ANAHEIM – Three players who have come to the Ducks within the last month provided all the scoring in a satisfying 4-1 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes at Honda Center.
Niklas Hagman (claimed off waivers a month ago today) had two goals, Rod Pelley (acquired via trade with New Jersey two days ago) scored one and Kyle Palmieri (recalled last week) added another to snap a two-game losing streak for Anaheim, which had dropped the last five against the Coyotes.
"The whole team played really well," said Hagman. "I managed to get a couple of goals. I had chances to do more too, but it was good that we didn’t need more than those tonight."
Hagman’s two-goal second period helped the Ducks take a 3-1 lead into the third period, giving the winger his first two-goal game since the last day of the 2009-10 season, with Calgary against Vancouver.
Just a little over a minute into the period, with the Ducks on a power play leftover from the end of the first, a Teemu Selanne shot bounced off goalie Mike Smith, and a rebound try by Corey Perry also caromed off the Phoenix goalie. This time Hagman was there to punch it into the open net.
Hagman’s second strike came with a little more than a minute remaining in the period, as Perry hit him with a pass in front that he kicked to his stick before backhanding it past Smith.
"We wanted to get shots. We knew that Smith was going to give rebounds and we had to be ready to jump on those," Hagman said. "I was fortunately at the right spot. The second one there was some nice passing with Getzlaf and Perry. Then, Perry found me wide open in front of the net."
In between those two goals, Martin Hanzal got the Coyotes on the board with his fifth of the year, three of which have come against the Ducks. On the power play, Hanzal got behind Francois Beauchemin to receive a pass from Ray Whitney, which Hanzal sent under Jonas Hiller.
Phoenix, which owned the NHL’s worst power play at 10.9 percent coming in, had gone 2 for their last 46 with the man advantage.
The Ducks went in front 1-0 in the first when Pelley got his first goal of the year with 4:12 left in the session. Pelley muscled past Adrian Aucoin to pick up a puck that Maxime Macenauer banked off the left wing wall. Pelley had no one to beat but Smith, and he fired a wrister under the Coyotes netminder.
"I knew I haven’t played in awhile and I was going to be excited to play tonight," Pelley said. "I got a bit of body position there, took it to the net and got one. It was a big relief for me."
Pelley was acquired Monday defenseman Mark Fraser from New Jersey and a seventh-round draft pick in exchange for defenseman Kurtis Foster and goalie prospect Timo Pielmeier.
Lubomir Visnovsky earned the second assist on that Pelley goal, in his long-awaited return after being out since November 11 with a broken finger on his right hand.
"You could tell that he was sorely missed for the last 13 games," said Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau, who earned his second win after taking over as coach November 30. "You just look at the team’s record when he was out. He’s a dynamic player. When he’s in there, it gives you another advantage. You don’t have to play Cam 26 minutes. You need your best players to be your best players and Lubo was again tonight."
After taking a 3-1 lead into the third, the Ducks made it 4-1 a few minutes into the period, when Palmieri, tipped in his first goal of the season in just his second game. Just after the Anaheim power play ended, Bobby Ryan one-timed a shot from the left wing circle that Palmieri got his stick shaft on enough to redirect it through.
Palmieri scored his first career goal in his first NHL game, November 3, 2010 vs. Tampa Bay.
Hagman was denied the hat trick on two different occasions in the third period, with Perry both times setting him up for a one-timer that Smith denied with athletic saves.
"It’s nice to see," said Boudreau. "If we can get him back to scoring the way he used to, then it sure adds a dynamic that we haven’t had for awhile. He could have had four or five. Corey was putting them on his tape in the third period. But two is good."
Regardless, the Ducks came away with a big victory in their last home appearance before embarking on a five-game road trip.
"This was the hardest I've seen any team work [under me] this season," Boudreau said.
