ANAHEIM -- The Ducks have had nothing but trouble dealing with the Vegas Golden Knights in that franchise's short history, but that all changed in an instant tonight.
The Ducks reeled off three goals in a span of 97 seconds in the second period to catapult them to a 4-3 victory over the Golden Knights at Honda Center. It was just the second victory in 10 games for Anaheim over the Golden Knights in the three seasons of their existence and the first Ducks triumph at home.
Anaheim carried a three-goal lead into the final two minutes of the game, but two quick ones from the Golden Knights added some drama to the closing moments.
"That's what we had to do against that team," said Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler, who had one of the three goals in that second period. "They're known for their work ethic, and we didn't want to get outworked on our home ice. We were ready right from the drop of the puck. It's a big win for us."
The Ducks went into the holiday break on a sour note, after a depleted lineup with a number of players out with illness or injury went down to the Rangers 5-1 last Sunday in New York. "There's going to be a little rust after a break, but our energy was there the whole time," Fowler said. "We were ready to go. You have to match that team's work ethic. That's a big staple of theirs. Maybe execution-wise, that takes a couple minutes, but I thought our guys were ready right from the start."
A scoreless first gave little indication of what was to come in the second in which Anaheim wiped out a Vegas lead with the trio of quick-fire strikes. The first came on a 5-on-3 that was the result of Ryan Getzlaf getting cut on a high stick from Tomas Nosek, who was hit with a double minor. Getzlaf headed to the locker room only to return soon afterward, and the Ducks took advantage on the power play when Adam Henrique netted a one-timer from the right circle.
Video: VGK@ANA: Henrique cranks one-timer for PPG
Just 1:23 later, Fowler gave Anaheim its first lead on a point that nicked Vegas defenseman Deryk Engelland and fluttered over goalie Malcolm Subban.
Video: VGK@ANA: Fowler deflects puck off defender for PPG
And 14 seconds later, the one-goal cushion became two on a tip in front by Max Comtois on a Jacob Larsson shot from inside the blue line.
Video: VGK@ANA: Comtois redirects puck past Subban
It matched the third-fastest three goals in Ducks franchise history and gave Anaheim a 3-1 lead going into the third. That lead became 4-1 at the halfway point of the period when Carter Rowney poked away the puck in the Vegas zone and Devin Shore slipped it under Subban.
Video: VGK@ANA: Shore snaps quick wrist shot past Subban
Nate Schmidt got Vegas within two goals with just under two minutes left on a twice-deflected puck that got past goalie John Gibson (26 saves). Vegas got even closer on a one-timer from Schmidt with just 5.7 seconds left and Subban on the bench, but it was too little too late.
"They got a couple in the end there, but it was a good team win for us," Henrique said. "Contributions throughout the lineup. We were playing for each other. We were playing as a team. I thought we did a good job responding after they go up [1-0]. Getting two and three [goals] was big for us."
The Ducks will look to make it two in a row when they take on the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday at Honda Center.
"That was certainly a much different game than when we went into Vegas quite a while ago," Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said. "I thought our guys were excellent. They executed the game plan. They competed hard and we finished when we needed to."