ANAHEIM, Calif. - Joffrey Lupul tallied twice, including an empty-netter, and rookies Dustin Penner and Corey Perry each scored to lead the Ducks over the Chicago Blackhawks 4-1 on Sunday at the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim.
The Ducks are now off for 16 days during the Olympic break and return to the Arrowhead Pond on March 1st to face the Detroit Red Wings.
“It’s big to win the last two games and especially the last one before we go to the Olympic break," said Ducks goaltender JS Giguere. "Everybody’s in a good mood and we can enjoy our break even more, then come back and be refreshed.”
Giguere made 23 stops for his 16th victory of the season.
After a pre-game ceremony honoring Ducks right wing Teemu Selanne for becoming the 70th member of the NHL's 1000 point club, it was the Ducks kids who went to work on offense. Several early scoring chances in the first period by rookie Ryan Getzlaf were thwarted by Chicago netminder Adam Munro.
“We’ve been asking a lot of our rookies and I think they’re getting better every day," said Giguere. It’s good to see that and it’s fun to be a part of young guys playing like that. We’ll need that even more as we go. Every game is so important and it’s great experience for them.”
It was Lupul (20, McDonald, Selanne), a rookie in the 2003-2004 season, who started the scoring with a power play goal at 6:55 of the first period to get the Ducks on the board first. Andy McDonald made a quick move at the side of the goal and slid a pass to Lupul who scored into the open net. The assist extended McDonald's point streak to 11 games (5-13=18) - the NHL's longest active point streak.
Munro stayed solid throughout the first period stopping 11 Ducks shots.
Patrick Sharp (Holmqvist, Lapointe) scored his sixth goal of the season for Chicago at 3:51 of the second period to tie the contest 1-1.
After a lackluster second period, the Ducks came out strong in the third as Penner (Marchant) scored his fourth goal of the season just 17 seconds into the stanza. Penner showed strong work behind the net, fighting off a Blackhawk defender and ripping a shot from the side of the net off Munro and in for his fourth of the season and the would-be game winner.
Perry (Getzlaf, Fedoruk) got his fifth of the season at 3:20 of the third to give Anaheim the two-goal cushion. The rookie from Peterborough, Ontario tipped a pass from Getzlaf as he drove to the front of the net over Munro's shoulder to give the Ducks the 3-1 lead.
Lupul added an empty-net goal (21, Marchant, Beauchemin) at 18:24 of the third to seal the 4-1 Ducks victory.