Ducks move into 3rd in Pacific with 6-3 rout of Blackhawks
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Corey Perry has been around the NHL long enough to know how to attack the end of the regular season, and the same is true for the Anaheim Ducks.
After some early struggles, Perry and the Ducks look to be finding their groove.
Perry and Jakob Silfverberg each scored twice and the Ducks earned points at home for the eighth game in a row, beating the Chicago Blackhawks 6-3 on Sunday.
Rickard Rakell scored for the third straight game, Marcus Pettersson had his first career goal, and John Gibson made 37 saves. The Ducks moved into third place in the Pacific Division, a point ahead of Los Angeles. They improved to 6-0-2 in their last eight games at home and 6-1-1 in their last eight overall. Ryan Getzlaf had three assists.
“Guys are starting to find their role and play within it,” Perry said. “It’s a matter of everybody fitting in and rolling four lines out the door. Guys are having fun, and when you’re winning it’s fun.”
Nick Schmaltz had two goals, and Tomas Jurco scored for the Blackhawks. They are 1-7-1 in their last eight road games. Anton Forsberg gave up four goals on 21 shots before getting pulled midway through the second period, and Jean-Francois Berube made eight saves in relief.
The Ducks needed just 2:23 to take the lead on Rakell’s fifth goal in three games. With Anaheim on the power play after a frustrated Anthony Duclair slashed Cam Fowler in the offensive zone, Rakell skated through three Blackhawks to get to the front of the net and score off Getzlaf’s centering pass.
Rakell is on his third goals streak of at least three games this season. He had goals in a career-high six-game run Dec. 21-Jan. 2 and another three straight Feb. 3-6.
Perry made it 2-0 at 6:14, whirling around and firing a powerful wrist shot into the top netting from close range.
“Those are things that show you are ready to play a hockey game, and we were ready at the start of the game,” Perry said. “You have to be ready to play these games. Every point is crucial for us moving forward.”
Pettersson, appearing in his eighth NHL game, put the Ducks up 3-0 at 2:09 of the second with a long wobbly shot through traffic. The 21-year-old Swede was caught by surprise when he was credited with the goal after assuming it struck teammate Derek Grant going in.
“Joy. Just complete joy,” Pettersson said, recalling his reaction. “It was a great game and a fun time, too, to score my first.”
It was also the first goal in North America for Pettersson, as he never scored in 44 games for San Diego of the American Hockey League this season, prompting him to joke it is “easier up here.”
Silfverberg made it 4-0 at 6:39.
After rallying from a 3-1 deficit with four goals in the third period to beat the Kings on Saturday, the Blackhawks could not mount another comeback. Jurco got Chicago on the board at 14:59 of the second, and Schmaltz trimmed the deficit to 4-2 1:07 into the third before Silfverberg restored breathing room at 5-2 with his second goal with 13 minutes to play.
“We played the way we needed to for half the game and probably felt like we could have had a better result if we would have started with that same emphasis,” Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews said.
Perry picked up his second with 5:19 remaining for a 6-2 lead.
Schmaltz had his third multi-goal game of the season at 17:32.
NOTES: Getzlaf, who missed the 6-5 shootout loss to Edmonton on Friday with the flu, has two goals and eight assists in his last five games. ... Derek Grant and Andrew Cogliano each had two assists.
Blackhawk: Host Colorado on Tuesday night.
Ducks: Host Washington on Tuesday night.
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