ANAHEIM - A rare Sunday matinee did nothing to cool off the hot Anaheim Ducks this afternoon at Honda Center.
The Ducks whipped the visiting Chicago Blackhawks 6-3 to improve to 6-1-1 in the last eight games, 10-1-2 in the last 13 and move into third place in the Pacific Division (33-21-12).
"It was important for our group to continue what they built on from the game before," said Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf. "Guys played really well the night before. It was nice to see us come out and do what we did tonight."
It was the first visit to Anaheim this season for a Blackhawks team that has hardly resembled the one that won two Cups in the last five seasons. Chicago has struggled with a 28-30-8 record, fourth-worst in the Western Conference. They did beat the Kings 5-3 last night in LA, helping the Ducks pass LA in the standings with today's win.
The Ducks staved off a scare when their four-goal lead was whittled down to two, scoring their fifth goal of the night on Jakob Silfverberg's second of the afternoon with 13 minutes left in the game. Silverberg just barely got his stick on a rebound with the backhand, slipping the puck under goalie J-F Berube.
Video: CHI@ANA: Silfverberg nets rebound for second goal
"We've had a few guys, me included, that haven't been able to find the back of the net consistently," Silfverberg said. "Hopefully this gets me going. We need everyone, especially at this time of the year. These were two big periods for us."
Anaheim virtually put the game away with five minutes remaining on Corey Perry's second of the night and 14th of the season, a second effort near the left post after Berube initially denied him with the leg pad. A Chicago goal from Nick Schmaltz with 2:28 was too little too late.
Video: CHI@ANA: Perry pots his own rebound for second goal
The Ducks took advantage of an early power play and cashed in off the stick of the blazing hot Rickard Rakell, who banged in a beautiful feed from Getzlaf. Rakell had a had trick Sunday, a goal on Friday and another one today to give him 27 on the season.
Video: CHI@ANA: Rakell, Getzlaf combine for power-play goal
Perry fashioned one of the prettier goals of the season to make it 2-0 later in the period, walking in toward the crease before doing a 360 and roofing a wrister from in deep.
The second period faceoff led immediately into a star-studded bout between Ryan Kesler and Jonathan Toews, with both former Olympians getting in some shots before Kesler wrestled Toews to the ice. Soon afterward, the Ducks took a three-goal lead on rookie defenseman Marcus Pettersson's first NHL goal, a shot from the point he weaved through traffic to beat starting goalie Anton Forsberg.
Video: CHI@ANA: Pettersson rifles home first career NHL goal
"I thought it was [Derek] Grant at first," Pettersson said of the goal. "I didn't quite see the puck going in, so I was surprised when they said it was mine. Joy. Just complete joy."
Anaheim piled on a few minutes later courtesy of a Silfverberg snipe from the slot, his 14th of the year that made it 4-0 Ducks.
Video: CHI@ANA: Silfverberg beats Forsberg from the slot
Chicago got one back with five minutes left in the period on a one-timer from Connor Murphy that was tipped through by Tomas Jurco in front.
They made it a two-goal game early in the third, when Josh Manson took a gamble and got beat down the ice by Schmaltz for the tally, his first of two on the afternoon.
Anaheim's fifth and sixth goals padded the lead and gave the team 15 in the past three games. "If you look at where the goals are being scored from in the league now, we're doing a much better job getting people towards the net," coach Randy Carlyle said. "Prime example is the Silfverberg goal. He drove to the net and followed up with a rebound. It sat there and he was able to tap it into the net."
The Ducks conclude their four-game homestand Tuesday night vs. Washington at Honda Center.