ANAHEIM – On a night when the Ducks made big news by re-signing Corey Perry to a lengthy contract extension, they showed that, at least for one evening, they didn’t quite need him.
Anaheim, which announced during the first intermission they had come to terms with Perry on an eight-year deal, downed the visiting San Jose Sharks 5-3 while Perry was serving the third game in his four-game suspension. The win was a club-record 12th in a row at home and a nice way to launch a homestand in which the Ducks play five times at Honda Center in eight nights.
“We always want this building to be a tough place to come into," said Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf, who had a goal and an assist. "Our fans have shown it this year and we’ve shown it. That’s what we want to do down the stretch here. Keep winning our home games and win as many as you can on the road.”
Francois Beauchemin scored twice, and Emerson Etem notched the first of his career in a three-goal onslaught in the second period that took less than four minutes and gave the Ducks a 4-1 lead.
Anaheim didn’t make it easy on itself though, giving up a Patrick Marleau goal with a half-minute remaining in the second, and one from Matt Irwin 6:48 into the third to make it 4-3. But that would be as close as San Jose would get, as Viktor Fasth made several key saves among his 32 on the night and Beauchemin put the game away with an empty-netter with 46 seconds left.
The Ducks opened the scoring 14 minutes into the game, as Beauchemin continued to make his case for the Norris Trophy awarded to the league’s top defenseman. Beauchemin picked up a loose puck near the blue line and found himself on a 2-on-1 with Kyle Palmieri. As defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic cheated toward Palmieri, Beauchemin elected to hammer a slap shot that got behind goalie Antti Niemi top shelf.
The Sharks tied it five minutes later when Jason Demers snapped a shot on net that sailed through a crowd of Sharks and Ducks before going over Fasth’s left shoulder.
But any disappointment over that goal was tapered when the Ducks made the Perry announcement right at the start of the first intermission, and fans in the arena started to get word of it through social media. When the news of the signing was posted later in the second on the overhanging HondaVision screen, the crowd erupted in a huge ovation.
That crowd had plenty else to cheer about in that period, as the Ducks overwhelmed the Sharks with three goals, all on odd-man rushes. The first came from Holland midway through the stanza, as Andrew Cogliano gave Holland a nice pass across the top of the crease, and the youngster waited out Niemi before sending it top shelf.
Etem struck a minute and a half later, as Daniel Winnik streaked down the left wing and gave Etem a lead pass that he roofed just under the crossbar. For Etem, a prolific scorer at the junior and minor league level, it was the first goal in his 19 NHL games.
“It’s about time. I’ve been waiting a long time and I know the fans have, too," said a smiling Etem, just after posing with the puck in the Ducks locker room. "I knew the goals would come. I’ve been shooting a lot more lately, and I just need to keep that up. It was a great play by [Daniel Winnik], just threading the needle on that pass. I almost ran out of room there. I just hit the panic button a little bit and was able to roof it.”
The 20-year-old appeared to be motivated by it, as a couple minutes later on the penalty kill he led a Ducks breakout down the left wing and made a pinpoint pass to Getzlaf, who easily deposited it in the open net to make it 4-1. Getzlaf could clearly be seen yelling, "GREAT pass!" to Etem just before they embraced.
The Sharks got one back with 28.9 remaining in the period, as Marleau skated in on the right wing and sent the puck in the top corner. They got within a goal less than seven minutes into the final period, as Irwin’s shot from the point kicked off the inside of Getzlaf’s skate and snuck over the stripe.
San Jose tried to get the equalizer late when they sent Niemi to the bench for an extra attacker in the waning moments, but the Ducks recovered the puck and Getzlaf fed Beauchemin, who filled the open cage.
The Ducks look to keep the magic going at home when they take on the only team ahead of them in the NHL standings, the Chicago Blackhawks, on Wednesday night at Honda Center.