Anaheim departs tomorrow for a three-game road trip with stops in Chicago (Dec. 16), Winnipeg (Dec. 17) and Dallas (Dec. 19). Tomorrow’s road trip begins a stretch of five straight on the road (divided into three trips, also one-game trip to LA on Dec. 22 and a one-game trip to SJ on Dec. 26). Anaheim’s final two contests of 2011 take place at Honda Center on Dec. 29 vs. Vancouver (7:05p.m.) and Dec. 31 vs. Colorado (5:05 p.m.).
Over the last nine contests, the Ducks have gone 7-for-28 on the power play (25.0%).
Tonight marked Niklas Hagman’s 15th career multi-goal game (2-0=2) and first since Apr. 10, 2010 with Calgary at Vancouver (2-0=2).
With an assist on Hagman’s first goal of the contest, Teemu Selanne has extended his point streak to a season-high six games (1-7=8). Selanne moved past Johnny Bucyk and now holds sole possession of 23rd on the NHL’s all-time scoring list with 646-724=1,370 (1,289 career games). He is now just four points shy of tying Mike Modano for 22nd in all-time scoring (561-813=1,374 in 1,499 games).
Kyle Palmieri’s goal tonight marked the second of his NHL career (also Nov. 3, 2011 vs. Tampa Bay in his NHL debut).
Rod Pelley scored his first goal since Jan. 17, 2011 with New Jersey at NY Islanders (1-1=2).
Recording two assists tonight, Corey Perry has scored 6-9=15 points over the last 13 games.
With an assist in tonight’s contest, Ryan Getzlaf has now recorded 2-12=14 points in the last 13 games.
With an assist on Palmieri’s goal, Bobby Ryan now has points in three of the last four games (3-2=5).
Jonas Hiller captured his eighth win of the season, stopping 19-of-20 shots on net.
Tonight’s attendance was 13,428.
20:00 - END OF GAME - Ducks finish off a rather satisfying 4-1 victory.
16:05 - Smith AGAIN denies Hagman the hat trick on a similar play, a Perry pass that sets up the Hagman one-timer. He's smiling now. Hagman, not Smith.
13:38 - ANA Penalty - Brandon McMillan, 2 min. tripping. McMillan takes down Yandle on a battle in the corner.
12:55 - Macenauer hustles his way past OEL, but shoots wide. Ducks are flying right now. (Yeah yeah, I get the pun.)
11:25 - Another huge save by Smith denies Hagman the hat trick. Perry passes when he maybe could have shot, and Smith made the kick save to stop the one-timer.
9:00 - Getzlaf takes in a great pass from Perry and waits, and waits and waits to Smith to go down, and still Smith makes a great save with the glove. Getzlaf didn't go high enough with it.
Honda Vision shows a dude wearing a brand new Pujols Angels jersey. Good cheer from the crowd.
6:30 - Ryan tags a slap shot from the right wing and Cogliano nearly cleans up the rebound. Audible "oooohhhhh" from the crowd.
5:25 - Hiller stones Whitney from point blank.
3:30 - ANAHEIM GOAL - KYLE PALMIERI- Just after the Ducks power play expires, Ryan one-times a shot on net from the left wing circle, and Palmieri gets his stick on it just enough to redirect it past Smith. First of the year for Palmieri, who had 17 at Syracuse before being called up. It's a comfortable 4-1.
1:26 - PHX Penalty - Oliver Ekman-Larsson, 2 min. interference. Just as Visnovsky fires a shot off Smith, Selanne is taken down hard by OEL (yeah, that's right) near the right post.
0:00 - Off and running in the third.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Hagman with two goals to offset Hanzal's one, as Ducks take a 3-1 lead into the third.
18:56 - ANAHEIM GOAL - NIKLAS HAGMAN - Getzlaf drops the puck to Hagman behind the net, and he continues it through to Perry before setting up in front. Perry immediately hits Hagman with a pass that he kicks to his stick before backhanding it past Smith. Second of the game for Hagman, and it's 3-1 Anaheim. First two-goal game since the last day of the 2009-10 season for Hagman, with Calgary vs. Vancouver.
