Ducks move into third in Pacific with 4-2 win over Devils
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Anaheim Ducks had the chance to move back into a playoff spot by getting a point against the New Jersey Devils. That, however, wasn’t necessarily their main motivation.
Coach Randy Carlyle offered his team a day off if they won their final two home games before starting their last road trip of the season, and the extra incentive enticed the Ducks into smothering the Devils with their physicality.
Brandon Montour scored a power-play goal, helping lift the Ducks into third place in the Pacific Division with a 4-2 win Sunday night.
Ryan Getzlaf and Rickard Rakell each had a goal and an assist, and Jakob Silfverberg also scored for the Ducks, who lead Los Angeles by two points in the division. Anaheim won its third straight game and is 6-1-0 in its last seven at home.
“These types of games, you’re fighting hard for those two points,” said Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm, who had an assist. “Especially against a speedy team like this, you have to try to slow them down. That’s our kind of hockey.”
John Gibson made 15 saves, improving to 9-2-0 in his last 11 starts.
The Ducks held the Devils to a season-low 17 shots, clogging up the neutral zone and keeping New Jersey’s top lines from getting into open space. It was the second time this season the Devils did not attempt at least 20 shots, after being held to 19 at the New York Rangers on Oct. 14.
“They were just all over us,” Devils forward Patrick Maroon said. “We didn’t push back. They had the physical game going, and I thought we kind of shied away from them a little bit.”
Kyle Palmieri had a power-play goal and Maroon also scored for the Devils, who had won the first three games of their six-game road trip. Keith Kinkaid made 32 saves, ending a four-start winning streak.
New Jersey holds the second wild-card in the Eastern Conference, five points ahead of Florida.
Montour put the Ducks up 3-1 at 7:55 in the third period, scoring down low off a pass from Getzlaf.
Maroon cut the lead to 3-2 at 10:05, but Rakell scored 46 seconds later to restore a two-goal lead.
“We felt like we had control of the game,” said Rakell, who has a point in 14 straight games against East teams, with 11 goals and 11 assists in that span. “We didn’t get negative after they scored. We kept coming after them.”
The Ducks took a 1-0 lead at 1:14 in the first on Getzlaf’s 11th goal. Kinkaid saved Rakell’s shot, but his momentum sent the goalie spinning out of the crease, leaving an empty net for Getzlaf.
Silfverberg made it 2-0 at 6:37 by redirecting Josh Manson’s shot.
Palmieri scored at 10:31 of the second to end the Ducks’ streak of 34 straight penalty kills dating to Jan. 23 with a sharp-angle shot from the left circle.
“I thought Anaheim played a heck of a game,” Devils coach John Hynes said. “You have to give credit to the opponent, too, for how well they play. I thought we weren’t as sharp as we needed to be and our puck movement did not allow us to access our speed.”
NOTES: Devils LW Miles Wood did not return after sustaining an apparent right elbow injury in the second. Wood’s right arm was extended to play the puck when he was hit from behind by Ducks D Francois Beauchemin. ... Manson sustained an upper-body injury in the first and did not return. . Getzlaf has four goals and 15 assists in his last 12 games.
Devils: Continue their road trip at the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night.
Ducks: Open a four-game road trip at the Calgary Flames on Wednesday night.
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