Anaheim set a new franchise record tonight for consecutive wins at HOME, winning their 12th straight at Honda Center tonight. It is the second-longest streak in the NHL since the start of the 2009-10 season. Detroit won 23 straight games at Joe Louis Arena in 2011-12, while Washington (under Bruce Boudreau) won 13 straight at Verizon Center in 2010-11. Anaheim’s 12-1-0 record at Honda Center is the club’s best HOME record to start a season.
The club’s 11-game standings point streak is the longest in the NHL (8-0-3, 19 points).
The Ducks improved their record vs. San Jose to 8-1-1 over the last 10 contests dating back to Apr. 6, 2011. The two clubs meet again next Monday at Honda Center.
Anaheim’s 21-3-4 record equals the club’s best-ever mark through 28 games (20-2-6 for 46 points in 2006-07).
Anaheim’s 46 points through 28 games rank second in the NHL, five points shy of league-leading Chicago (29 games, 51 points). The two clubs will face each other this Wednesday at Honda Center.
Tonight marked the 12th time this season in which Anaheim scored four-or-more goals in a game. It was the seventh time in which the club scored five-or-more goals. The Ducks’ 90 goals this season rank second in the Western Conference.
Long Beach native Emerson Etem scored his first career NHL goal as part of a two-point night (1-1=2).
With 1-1=2 points tonight, including the game-winner, Ryan Getzlaf has extended his HOME point streak to a career-high 11 games (7-13=20, +11). Over the last 17 games overall, Getzlaf has notched 8-16=24 points with a +10 rating. He scored his second short-handed goal of the season and the fourth of his career. His team-leading 11-22=33 points on the season currently ranks seventh in the NHL.
Francois Beauchemin matched his career high scoring two goals tonight (fourth time, last: Jan. 18, 2012 vs. Phoenix). His 4-14=18 points this season leads Anaheim defensemen and ranks tied for eighth among league blueliners.
Viktor Fasth is now a perfect 6-0-0 at HOME this season, stopping 151-of-159 shots with a .950 SV% and 1.32 GAA (8 GA/365 MIN).
With an assist in tonight’s contest, Andrew Cogliano has now notched 5-4=9 points with a +10 rating over the last 10 contests.
Tonight’s attendance was 14,441.
20:00 - END OF GAME - This one's over, 5-3. Club record 12th straight home win for Anaheim.
19:59 - Burns hits the post just before the horn sounds.
19:54 - ANA Penalty - Bryan Allen, 2 min. tripping. Allen takes one with 5.5 left.
19:14 - Ducks get the puck with three guys going the other way, as Winnik gets it ahead to Getzlaf, who feeds Beauchemin, and he pours it into the empty net from just in front of the blue line. That puts it away, 5-3. WE'RE GOING TO HOOTERS!!!
19:01 - Puck slides from the corner to Fasth, who covers it.
18:25 - Niemi to the bench for an extra attacker.
17:30 - Etem looks for his second one, running down a loose puck then firing a shot that Niemi fights off.
16:30 - Cogliano feeds an open Ryan in the slot but it hops over (under?) his stick.
15:19 - Sharks ice it with 4:41 left and the Ducks in front 4-3.
12:20 - Fasth covers and gets a snowstorm on him for his efforts.
11:45 - Fasth and Furious, as the Ducks goalie makes a handful of big stops in the last few seconds.
9:53 - Cogliano hustles down the right wing, slinging a shot that Niemi gobbles up.
6:48 - SAN JOSE GOAL - MATT IRWIN - A Burns shot from the right side of the ice caroms hard off Fasth to Irwin, who immediately puts it on net. The shot hits off the inside of Getzlaf's skate and gets over the stripe. We've got a hockey game here, 4-3.
4:35 - Ducks almost get the Hooters goal as Winnik feeds right in front to Etem for the tip.
2:15 - Just after the Ducks kill it, Couture zags and zigs to the middle of the ice, but Fasth is ready for him.
0:00 - Here we go in the third, the Ducks killing Koivu's penalty.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Ducks score three in a span of four minutes, but the Sharks get one back to make it 4-2.
