ANAHEIM – Even the loss of their top goalie didn’t stop the Ducks from winning a second straight game for the first time since October.
Jonas Hiller went down with an injury late in the first period, but Anaheim scored a season-high seven goals, including a Corey Perry hat trick, en route to a convincing 7-4 victory over the NHL’s last-place team, the Columbus Blue Jackets. Coming two days after a victory over the Islanders, it marked the Ducks’ first consecutive wins since October 8-17.
The Ducks were just a point ahead of the Jackets when the puck was dropped tonight. "We knew this morning when we came to the rink what their record was and what ours was," said Perry. "Where we are is unacceptable. We have to keep playing. We’ve had two great games, but we have to continue to keep pushing and doing the right things."
Said Teemu Selanne, who had two goals on the night, "We realized that if we were going to lose tonight, we were going to be rock bottom. We didn’t want to do that. We want to start climbing up and try to find a hot streak. I still believe that we have all the pieces here. The last couple of games there have been a lot of bright things."
The Ducks had already scored four times when Hiller suffered a lower body injury while stretching to make a kick save on Columbus winger Rick Nash with about a minute and a half left in the first. With backup Dan Ellis out with a groin strain, recent callup Iiro Tarkki made his NHL debut in Hiller’s place. Hiller was categorized as "day to day" after the game by Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau.
"When he made that save, he looked a little awkward there," Boudreau said. "He said he’d just wait until the end of the period and I wasn’t going to take the chance. It’s tough to put the poor young goalie into that situation. Sometimes you get overwhelmed. All that being said, I’m glad he got the game over with. He’ll probably feel a little bit better."
The 26-year-old Tarkki gave up a goal on the first shot he faced, a slap shot on the power play early in the second period by Derick Brassard. But he only faced nine shots the rest of the way in earning his first NHL win.
"It’s not easy jumping right into your first game," Perry said. "He has played down (in the AHL) and was ready. He came up and played well for us. He made some big saves. They have some good offensive guys over there that can score goals. I thought he did a good job back there. He is pretty confident."
The Jackets didn’t even get off an official shot on goal during a five-minute power play that came after recent call-up JF Jacques received a major penalty for elbowing RJ Umberger in the head with a little under six minutes left in the third period.
A few seconds after that power play ended, Perry put the capper on the game with his third goal of the night, sending the puck from the circle in his own end into the empty Columbus net with 42.5 seconds left.
The Ducks leapt out to a 4-1 lead in the first period on goals by Andrew Cogliano, Perry, Selanne and Saku Koivu. Cogliano struck just 2:14 into the game, punching in a rebound off a Luca Sbisa shot.
Later in the period, Perry converted on a transition rush, as Bobby Ryan fed him on the right wing and he slung it over the glove of goalie Steve Mason.
Nash got a fluky goal with 2 1/2 minutes left in the period, as his attempt to pass the puck from out of the corner banked off Francois Beauchemin’s ankle and snuck under Hiller.
But the Ducks scored two straight after the one, with Selanne getting the 650th of his career on the power play, emerging from behind the net to jam in a backhand. Not long afterward, Ryan fed Koivu on the rush and he wristed a shot past Mason stick side.
It was after that goal that Hiller left the ice and gingerly headed to the locker room, not to return. At the other end, Mason gave way to Curtis Sanford to start the second period, during which the Jackets made it 4-2 on Brassard’s slapper from the right circle past a drawn-out Tarkki.
The Ducks made it 5-2 with 1:36 left in the stanza, as Perry got his second of the game when he punched in a pass across the top of the crease from Koivu on the power play.
Selanne got his second of the night just 27 seconds into the third period, as Niklas Hagman made a pretty drag move to elude a sliding Marc Methot, and he fed Selanne for the tap into the open net.
Columbus came back with goals from Nash and Derek Dorsett before it was over, and they were within two goals during that five-minute power play, but couldn’t take advantage.
"We have all been waiting for this moment right now, where we can start rolling a little bit and try to get a hot streak," Selanne said. "We all know this is a great league. When you are playing well, you play so often that you are going to win a lot of games. That is what we’re looking for right now. It’s something positive. You have to build on it and go from there."
Anaheim closes its season-tying six-game homestand on Tuesday vs. Dallas (7:05 p.m.).
The club’s seven goals in tonight’s contest marks the club’s highest goal total since Jan. 12, 2011 vs. St. Louis (7-4 win at Honda Center). The club record is eight goals (twice: Jan. 21, 1998 vs. FLA & Mar. 21, 2004 vs. DET).
Tonight marked the first time the Ducks have scored four goals in the FIRST PERIOD since Jan. 19, 2010 vs. Buffalo (5-4 win). The last time the Ducks scored four goals in ANY period was Apr. 6, 2011 vs. San Jose (second period, 6-2 win). The club record for most goals scored in the FIRST PERIOD is five (Oct. 29, 1995 vs. Calgary, a 7-2 win). It is also the club record for most goals scored in ANY period (also Jan. 23, 2004 vs. Minnesota in the THIRD period).
