Happily for the rest of the Western Conference, the Anaheim Ducks will spend the coming week on the road.
The Ducks tied a franchise record with their 11th consecutive home victory by beating the St. Louis Blues 4-2 on Sunday. Corey Perry scored the go-ahead goal 5:20 into the third period and added an empty-netter for Anaheim, which hasn't lost at Honda Center since being beaten 5-0 by Vancouver in its home opener. Jonas Hiller made 29 saves.
The Ducks showed this time that they can play from behind -- they allowed the Blues to take a 2-1 lead early in the period before scoring three times.
"We've played in all different situations throughout the year," said Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf, who assisted on Perry's game-winning goal. "We've played with leads, we've played from behind. We've won close games and other games. When you're playing well, you try to stick with that confidence that you have the ability to do it. Stick with your system that works. And that's what good teams do."
Perry snapped a 2-2 tie when he deflected Getzlaf's shot from the top of the right circle past Jaroslav Halak for his eighth goal of the season. He skimmed a shot from the red line into the empty net with 40 seconds to play.
At 18-3-3, the Ducks are in first place in the Pacific Division and just six points behind Western Conference-leading Chicago. It's the best 24-game start in franchise history.
"It feels good," Perry said. "Everybody here knows what's going on and the role they're supposed to be playing. Everyone is adapting to it. We're staying positive when we get down in games, whether it's early or like tonight in the third period, we find a way to win. We don't deviate from our game plan. It has definitely helped us confidence-wise, especially when it starts from the goalie right on up."
Halak made 18 saves for the Blues, who lost two of three games in a four-day span in California. Their only win was a 4-3 overtime victory at San Jose on Monday.
The Blues grabbed a 2-1 lead 1:41 into the third period when Patrik Berglund drove a shot through a screen by David Backes and past Hiller. But the Ducks tied it 90 seconds later when Bobby Ryan -- whose penalty led to Berglund's goal -- drove to the net and banged in a rebound after Francois Beauchemin's shot hit Getzlaf and landed on his stick.
"We ran out of gas," Berglund said. "We lost our energy. We made a soft play and they shoved it down our throats."
Anaheim tied it at 8:24 of the second on a shorthanded breakaway goal by Andrew Cogliano. Seconds after he misfired on a 2-on-1 break, Cogliano picked up a pass from Emerson Etem, went in alone and beat Halak.
"Those are massive plays when you're talking about momentum shifts within a game," Getzlaf said. "It gets us right into the game. It allows us to keep pushing forward."
The Ducks open a three-game road trip with a stop in Minnesota on Tuesday. They hit the road brimming with confidence.
"When you believe you can win, when you've been in all situations, it really helps," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. "If we were a team that was 5-and-12 or something, we probably would've said, 'Here we go again. We played good.' But when you're a team that has had a little bit of success here, you're going to start thinking you're going to find a way."
Material from team media was used in this report.
|Ryan Reaves (1) ASST: Wade Redden (2), Adam Cracknell (2)|
1 - 0 STL
|SHG - Andrew Cogliano (9) ASST: Emerson Etem (5), Ben Lovejoy (7)|
1 - 1 Tie
|PPG - Patrik Berglund (13) ASST: Kris Russell (3), T.J. Oshie (12)|
2 - 1 STL
|Bobby Ryan (8) ASST: Ryan Getzlaf (20), Francois Beauchemin (12)|
2 - 2 Tie
|PPG - Corey Perry (8) ASST: Ryan Getzlaf (21), Francois Beauchemin (13)|
3 - 2 ANA
|EN - Corey Perry (9) ASST: Francois Beauchemin (14), Sheldon Souray (5)|
4 - 2 ANA
|Adam Cracknell Tripping against Ben Lovejoy|
|Matt Beleskey Tripping against Wade Redden|
|Wade Redden Hooking against Ryan Getzlaf|
|T.J. Oshie Interference on goalkeeper against Jonas Hiller|
|Barret Jackman Slashing against Ryan Getzlaf|
|Corey Perry Interference against Alex Pietrangelo|
|Kris Russell Hooking against Daniel Winnik|
|Bobby Ryan Tripping against Roman Polak|
|Roman Polak Tripping against Saku Koivu|
|Barret Jackman Slashing against Corey Perry|