19:54 - ANA Penalty - Saku Koivu, 2 min. interference. Just after Galiardi tries to pass to himself off the wall, Koivu bumps him hard with the shoulder to the ice, and gets the penalty.
19:31 - SAN JOSE GOAL - PATRICK MARLEAU - The Sharks get within two with 28.9 left in the period as Marleau gives it to Havlat at the blue line and gets it right back, skating in on right wing and sending it top corner. It's 4-2 Ducks.
13:55 - ANAHEIM GOAL (SHORTHANDED) - RYAN GETZLAF - Etem shines again as he jumps on a puck off the wall and sprints down the left wing. He makes a gorgeous feed to a charging Getzlaf, who easily deposits it in the open net. You can see Getzlaf yell, "What a pass!" before embracing Etem, as the Ducks lead it 4-1.
12:15 - ANA Penalty - Matt Beleskey, 2 min. hooking.
11:43 - ANAHEIM GOAL - EMERSON ETEM - Ducks go on the run again, as Winnik has it on the left wing and makes a nifty pass to Etem, who reaches out for it and roofs it under the crossbar. First career goal for Etem and this crowd is going bonkers over it. It's 3-1 Ducks.
10:09 - ANAHEIM GOAL - PETER HOLLAND - Ducks get on the rush, as Cogliano leaves it for Ryan, who gives it back to Cogliano down low. He whips it across to a wide-open Holland, who waits out Niemi before flipping it top shelf. Second of the year for Holland and it's 2-1.
10:10 - After a Selanne drop pass, Fowler makes a pinpoint feed to Palmieri, but Niemi stops the redirect. Nice save, admitedly.
7:53 - Sharks, with one of the top-ranked PKs, kill the Ducks' top-ranked power play.
The Sharks appear to have more "Oh, he used to play for..." guys than anyone in the league.
5:53 - SJS Penalty Michal Handzus, 2 min. tripping. Ducks with their first power play.
We get our routine periodic scream of "LET'S GO DUCKS!!!" from the girl in front of the press box, and that somehow leads to a Sharks penalty.
4:00 - Selanne knocks down the puck at the blue line and he's off and running down right wing, but fires way over the crossbar.
3:30 - Lydman puts a nice little hit on Burish behind the net and jars the puck loose.
1:45 - Cogliano with some hustle to spin and put it on net, but there's no one in front.
0:00 - There's a buzz in this arena as people get wind of the Perry signing and we start the second.
1st Period 20:00 - END OF PERIOD - We're tied at 1 after 1, but we've got even bigger news right now.
19:02 - SHARKS GOAL - JASON DEMERS - Demers winds and fires a slap shot that sails through a crowd and gets over Fasth's left shoulder. We're tied 1-1.
14:06 - ANAHEIM GOAL - FRANCOIS BEAUCHEMIN - Beauchemin jumps on a loose puck at the blue line and is on a 2-on-1 with Palmieri. He's not sure whether to shoot or pass, but when Vlasic cheats toward Palmieri, Beauchemin unleashes a wide open slap shot that gets behind Niemi top shelf. Ducks lead it 1-0.
Love this new game we're doing at the timeout, where they have a little kid competing against a grown man, and they show Ducks pictures on the screen and say, "Who's that?" For the kid, it's a normal shot of Teemu Selanne or Ryan Getzlaf. For the adult, it's an extreme close-up of a chin or a nose. It goes over well.
5:30 - On the rush, Sbisa rips a slap shot that bounces hard off Niemi. Steckel appears to backhand the rebound in, but it hits off Niemi, then the post, then dances on the wrong side of the stripe. Doesn't get much closer than that.
2:20 - ANA Penalty Sheldon Souray and SJS Penalty Andrew Desjardins, 5 min. each fighting. Some pushing and shoving after a frozen puck near the Ducks net leads to Souray to shake off the gloves and take on Desjardins, who he quickly wrestles to the mat before officials step in.
1:30 - Fasth makes his first big stop of the game, on a close-in Gomez.
0:00 - And we're underway at Honda Center.
Fasth in net for the Ducks, as expected.
Starters in bold/italics.