NEW YORK -- The Anaheim Ducks wanted to end a season-long eight-game road trip on a winning note. And that they did, as the Ducks grinded out a 2-1 victory at Madison Square Garden on Monday night.
New York native Kyle Palmieri scored the winning goal and rookie netminder Frederik Andersen made 32 saves for the Ducks. Corey Perry also scored for Anaheim, which went 5-2-1 on the road trip.
Andersen improved his flawless record to 4-0-0, with a 1.36 goals-against average and .952 save percentage.
It didn't take long for the Ducks to open up the scoring. Derick Brassard's attempted pass to defenseman Dan Girardi bounced straight to Luca Sbisa, whose slap shot deflected to Dustin Penner. Penner's shot was partially blocked, but the puck found Perry right on the doorstep. After his initial shot was stopped by Lundqvist, the All-Star wing put in the rebound to give Anaheim a 1-0 lead 2:29 into the game.
The teams traded chances as the period went along, with Del Zotto snapping a quick shot from the right corner that was kicked out by Andersen at 7:43. Andersen had to be sharp again just 19 seconds later, when John Moore's shot from the point bounced behind the net and right to Brad Richards at the tip of the crease. With little time to spare, Andersen slid across the blue ice and made the save.
Anaheim would thank him for his efforts 67 seconds later. The Ducks again feasted off a poor passing attempt by a Rangers forward.
Francois Beauchemin intercepted a pass from Richards before skating into the Rangers zone and making a perfect cross-ice pass to Palmieri. The Ducks wing, who was born and raised in the New York/New Jersey area, dragged the puck just past Marc Staal's outstretched stick before wiring a perfect shot over Lundqvist's right shoulder with 10:51 left in the first.
Trailing 2-0 early, the Rangers had to be thinking about their previous meeting against the Ducks, where they trailed 2-0 after 9:17.
New York had its first prime opportunity to cut the deficit in half with 5:46 remaining in the first after Emerson Etem was whistled for tripping Del Zotto. The Rangers’ power play, which had scored in three straight games, took a little while to find its stride. But they earned a scoring opportunity 89 seconds into the man advantage, when Mats Zuccarello took a feed from Chris Kreider in front of the Ducks net. But Andersen was up to the task.
Andersen would again come up big late, when Sbisa gave the puck away to an oncoming Ryan McDonagh with 81 seconds remaining in the first. McDonagh fed Derek Stepan, whose quick shot was trapped by Andersen's glove.
The teams benefited from bad line changes early on in the second. Just over 90 seconds into the middle period, the Rangers came into the Anaheim zone on a 3-on-2 rush before Richards fanned on the shot. Moments later, the Ducks came back on a 3-on-1 with Daniel Winnik, deflecting the puck just wide of Lundqvist's right pad following a cross-ice pass from Rickard Rakell.
Anaheim's best chance of the second came with 7:55 remaining, when Perry looked to extend the Ducks’ lead by tucking the puck into the bottom left corner while standing at the side of the net. Lundqvist planted his skate squarely against the post to make the save, but Perry still got in a few extra swats at the puck.
One of New York's best chances of the second came late, when Carl Hagelin wrestled the puck away from Beauchemin behind the Ducks net before feeding a streaking Richards with 1:43 left in the period. Andersen stopped the quick shot with his blocker, but the chance energized the Rangers. Moments later, Del Zotto found a loose puck through a wild scrum in the Anaheim crease and netted his first goal of the season with 1:24 remaining in the middle period. The play began with Callahan taking the puck hard to the net before four different Ducks collapsed around the goal. The puck slid out to Del Zotto, who made no mistake.
Just like that, the Rangers had some momentum. The game turned noticeably physical in the closing seconds. Perry was twice taken into the New York bench by aggressive checks from McDonagh.
The Ducks dominated possession in the first half of the final period. Lundqvist stretched his right leg to make a big save 6:59 into the third off Rakell's deflected shot from the slot. Penner had a prime chance 1:35 later, as he stole the puck from a backpedaling Girardi before putting a hard shot off the right post.
But the ice tilted in the second half of the third, as the Rangers began to storm the Ducks net. McDonagh had back-to-back chances from the slot with six minutes remaining, with Andersen stopping both. Forty-three seconds later, Benoit Pouliot was set up nicely by a Brassard pass. Pouliot couldn't beat Andersen to the backhand, but he did draw a hooking penalty to Bryan Allen. The stage appeared to be set for an exciting finish when Getzlaf was sent off for slashing with 10 seconds remaining in the Allen minor.
Lundqvist was pulled for an extra attacker with 1:55 left in regulation and Getzlaf still in the box. But any hope for a comeback was dashed when Pouliot took a high-sticking penalty with 1:51 remaining. A too-many-men minor to the Rangers with 49 seconds left iced the win for the Ducks (12-3-1), who next play the Phoenix Coyotes on Wednesday at Honda Center.