ANAHEIM - While the Ducks have endured and up-and-down start to their season, they've been perfect so far at home and were utterly dominant tonight against Nashville.
In just their second home game of the young season, the Ducks erupted for five goals in the second period - two from winger Jakob Silfverberg - on their way to a 6-1 rout of the Predators at Honda Center. While the victory did little to heal the pain of a Game 7 defeat to the Preds here in last season's First Round, it was the first time the two teams had faced each other since that hard-fought series last April.
"Tonight we shot pucks, had good traffic in front of the net, and that's how you score goals," Silfverberg said. "A lot of guys stepped up tonight. It's a huge win for us."
And the Ducks did it without captain Ryan Getzlaf, who sat out the game with an upper-body injury suffered in last night's overtime defeat in San Jose and remains day-to-day.
Anaheim hardly needed him in an offensive onslaught in the middle session that was one short of the team record for goals in a period. The Predators had outscored the opposition 9-3 in the second period so far this season entering tonight.
"It's good for this hockey team," said Ryan Kesler, who had Anaheim's sixth goal tonight. "We've been keeping teams to two goals or one goal, but we haven't been getting the goals. Tonight, they came."
The Ducks jumped in front less than three minutes into the game on the power play, on a beautiful sequence in which Antoine Vermette got the puck to Michael Sgarbossa, whose touch pass from the slot to Nick Ritchie was tucked inside the far post with the backhand.
Video: NSH@ANA: Ritchie scores PPG after great puck movement
A penalty near the start of the second put the Ducks on their heels, but they turned the tables on a shorthanded rush, as Shea Theodore picked up a surrendered puck on left wing and slid it across the ice to Jakob Silfverberg, who buried it.
Video: NSH@ANA: Silfverberg buries SHG on feed from Theodore
The Ducks made it 3-0 on Silfverberg's second in a row, mere seconds after a Ryan Johansen unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, as Silfverberg slung a shot from above the left wing circle that darted under the crossbar through traffic.
"It's great for the confidence," Silfverberg said of his first two of the year. "It's nice to get the first one out of the way. It was a nice pass from Shea [Theodore]. I didn't expect it, but it went underneath the defenseman and I managed to get a shot off. Getting the second one was a good feeling, too."
Soon after Silfverberg's second, Corey Perry did it pretty much all himself to give the Ducks a 4-0 lead, stealing the puck near center ice, cutting into the slot and sniping a shot past goalie Pekka Rinne.
Rinne was immediately pulled for backup Marek Mazanec, who was left hung out to dry soon afterward. Andrew Cogliano picked Mattias Ekholm's pocket, sprinted down on a breakaway and sent the puck over the stripe with a deke and a backhand.
The blitzing continued with 46.1 left in the second, again on the power play, as Kesler tipped through a Cam Fowler slap shot with his back to the net.
The Ducks had three power-play goals and two shorthanded goals for the first time in club history, with the last NHL team to pull off the feat being Edmonton on March 18, 2008 vs. Phoenix.
Nashville got on back on a power play of its own, off a bad Korbinian Holzer turnover, as Colin Wilson deposited the gift to sully what had been an otherwise flawless night for Ducks goalie John Gibson (28 saves).
"We don't really refer to last year," said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle. "This is a different group. We look at the back-to-back. We got three out of a possible four points. If you would've said that going into San Jose, which is a tough building to play in, and coming back and meeting a rested Nashville team, we'd have our work cut out for us. That's a big positive from our standpoint."
Anaheim will look to keep it going Friday night vs. Columbus at Honda Center, when the Ducks will give away Getzlaf bobbleheads to all fans in attendance.