Knowing their past few performances simply weren't good enough, the Ducks tonight rose to the occasion in a big way. In a spirited performance throughout the lineup, the Ducks snapped a three-game losing streak with a resounding 3-0 victory over the red-hot New York Islanders on Hockey Fights Cancer Night presented by UCI Health at Honda Center.
Not only did the Ducks get back into the win column, they did so against a team that hadn't lost in regulation in the past 17 games. The Islanders entered tonight's game with a 15-0-2 record since Oct. 12 and were looking to become just the ninth team in the last 35 years to record at least one point in 18 or more straight games. Not tonight.
With the win, the Ducks improved to 11-11-3 (25 points), while the Islanders fell to 16-4-2 (34 points). (It also marked the Isles' first shutout loss of the season.)
"That's definitely the response we wanted," said Ryan Getzlaf, who posted his third multi-point game of the season (1g/1a) and opened the scoring tonight. "We talked a little bit as a group and some things were said, and necessary to respond as a group. I thought we did a good job of that tonight playing 60 minutes."
The Ducks had to weather the storm through the opening 20 minutes that had the shots 16-5 in favor of the Islanders. However, the Ducks made their push once the second period began.
Getzlaf broke a scoreless tie midway through the middle frame with his ninth goal of the season that got the crowd of 16,269 rocking. The goal gave Getzlaf points in five straight games (2g/4a) and 13 points (6g/7a) in his last 14. The Ducks finished the period out-shooting the Isles 15-7.
Video: NYI@ANA: Getzlaf scores after fortunate deflection
Then, in a span of 1:11 in the third, the Ducks pounced on Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss with two quick-strike goals. Cam Fowler scored his fifth goal of the season at the 13:13 mark of the third when he crashed the slot and buried a nice feed from Getzlaf to give the Ducks a two-goal lead. Fowler leads Ducks defensemen in goals (5) and points (13), co-leads in plus/minus (+5) and ranks second in assists (8).
Video: NYI@ANA: Fowler beats Greiss with wicked wrister
"It's obviously a great challenge," said Fowler, who tonight tied a career high with a +3 rating (10th time). "They're one of the hottest or the hottest team in the league, so [it was] an easy game to get up for. We believe we can compete with anybody if we play consistently for 60 minutes and we did that tonight, so it's a big win for our group."
With the crowd still buzzing from Fowler's goal, Ondrej Kase gave the Ducks a three-goal cushion when his shot from the boards sailed over Greiss' shoulder for his third goal of the season. The shot appeared to handcuff Greiss, who reached for it with his glove.
Video: NYI@ANA: Kase corrals bouncing puck, pots wrist shot
John Gibson finished the game with 26 saves for his first shutout of the season and the 19th of his career.
"[Gibson's] been playing great," said Fowler. "All season long, he's been a big reason why we've been able to compete in hockey games. Like I said, we felt that we could do a much better job in front of him and I think we did that tonight. When you let him see the puck and track him, and you're taking care of guys in front of the net, he's going to make all those saves. Great team effort, but definitely happy to see him get a shutout. He deserves it."
The Ducks will travel to Arizona to take on the Coyotes at Gila River Arena on Wednesday night (6:30 p.m. PT).