ANAHEIM – The Ducks couldn’t have asked for much more out of the home opener of their 20th season.
Anaheim took down the visiting New York Rangers, scoring six goals in the first two periods in a 6-0 rout in front of a sellout crowd of 17,179 at Honda Center. The Ducks improved to 3-1-0 on the season and handed the Rangers a second straight rough road game after they were downed 9-2 in San Jose two nights ago.
The six goals tonight marked the most in a home opener in Ducks franchise history, the previous high being five against Edmonton in 1994, Anaheim’s second year of existence. It was also Anaheim's largest margin of victory in a home opener.
Almost lost in the barrage of scoring at the other end of the rink was a very strong night from goalie Jonas Hiller, who had 34 saves in earning his 17th career shutout. Defensemen Bryan Allen and Sami Vatanen were each plus-5 on the night, matching a franchise record.
"I was excited when I saw the first few minutes," Hiller said. "I knew we were right in the game and putting pressure on. If you get goals early, it’s easy, especially against a team that didn’t have their best game. The first period was great and we were playing most of the time in their zone. I don’t think you can get any better for a home opener."
The Ducks leapt out to a 3-0 lead in the first period -- on goals by Jakob Silfverberg (who had two on the night), Ryan Getzlaf and Daniel Winnik -- and never looked back.
"We talked a lot about being prepared at the start," Silfverberg said. "We were where they were a week ago when we lost on opening night against Colorado. It’s not fun. We knew what to expect, and we had to have a great start. That’s what we did, and it just kept on snowballing."
Getzlaf got the Ducks on the board five minutes into the game, as Corey Perry eluded a Rangers defender on the right wing before slipping the puck cross-ice to Getzlaf for the one-timer.
Four minutes later, Teemu Selanne sent the puck from just behind the net in front to Silfverberg, whose shot hit goalie Henrik Lundqvist, but flipped behind him and barely over the stripe.
Anaheim made it 3-0 with 7:24 left in the period when Winnik skated down right wing and slung a wrist shot that got over the shoulder of a surprised Lundqvist.
It was more of the same in the second, during which the Ducks held a 22-4 shot advantage at one point. They made three of those shots count, as Silfverberg got his second of the night and Saku Koivu and Dustin Penner also chipped in.
Just 1:24 into the period, Lundqvist gambled and came way out of his crease to chase a loose puck that he couldn’t clear from the zone. Selanne fired a shot on a wide open net that rang the right post, but it kicked right to Silfverberg, who put it home.
It was the fourth goal in four games for Silfverberg, who came to the Ducks over the summer in the trade that sent Bobby Ryan to Ottawa.
"You want to build up a lot of confidence at the start of the season," Silfverberg said. "We’ve been playing great as a team, and I’ve been fortunate enough to put in some goals. That always helps."
Silfverberg is the third player in franchise history to score four times in his first four games with the Ducks, after Selanne in 1996 and Winnik in (who scored five in the first four) last season.
Winnik assisted on tonight’s fifth goal at 8:11 of the second, as he made a pretty pass across the top of the crease, and Koivu deposited it.
Dustin Penner got his first goal in his second go-round with the Ducks with 3:45 left in the period. Perry was left alone in the lower left circle and fired across the crease off the foot of defenseman Ryan McDonagh, allowing Penner to punch in the bouncing puck from near the right post.
"We’re constantly getting a little bit better," said Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau. "We still haven’t had our lineup together from the beginning of training camp until now."
A Ducks team that has dealt with injury issues since the preseason endured a few more in this game. Penner (lower body), Mathieu Perreault (upper body) and Nick Bonino (lower body) each left the game with injuries and didn't return.
The Ducks will look to keep it going Sunday at home, which will be Throwback Night, where the team will turn back the clock to its inaugural season of 1993.