The Ducks got a pair of goals each by Corey Perry and Lubomir Visnovsky as they beat the Rangers 5-2 on Wednesday night to close their seven-game homestand with a 4-2-1 record. Bobby Ryan added a goal and 3 assists and Dan Elis made 30 saves.
Anaheim now has 77 points -- two behind eighth-place Phoenix. The Ducks are tied with Minnesota, which is ninth because it has more non-shootout wins. The Rangers remained seventh in the East with 74 points, two more than Buffalo and Carolina -- both of which have played fewer games.
"We (stunk)," Rangers coach John Tortorella said when asked about his team's play. "It's a tough way to play at this time of year.
"We had some passengers, some guys who were testing the water."
The Rangers jumped out to an early lead when Brandon Dubinsky scored 4:30 into the game, but couldn't hold off the line of Ryan, Perry and Ryan Getzlaf, which finished with 8 points. Visnovsky added an assist and finished plus-5.
"I think their first line absolutely dominated our team tonight," said Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who matched his season-high by allowing all five goals. "They made it tough for us. We gave away the puck all night, and they're sharp -- that first line is very skilled."
The Ducks had more than a little good fortune in the first period, when each of their three goals went into the net off a Ranger.
Perry tied it at 7:34 when his pass through the crease hit New York defenseman Dan Girardi and deflected past Henrik Lundqvist. Visnovsky put the Ducks ahead to stay at 9:19 with a knuckler from the right point that hit the shoulder of defenseman Marc Staal and went past a helpless Lundqvist.
"Even though we gave up the first goal it didn't deter our attitude towards the hockey game," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "We went out and did what we had to do to get the job done. Our players were rewarded for their hard work."
Visnovsky scored his fifth goal in three games when his slapper from the right point hit the stick of Rangers forward Artem Anisimov and went over Lundqvist's shoulder.
"They got a couple of lucky goals -- but no excuse, we have to be better," Lundqvist said.
After a scoreless second period, the game turned on one sequence early in the third.
Ellis dove across the crease to stop a Dubinsky putback try with the shaft of the stick -- and the Ducks broke out on a 2-on-1 return rush. Perry carried down the right side and slid a pass to Ryan for a one-timer from well inside the left circle at 2:19 that Lundqvist again had no chances on.
Marian Gaborik scored a power-play goal for the Rangers at 5:31, but Perry got his second of the game and 33rd of the season with 5:24 remaining to put the game away.
"The puck just seemed to work for all three of us tonight," Ryan said. "We were able to hold onto it. Perry behind the net wore down defensemen by making them turn different ways. We were good on the forecheck. It was a nice night all around for the three of us."
The Rangers, who've played more games than any of the other Eastern playoff hopefuls, get a couple of days off before they play at San Jose on Saturday. They can expect a couple of solid practices before they take the ice at the Shark Tank.
"We have to get back to the way we're supposed to play," Tortorella said. "We haven't played that way that often this year. We'll bounce back."
Material from team media was used in this report
|Brandon Dubinsky (20) ASST: Ryan Callahan (20), Artem Anisimov (20)|
1 - 0 NYR
|Corey Perry (32) ASST: Bobby Ryan (25), Lubomir Visnovsky (40)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Lubomir Visnovsky (13) ASST: Toni Lydman (20), Bobby Ryan (26)|
2 - 1 ANA
|Lubomir Visnovsky (14) ASST: Teemu Selanne (40), Saku Koivu (21)|
3 - 1 ANA
|Bobby Ryan (31) ASST: Corey Perry (38), Ryan Getzlaf (37)|
4 - 1 ANA
|PPG - Marian Gaborik (18) ASST: Vinny Prospal (8), Derek Stepan (21)|
4 - 2 ANA
|Corey Perry (33) ASST: Bobby Ryan (27)|
5 - 2 ANA
|Dan Girardi Hooking against Bobby Ryan|
|Bobby Ryan Hooking against Derek Stepan|
|Marc Staal Holding against Bobby Ryan|
|Brad Winchester Interference - Goalkeeper against Henrik Lundqvist|
|Artem Anisimov Elbowing against Toni Lydman|
|Teemu Selanne Too many men on the ice|