAL - LUBOMIR VISNOVSKY - Another "we'll take it" goal as Visnovsky lines up and fires a high slap shot from the right point that deflects off the shoulder of Marc Staal and gets past Lundqvist. It's 2-1 Ducks.
7:34 - ANAHEIM GOAL - COREY PERRY - Perry takes a shot from a tough angle that hits the outside of the post, so he picks up the puck and shoots from an even worse angle, below the extended goal line. It kicks off Girardi's foot and gets under Lundqvist, as Girardi throw his head back in frustration. Perry ties a career high with his 32nd goal of the year and it's 1-1.
6:00 - Koivu moving well with the puck through the neutral zone. Good to have him back in there.
3:30 - NEW YORK GOAL - BRANDON DUBINSKY - The Ducks make a bad change, almost getting caught with too many men, and nobody picks up Dubinsky, who is wide open when he takes a pass from Callahan and he roofs it. It's 1-0.
3:00 - Sexton with a change in front, saved.
1:20 - Some serious jostling between Brookbank and Gilroy behind the net in which Brookbank delivers three straight cross checks to Gilroy's back. But nothing more.
0:00 - And we're underway at Honda Center.
7:37 p.m. - The five-man Yale choir group known as the Spizzwinks does a fine job on the anthem, clad in tuxedos. Our social media guy, Neil, went to Yale. Maybe he knows them. I went to Fresno State, the Yale of the San Joaquin Valley.
Koivu back in the lineup after sitting six straight with a sore groin. Two of the three Rangers scratches are former Ducks. Shouldn't New York's backup goalie be named Dos Nueve? Starters in bold/italics.