|FLA||0||2||0||(0 - 0)||2|
|ANA||1||4||1||(0 - 0)||6|
ANAHEIM -- It wasn't difficult to imagine what was said during a seething speech by Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau during a second-period timeout Sunday. He had to have dressed down the Ducks after defensive lapses allowed the Florida Panthers to score twice in a little more than two minutes.
Boudreau could have reminded Anaheim that the game was the first of nine straight against current non-qualifiers for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The push begins now for the Ducks, who responded to the timeout with two goals in 1:56 on the way to a 6-2 win at Honda Center that put them one point back of the San Jose Sharks for first place in the Pacific Division.
"I really believe it's important to finish strong and build that momentum [for] the playoffs," said Ducks forward Teemu Selanne, who scored his 684th NHL goal. "Because there's no way you can turn the switch on and take five, six games off and wait for the playoffs to start. You've got to build the momentum and right habits and be ready when the playoffs start. There's no time to adjust."
The Ducks ended a four-game home losing streak (0-2-2) with all the bells and whistles: Captain Ryan Getzlaf reached 30 goals for the first time and earned his 600th NHL point, and Corey Perry scored his 37th goal.
The Selanne-Getzlaf-Perry line combined for three goals and five assists. Perry scored from his knees for the second time this season when he put in his rebound from the crease at 11:56 of the second. It was reminiscent of his Dec. 9 goal against the New York Islanders.
Perry's goal gave Anaheim a 5-2 lead after Florida had pulled to 3-2 with goals in 2:01 to prompt Boudreau's timeout. Boudreau looked agitated as he adddressed the Ducks, but he said afterward it must have looked worse than it actually was on the bench.
"It wasn't a yelling, screaming timeout," Boudreau said. "It was just, 'Start playing the right way.' We were so loose. It was like a shinny game for a while, and then once they started playing the right way and getting it deep and not turning pucks over, then it became easier for them."
The game has seemingly become easier for Selanne since Boudreau put him on Getzlaf's line. Selanne's goal came 15 seconds into the second period on a one-timer off a drop pass from Perry to finish a rush started by Getzlaf's pass from the red line. Selanne fed Getzlaf on a give-and-go goal in the third period.
"It's totally different when you get solid shifts and you're out there all the time," said Selanne, who played a season-high 17:50. "It's a different game. That's how I've always played, all 20 years. I'm enjoying every shift here."
Getzlaf joined Selanne and Paul Kariya as the only Ducks with 600 points. He called the 30-goal mark a "nice step forward for me in the goal-scoring department," but said he's always been more of a playmaker.
"It's one of those things," Getzlaf said. "I've never been a goal-scorer my whole life. It's never been something that I go out and strive for numbers and goal scoring. I try and contribute where I can, and this year was one of those years where I had to come out shooting."
Florida goalie Dan Ellis beat Anaheim twice this season with the Dallas Stars, but the Panthers defense didn't offer much resistance against the offensive depth of the Ducks, who got three goals from their third and fourth lines.
Jakob Silfverberg scored on a shorthanded breakaway with a backhand through Ellis' five-hole at 4:08 of the second period. Silfverberg stole the puck from Florida forward Brandon Pirri in front of Anaheim's bench.
Patrick Maroon's first career power-play goal gave Anaheim's sagging man-advantage unit goals in consecutive games after a 1-for-33 stretch. Getzlaf finished good puck movement with a drive down the left side before he passed to Maroon in front at 11:57 of the first.
Maroon left the game with less than five minutes left in the second due to a lower-body injury, according to the Ducks.
"I don't think it's that bad," Boudreau said. "It was more precautionary than anything else."
Florida's scoring drought reached more than 96 minutes before Jimmy Hayes was credited for a tip-in goal off Krys Barch's wrist shot through heavy traffic at 7:59 of the second. Tomas Fleischmann scored at 10:00 to pull the Panthers to within a goal before the Anaheim response.
"It's a good hockey team," Ellis said. "They are one of the top teams in the West, and the West is arguably stronger than the East. They've had a little adversity lately, but you had to be ready for a big push out of them."
It was a sobering end to a four-game trip for the Panthers, who were outscored 10-2 in Southern California, including a 4-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday, after they began with a win at San Jose. Florida has lost 10 of its past 12 road games.
Florida coach Peter Horachek said it is a hard lesson for his young players.
"You've got to have some thick skin and you've got to have an attitude that says, 'I'm coming back again tomorrow and I'm going to learn about this and I'm going to be better,'" Horachek said. "We usually come out of the gates fairly strong until something happens in the game, and then we lose in the strength of where we need to be.
"It's pretty disappointing to see how we react to situations. That's the part that I don't like. We don't react to the first [power-play goal]. We're playing pretty well, and then something happens."
Anaheim center Nick Bonino returned from a foot injury. The Ducks recalled defenseman Sami Vatanen, who was reunited with partner Bryan Allen. Defenseman Stephane Robidas started the game with Francois Beauchemin, the first time Anaheim has used that combination.
|PPG - Patrick Maroon (7) Wrist shot - ASST: Ryan Getzlaf (48), Corey Perry (34)|
1 - 0 ANA
|Teemu Selanne (9) Wrist shot - ASST: Corey Perry (35), Ryan Getzlaf (49)|
2 - 0 ANA
|SHG - Jakob Silfverberg (8) Backhand shot - ASST: NONE|
3 - 0 ANA
|Jimmy Hayes (10) Tip-in - ASST: Krys Barch (4), Dmitry Kulikov (10)|
3 - 1 ANA
|Tomas Fleischmann (8) Wrist shot - ASST: Vincent Trocheck (1)|
3 - 2 ANA
|Kyle Palmieri (12) Wrist shot - ASST: Mathieu Perreault (20), Patrick Maroon (12)|
4 - 2 ANA
|Corey Perry (37) Tip-in - ASST: Sami Vatanen (9), Bryan Allen (9)|
5 - 2 ANA
|Ryan Getzlaf (30) Wrist shot - ASST: Teemu Selanne (15), Stephane Robidas (2)|
6 - 2 ANA
|Ryan Whitney Interference against Kyle Palmieri|
|Kyle Palmieri Too many men/ice - bench|
|Scottie Upshall Tripping against Hampus Lindholm|
|Sean Bergenheim Unsportsmanlike conduct|