Corey Perry's hat trick tonight was the fourth of his career (last: Apr. 6, 2011 vs. SJ) and marked the 35th hat trick in Anaheim Ducks history. 11 different players account for the 35 hat tricks in club history. He has a three-game point streak (4-2=6) and 12-12=24 points in the last 23 games. His 18 goals lead the team and his nine power play goals rank tied for second in the NHL (with Detroit’s Johan Franzen).
Teemu Selanne scored his 650th and 651st career goals in tonight’s contest (third multi-goal game of the season). He currently sits just five goals behind Brendan Shanahan, who ranks 12th in all-time goals with 656. He continues to lead the Ducks in scoring this season, having earned 14-25=39 points in 40 games (.98 points-per-game). Selanne has scored 6-11=17 points over the last 16 games, 7-13=20 over the last 19 and 9-15=24 points in the last 23. Selanne will make play in his 1,300th career NHL game this Tuesday vs. Dallas.
Bobby Ryan has put together back-to-back multi-point games with two assists tonight (2-2=4 over the last two games). He has scored 5-3=8 points over the last six games.
With an assist tonight, Ryan Getzlaf has scored 3-15=18 points over the last 23 games.
Saku Koivu’s 1-2=3 points tonight mark his highest single-game total since Feb. 11, 2011 at Calgary (2-1=3). In his four games since returning from injury (missed eight games with a groin strain), Koivu has scored 1-5=6 points.
Tonight’s attendance was 13,053.
20:00 - END OF GAME - Ducks take it 7-4 as Tarkki gets his first career win, in relief of the injured Hiller.
19:17 - ANAHEIM GOAL (EMPTY NET) - COREY PERRY - Beauchemin gets the puck out of the corner of the Anaheim end, where it rolls into the circle. Perry jumps on it and fires the length of the ice into the empty net for his fourth career hat trick. It's 7-4 Ducks.
18:50 - Sanford to the bench.
18:40 - Brookbank slaps it from his own corner down the ice. Crowd likes it.
17:00 - Shot beats Tarkki, but the post saves it. Still no official shots on net for CBJ in this power play.
16:10 - Ducks staying alive so far, with a couple of clears down the ice.
14:07 - ANA Penalty - J.F. Jacques, 5 min. major elbowing. Jacques hits Umberger in the face. Not good. Ducks shorthanded for close to the rest of the game.
14:06 - COLUMBUS GOAL - DEREK DORSETT - Another fluky goal for the Jackets, as the puck is sent into the crease, where Sbisa gets his stick on it, and Tarkki actually drags it under himself with his stick. Dorsett may have gotten a piece with his skate in front. It's now 6-4 Ducks.
13:15 - Fowler has an open link, but rings the crossbar. Head goes back in frustration.
13:00 - Beauchemin and Nash tangle in front of the net, no penalties.
12:35 - Perry with a sick move on Johnson, but his backhand for the hat trick is thwarted.
12:15 - Jacques is thrown hard into the wall by Clitsome, and there is no penalty.
Ducks goalie coach Pete Peeters, who normally sits next to me in the press box, hasn't been up here since Hiller got hurt. I wonder if he's the emergency goalie if Tarkki goes down.
7:30 - CBJ Penalty - Tomas Kubalik, 2 min. boarding. Kubalik sends Ryan awkwardly into the wall. He's slow to get up but thankfully okay.
Cops are down in that area now, and apparently one female fan leaves her seat and heads out, while the crowd boos.
Officials come over to the penalty box because Boll and Dorsett are apparently getting into it with a few fans. Security has also gone down there and ejected one guy.
4:27 - COLUMBUS GOAL - RICK NASH - Ryan makes a nice steal of the puck, but falls down trying to get the puck up ice. Nash pounces on it just inside the blue line, then flings a wrist shot from the slot that dents the twine. It's 6-3.
4:00 - Visnovsky blocks a slap shot with the skate and goes down, but he looks okay.
3:00 - Nice redirect by Brassard goes off the crossbar.
2:05 - ANA Penalty - Matt Beleskey, 2 min. interference. Beleskey runs into Tyutin away from the puck.
0:53 - No surprise, Brookbank and Boll put up their dukes, with Boll getting the best of it, landing a few blows on Brookbank and wanting more after it's broken up. This could be an interesting third.
0:48 - ANA Penalty - Francois Beauchemin and CBJ Penalty - Derek Dorsett, 10 min. each misconduct. Perry appears to score the Ducks' seventh (and his third) on a tap-in off a Getzlaf feed, but the play had been blown dead because of a fight at the other end between Beauchemin and Dorsett, who are screaming at each other from their respective penalty boxes.
0:27 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - TEEMU SELANNE - Selanne gets the glory, but credit goes to Hagman, who pulls the puck back to elude a sliding Methot, then feeds Selanne for the chip into the wide open net. The Ducks score six for the first time this season.
0:00 - Here we go in the third.
2nd Period 20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Ducks give up one, but get one from Perry to lead it 5-2.
18:24 - CBJ Penalty - Derek MacKenzie, 10 min. misconduct. MacKenzie isn't happy about something and he'll miss most of the third.
