ANAHEIM – And the streak, thank heavens, is finally over.
With the help of two power play goals and a flawless penalty kill, the Anaheim Ducks snapped a seven-game losing streak with a triumphant 4-1 victory over the visiting Montreal Canadiens at Honda Center.
"It was a little bit of everything, but mostly excitement," said Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf, who had a goal and two assists. "It feels good to get a win. We’ve been working really hard the last little while here and not getting results. Tonight I felt like our group put together a full 60-minute effort and we were rewarded for it."
"It definitely feels good," Perry said. "It’s been awhile. We played a full 60 minutes tonight. We put a whole gameplan together, went out and did it."
The Ducks killed all seven Montreal power plays and allowed just 20 shots by the Habs (three in the third period), with Jonas Hiller saving 19 of them. The last thwarted Habs power play came in the final two minutes of the game, when Montreal pulled goalie Peter Budaj to set up a 6-on-4. But the Ducks made them pay, clearing the puck to Hagman, who got on a 2-on-1 with Corey Perry and took the shot into the abandoned cage (his first goal as a Duck).
Anaheim actually went down early on an Andrei Kostitsyn wrist shot just 3:10 into the game and were fortunate not to get into a deeper hole as they allowed three overlapping Montreal power plays. Twice the Ducks committed a penalty with just seconds remaining on a Canadiens man-advantage, but Anaheim’s seventh-ranked PK came through each time.
"We were playing with the puck more," Perry said. "It’s all confidence when you’re playing with the puck and hanging onto it. We got behind one early and we didn’t let it phase us. We stuck to our gameplan and got on the forecheck."
Late in the period, the Ducks drew even, when Getzlaf knocked a loose puck away from defenseman Hal Gill and Perry picked it up in the left wing circle, shuttling it across the ice to Getzlaf, who slung it top shelf.
Two straight Montreal penalties, the latter a four-minute high sticking on Tomas Plekanac, ultimately led to Anaheim’s go-ahead goal. The Ducks didn’t convert on the 5-on-3, but cashed in the subsequent power play as Smith-Pelly grabbed a puck in midair and laid it down into the crease before popping it through. It was the second of the year for Smith-Pelly, whose first NHL goal came in much less emphatic fashion, a tip-in that wasn’t credited to him November 9 vs. Nashville.
Washington entered the game with the league's second-best penalty kill at a 91 percent clip.
The Ducks killed two more penalties in that period and went up 3-1 in the third on the power play when a Francois Beauchemin shot was tipped just under the crossbar by Perry, his fifth goal in the last six games. That turned out to be more than the Ducks needed, Hagman's empty-netter providing the icing on the cake.
The Ducks, who finished a difficult month of November with just their second victory of the month, handed Montreal its fourth loss in the last five.
"We just kept playing," Getzlaf said. "We kept the pressure on, drew penalties and did all the things we wanted to do. It’s nice to see our group buy in the way we want to and do the things we talked about the last few days."
Anaheim will try to start a winning streak when it battles another Eastern Conference foe, the Philadelphia Flyers, two nights from now at Honda Center.
With tonight’s win, the Ducks have now picked up standings points in each of their six games against the Canadiens since the 2005-06 season. The club has gone 5-0-1 (11 of a possible 12 points) vs. Montreal since Dec. 10, 2005 (5-3 win at Bell Centre).
With 1-2=3 points tonight, Ryan Getzlaf extended his point/assist streak to a season-high seven games (1-9=10). The assist streak, which began on Nov. 16 at Los Angeles, is the longest in the NHL this season and his point streak is tied for the longest in the NHL this season (several players).
Corey Perry (1-2=3 tonight) also extended his point streak to a season-high seven games (5-5=10). Within that streak, which began on Nov. 16 at Los Angeles, Perry now has a four-game goal streak (4-3=7), his longest since a five-game goal streak from Mar.19-26, 2011 (8-2=10). His seven-game point streak is tied with Ryan Getzlaf (and several other players) for the longest in the NHL this season. Perry now has seven power play goals on the season, tied with Pittsburgh’s James Neal for the NHL lead.
With an assist on Perry’s power play goal, Francois Beauchemin extended his point streak to three games (1-2=3), his longest since Jan. 29-Feb. 2, 2010 with Toronto (1-2=3).
Tonight marked Cam Fowler’s 100th career NHL game. The second-year defenseman has collected 12-40=52 points over his 100 contests.
Jonas Hiller stopped 19-of-20 shots for his sixth win of the season.
Tonight’s attendance was 13,237.
20:00 - END OF GAME - Ducks take it, 4-1, snapping a seven-game skid.
19:45 - Crowd on their feet, anticipating a long-awaited win.
19:00 - Budaj back in there.
18:31 - ANAHEIM GOAL (EMPTY NET) - NIKLAS HAGMAN - A penalty-killing Hagman picks up the puck at center ice and has Perry with him on a 2-on-1 with Weber and an empty net aheads. Hagman surveys the scene and wrists a shot into the empty cage, his first as a Duck and the nail in the coffin in this one.
18:00 - Budaj to the bench for the sixth attacker.
17:45 - Hiller with a big stop on Gionta from in deep.
