Jean-Sebastien Giguere ended the old year by beating his old team.
Giguere, who led Anaheim to the 2007 Stanley Cup, made 18 saves Saturday night as the Colorado Avalanche beat the Ducks 4-2 in his first game at Honda Center since being traded nearly two years ago.
Giguere played parts of nine seasons as a Duck before being dealt to Toronto on Jan. 31, 2010, but never played a game in Anaheim before signing with the Avs as a free agent last summer. The Ducks honored him with a video tribute during the first period. He repaid them by keeping the Ducks off the board until the Avs had grabbed a 3-0 lead.
"I was pretty touched," Giguere said of his reception. "I consider this place my second home. My kids were born here, and I always had a lot of respect for Ducks fans. I never got a chance to say thanks to them.
After the video tribute, Giguere got a standing ovation and waved to the crowd.
"Nothing beats that," he said of the tribute. "It's so nice to come back and see so many people you knew for so long. ... It's been so long. Two years is a long time in hockey."
Seconds after his old team honored him, his current team gave him a lead he would never relinquish. Lubomir Visnovsky's clearing attempt took a bad hop off the glass onto the stick of Ryan O’Reilly. He fed Milan Hejduk, who jammed the puck between Jonas Hiller's pads at 6:35.
Hejduk and his teammates knew this was a not just another game for their goaltender.
"It's definitely a special night for him," said Hejduk, who had his first multigoal game of the season. "He's done so many great things for this franchise, and they didn't forget about it. ... We're a confident group right now, and we're trying to keep it up."
The Avs (21-18-1) then scored twice in 76 seconds early in the second period for a 3-0 lead. Kyle Quincey beat Hiller with a slap shot at 5:49, and Jay McClement backhanded the puck off Hiller’s pad and into the crease, where Chuck Kobasew knocked it in at 7:05 -- putting the Avs on the way to their eighth win in 10 games.
"It feels good,” said Giguere, who is 5-1-0 with a 1.96 goals-against average in his last six games. “We obviously had a good game and played real well. Guys were real hungry tonight and I’m excited by this win.”
The Ducks got on the board at 12:49 when Visnovsky's point shot deflected off Quincey’s stick and beat Giguere.
But Hedjuk's second of the night, a power-play goal 1:49 into the third period, restored Colorado's three-goal lead. Bobby Ryan fired a feed by Saku Koivu behind Giguere with 7:22 remaining, but the Ducks (10-21-6) couldn't beat their former teammate again and lost for the sixth time in seven games. They have lost 10 of 13 since Bruce Boudreau replaced Randy Carlyle behind the bench.
Boudreau spilt up his top two forwards, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, for a while -- something that has rarely happened since the two were paired six years ago. He put them back together later in the game, but they didn't produce any offense.
"Once we get down, we're at a stage where it's so difficult for them to push through," Boudreau said of his team. "It seemed like we came out in the second period and stopped hitting altogether."
Koivu was playing for the first time after missing eight games with a groin strain. The Ducks were 2-5-1 in his absence.
Material from team media and wire services was used in this report