18:24 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - COREY PERRY - Perry gets is second of the night when Koivu jumps on the puck in the low right circle, and feeds it across the top of the crease to Perry, who bangs it into the open net. It's 5-2 Ducks and it's HOOTERS TIME!!!
17:43 - CBJ Penalty - Samuel Pahlsson, 2 min. slashing. Sami breaks Perry's stick in half and the Ducks get on the two-man.
A little Gaga during the timeout. Pre-meat dress Gaga.
17:17 - CBJ Penalty - Derek MacKenzie, 2 min. roughing. MacKenzie gives a little shot to Lydman's face aftrer the whistle, and he and Pelley look like they want to kill each other, with Pelley trying to get around the official to get to him. Only MacKenzie gets the gate.
17:10 Jacques, just called up, fires from a bad angle, creating a rebound that's too hot for Beleskey to handle.
16:10 - Tarkki takes a Methot shot in the logo.
14:47 - Official jumps in to separate Brookbank and Pahlsson, who didn't really look like they wanted to go anyway.
14:00 - Tarkki again denies Johnson.
13:00 - Tarkki denies Johnson on the wraparound.
11:45 - Tarkki with the pad save on a Methot slapper.
11:10 - Blake takes the puck away from Nash, who was sizing up a shot from the right wing.
9:40 - Tarkki with his first NHL save point blank on Umberger.
9:10 - Hagman gets in deep but his shot is knocked away.
7:50 - Palmieri still with Blake and Cogliano.
6:00 - Ryan is actually down on the ice when a rebound comes to him, and he can't do much with it.
4:11 - Right off the ensuing faceoff, Beleskey and Dorsett drop the gloves, with Dorsett landing most of the shots in the fight and possibly hurting his hand in the process.
4:11 - COLUMBUS GOAL (POWER PLAY) DERICK BRASSARD - Brassard takes in the puck in the right wing circle and rips a slap shot past a drawn-out Tarkki, who gives up the goal on the first shot he faced. It's 4-2 Ducks.
3:45 - ANA Penalty - Francois Beauchemin, 2 min. roughing. Beauchemin and Nash get into it away from the play, with Beauchemin grabbing Nash from behind and looking like he wanted some more.
2:35 - A just coming-on Vermette climbs the wall to get out of the way of the puck and avoid a too many men penalty. Athletic move.
1:50 - Vermette gets in deep on Tarkki, but one-times it wide.
0:00 - Tarkki in net for the Ducks. Sanford takes Mason's place in the Columbus net. He shut out the Kings 1-0 last night.
1st Period 20:00 - END OF PERIOD - The good: The Ducks scored 4. The bad: Hiller left with an apparent lower body injury. We'll keep you posted.
18:59 - Hiller is indeed hurt and comes out for Iiro Tarkki, just called up to take the place of the injured Dan Ellis (strained groin). First NHL appearance for Tarkki.
18:59 - ANAHEIM GOAL - SAKU KOIVU - And just like that it's 4-1 Ducks, as Ryan feeds Koivu on the break, and Koivu wrists it past Mason stick side, just inside the left post.
18:40 - Hiller stretches out to make a kick save on Nash and looks like he hurt himself.
18:24 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - TEEMU SELANNE - Selanne has Mason down off a Getzlaf feed on the rush, but whiffs on the shot. He recovers the puck, sending it to Getzlaf behind the net, and Getzlaf gives it right back, leading to Selanne jamming it under Mason with the backhand. It's 3-1 Ducks on Selanne's 650th.
17:52 - CBJ Penalty - Marc Methot, 2 min. interference. There's a Methot to his madness on that play.
17:31 - COLUMBUS GOAL - RICK NASH - Nash gets a fluky one, as he attempts to send the puck out from behind the goal line and it hits off Beauchemin's ankle and sneaks under Hiller It's 2-1 Ducks.
15:45 - Palmieri, just called up from Syracuse, whips a shot from between the circles that handcuffs Mason a bit, but Blake can't get to the rebound.
Randy Carlyle watching the game from the Honda Center press box.
13:02 - ANAHEIM GOAL - COREY PERRY - Beauchemin gets the puck just under the Anaheim blue line and blindly banks it off the wall to send Ryan on a rush. He feeds Ryan on the right wing, and the reigning MVP slings it over Mason's glove and off the inside of the far post. Beautiful shot and it's 2-0 Ducks.
12:01 - Blake jumps on a loose puck and slaps it into Mason's belly.
10:50 - Beleskey gets in deep right of the net, but backhands it wide.
9:20 - Ryan with a shot from the slot off Mason's glove.
6:55 - CBJ Penalty - Derrick Brassard, 2 min. boarding. Beauchemin hits Boll, so Brassard hits Beauchemin.
2:14 - ANAHEIM GOAL - ANDREW COGLIANO - Ducks get on the board early when Sbisa's shot rebounds off Mason and Cogliano punches in the rebound. It's 1-0.
0:00 - And we're underway at Honda Center.
5:07 p.m. - Terrific job on the anthem by the six-kid group from Davis Magnet School.
Parros is scratched with a groin strain, as is Ellis. Bonino also scratched. Starters in bold/italics.