15:15 - Getzlaf chases down a transitioned puck that was sent toward the Phoenix blue line by Visnovsky. He cuts in on Smith, dekes to the forehand and gets denied. Big opportunity gets away there.
15:00 - Ducks spending a ton of time in their own end. Not good.
11:23 - Ekman-Larsson pinches in and slings a shot off the crossbar and out of play. No more of those. I don't want to have to type Ekman-Larsson again.
During the timeout, it's Guess That Holiday Movie. Two fans compete to guess the movie the following line is from: "If that thing had nine lives, he just spent 'em all." One fan incorrectly guesses Christmas Story from a group of choices that includes Elf and (the correct answer) Christmas Vacation. Fail.
10:10 - ANA Penalty - Kyle Palmieri, 2 min. holding. It's at 10:10. Our reigning MVP wears 10. We'll be fine here.
7:31 - PHOENIX GOAL (POWER PLAY) - MARTIN HANZAL - On the power play rush, Hanzal gets behind Beauchemin and Whitney hits him with a perfect lead pass, allowing Hanzal to slip it under Hiller. Five goals for Hanzal, three against Anaheim. Hanzal, so hot right now. Hanzal. It's 2-1 Ducks.
6:34 - ANA Penalty - Luca Sbisa, 2 min. Sbisa slams Whitney into the wall. Wish he could do the same to the NBC show of the same name.
5:30 - Gordon with a nice job picking off a pass and keeping the puck in the Phoenix zone.
1:07 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - NIKLAS HAGMAN - Getzlaf's pass into the slot pinballs around before Selanne sweeps it on net. It caroms off Smith to Perry, who chips it off the goalie and Hagman is there to punch it into the net. Hagman with the double fist-pump and it's 2-0 Ducks.
0:00 - Here we go in the second with the Ducks on the power play.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Solid first for the Ducks, who get a Pelley goal and take 1:35 of power play time into the second.
19:34 - PHX Penalty - Adrian Aucoin, 2 min. tripping. Aucoin takes down another Olympian, this time Selanne.
15:48 - ANAHEIM GOAL - ROD PELLEY - Macenauer gets the puck at the Ducks blue line and banks it off the left wing wall, where Pelley muscles his way around Aucoin to get to it and has a clear path to the net. He skates in on Smith and fires a wrist shot underneath him for his first goal in his first game as a Duck. Also his first of the year in eight games. Second assist goes to Visnovsky, who fired it to Macenauer out of the corner. It's 1-0 Ducks.
Kent French interviewing the Ducks coach on the bench during the timeout. That's new.
13:10 - Ducks all over the Yotes net, as Selanne whips a shot off the outside of the left post.
Dude straight-up mauls his girlfriend during Kiss Cam. Kind of uncomfortable for everyone involved. Meanwhile, the song "I Saw Momma Kissing Santa Claus" is playing. When I was a kid, I thought that was a song about adultery.
12:00 - PHX Penalty - Shane Doan, 2 min. hooking. Ryan draws the penalty stick-handling into the Phoenix zone.
11:00 - Selanne-Cogliano-Ryan.
8:50 - Sbisa shot is tipped just wide. Ducks creating chances though.
7:35 - Selanne gets in deep and fires off Smith, who had scrambled back in front after playing the puck.
5:58 - PHX Penalty - Adrian Aucoin, 2 min. tripping. Aucoin gets his stick into Ryan's skates after a turnover and takes him down in the corner.
5:11 - Visnovsky with a seeing-eye wrister from the point that almost handcuffs Smith.
3:10 - Hiller holds his ground as Bissonnette and Torres try to punch in rebounds.
2:30 - Visnovsky hits the ice, getting a reaction from the crowd.
1:30 - Hagman with Getlaf and Perry.
0:00 - And we're underway at Honda Center.
Nice job on the anthem by the harmonizing ladies of the Harborlite quartet.
Ducks will start with a new Gordon-Pelley-Macenauer line. Starters in bold/italics.