14:48 - Ducks once again come up empty looking for that fourth goal on the PP.
12:48 - MTL Penalty - PK Subban, 2 min. hooking. Hagman weasves his way through two defenders to draw the second Subban penalty of the period. Nicely done.
9:59 - MTL Penalty - PK Subban, 2 min. tripping Subban takes Selanne down to the side of the net and Selanne is in a little pain, but okay.
9:30 - Ducks with a couple chances, including a close call from in deep for 8, but can't convert on the PP.
8:45 - DSP tries for his second of the game, knocked away by Budaj.
7:30 - MTL Penalty - Travis Moen, 2 min. cross checking. Moen gets a Duck in the back. Tough one.
6:13 - Ducks kill a sixth straight penalty.
4:13 - ANA Penalty - Bobby Ryan, 2 min. boarding. Ryan pulls off the impossible: boarding the giant Hal Gill.
2:55 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - Ducks work the puck around before Beauchemin holds it at the point, then sends it on net, where Perry tips it from between the circles, just under the cross bar. Fifth in the last six games for Perry and it's 3-1 Ducks.
1:51 - MTL Penalty - Raphael Diaz, 2 min. interference. Ducks pin it into the Montreal end for awhile. Habs finally get the whistle on a Getzlaf shot.
0:00 - Ducks start what is pretty much their most important third period of the year. Without a doubt.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Nice period for the Ducks, who kill off two more penalties and get a Smith-Pelly goal to go up 2-1.
18:39 - Ducks kill their fifth straight penalty.
16:39 - ANA Penalty - Niklas Hagman, 2 min. tripping. Diaz trips over Hagman's stick blade.
14:40 - Perry takes the puck away behind the net and feeds Getz, whose shot is blocked.
12:06 - Just after the Ducks kill their fourth straight power play, Hiller knocks down then catches out of the air a Gionta shot.
Montreal has more guys who wear numbers in the 70s than an NFL offensive line. I count six.
9:59 - ANA Penalty - Teemu Selanne, 2 min. interference. Selanne slams into Cole right in front of the Anaheim net and away from the puck.
6:06 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - DEVANTE SMITH-PELLY - A pass by Ryan from behind the net is deflected into the air, where Smith-Pelly quickly grabs it lays it down in the crease and pops it through. DSP finally gets a goal he can celebrate, as his first one (a few weeks ago) was a tip that wasn't credited to him until after the game. It's 2-1 Ducks.
5:24 - Perry gets flipped over by the huge Gill after Budaj freezes it.
5:09 - Ducks can't convert on the 5 on 3.
5:00 - Perry's tip off a Getzlaf pass is denied.
4:10 - Koivu gets robbed as Budaj slides over the stop the weak side shot.
4:00 - Ducks go four forwards with Fowler.
3:40 - MTL Penalty - Tomas Plekanec, 4 min. high sticking. Plekanec draws blood on Getzlaf in the corner. Major opportunity for the Ducks, who go on the 5 on 3.
3:09 - MTL Penalty - Frederic St-Denis, 2 min. tripping. Macenauer almost gets one during the delayed whistle.
0:10 - Ryan, Maxwell and Hagman to start off again.
0:00 - We do it all over again in the second.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Ducks kill off three straight power plays, then get a goal from Getzlaf to make it 1-1 through 1.
19:41 - ANAHEIM GOAL - RYAN GETZLAF - Ducks get on the board when Perry picks up a loose puck in the right wing circle and shuttles it across ice to Getzlaf, who slings it top shelf. Getzlaf helped set the puck free with pressure on Hal Gill, then got into position for the score. It's 1-1.
18:45 - Hagman sends it the length of the ice as the Ducks kill off six straight minutes of power play time.
17:00 - Hiller with a few good stops on these PKs.
16:45 - ANA Penalty - Sheldon Brookbank, 2 min. closing the hand on the puck. Once again, just as the Habs penalty is ending, Brookbank catches the puck in his glove and holds it too long before laying it down.
14:55 - ANA Penalty - Devante Smith-Pelly, 2 min. holding. Just as the first penalty is near dead, Smith-Pelly grabs Subban's arm with the free hand.
13:00 - ANA Penalty - Francois Beauchemin, 2 min. interference. Beauchemin gets there a hair too late running Cole into the wall and gets the gate.
11:15 - Ducks generate a few chances with that top line out there.
8:10 - Gionta with a pretty little spin and a shot that Hiller kicks away.
Seriously, can I just type these guys' numbers?
6:26 - Hiller makes a big point blank save on a Desharnais one-timer.
6:40 - Perry with a bad giveaway, but thankfully Cammalleri shots wide
3:10 - MONTREAL GOAL - ANDREI KOSTITSYN - Beauchemin gives the puck away trying to get it to Selanne, leading to Gionta getting it ahead to Plekanec, who feeds Kostitsyn for the goal on the rush. It's 1-0 Habs early.
1:30 - As expected, Beleskey with Getzlaf and Perry on the top line.
0:00 - And we're underway at Honda Center.
Habs go with Budaj instead of Price tonight. Have the Sharks tomorrow night in San Jose. Starters in bold/italics.