For a team looking to take advantage of their longest homestand of the season, the Ducks made sure to start it off with a bang. Scoring four goals in a second-period blitz, the Ducks defeated the Winnipeg Jets 7-4 at Honda Center on Tuesday night to get back into the win column after a disappointing loss just two nights ago. The seven goals marked a season high for the Ducks, who saw six different players light the lamp. The win also improved Anaheim to 5-1-0 at home.
It was wild. It was wooly. But it was also entertaining. Both clubs threw caution to the wind, trading leads in the blink of an eye. The goal-scoring barrage began almost immediately with Winnipeg's Nikolaj Ehlers opening the scoring just 55 seconds into the game on a shot from the right wing that sailed past Ducks goaltender John Gibson.
Winnipeg's lead lasted until the midway point of the first period when Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler raced into the zone and sent a wrist shot on goal that beat Jets netminder Connor Hellebuyck far side to tie the game. It was vintage Fowler, who used his skating ability to join the rush and receive a pass from Jakob Silfverberg as the trailer on the play. With the goal, Fowler surpassed Scott Niedermayer (60) for the all-time franchise lead in goals by defensemen.
Video: WPG@ANA: Fowler nets wrist shot for the equalizer
The Jets regained the lead two minutes later when Blake Wheeler pounced on a turnover in the slot for his fourth goal of the season - a foreshadowing of the kind of offense we'd see tonight.
Continuing a trend this season, the Ducks came out of the second period with a purpose. It took just 38 seconds into the middle frame for the Ducks to even the score when Ryan Getzlaf fired a shot off a faceoff win from Max Comtois to tie the game. It marked Getzlaf's sixth goal of the season and pushed his goal streak to three straight games. With the assist, Comtois extended his point streak to four games (2g/2a), a new career high.
Video: WPG@ANA: Getzlaf nets quick wrister after face-off
Adam Henrique doubled the lead at the 6:18 mark of the second period with his team-leading eighth goal of the season, deftly deflecting a pass from Silfverberg in the high slot.
Video: WPG@ANA: Henrique pots goal off redirection
Winnipeg responded a minute later on Ehlers' second goal of the game, but the Ducks answered right back with two of their own.
Troy Terry ended a lengthy scoring drought with a breakaway goal at the eight-minute mark of the second period. Then it was Derek Grant's turn, scoring a goal off his body just 1:10 later.
Video: WPG@ANA: Terry beats Hellebuyck on the break
Video: WPG@ANA: Grant credited with goal after puck pinballs
Amidst all the offense was a breakthrough performance from rookie defenseman Josh Mahura. Making his season debut tonight, Mahura (third-round pick, 85th overall in 2016) recorded three assists in a 2:52 span of the second period. He became the sixth rookie in NHL history and the first since 1991 to record three assists in less than three minutes in a single period (defenseman Todd Richards of Hartford on March 31, 1991 at Boston, 2:37). The only other Ducks player (regardless of position or experience) to ever record three assists in less than three minutes in a single period is Getzlaf, who did so on Nov. 27, 2010 at Phoenix (1:36).
With three points tonight, Mahura tied the club rookie record for points and assists in a game by a defenseman. Only four other rookies have posted three assists in a single game, the last being Fowler on Jan. 7, 2011 vs. Columbus. Furthermore, seven other rookies have had three points in a single game (last: Sami Vatanen, Jan. 15, 2014 vs. Vancouver).
Winnipeg cut the deficit to 5-4 on Bryan Little's goal at the 6:39 mark of the third, but that was the closest the Jets would get.
Carter Rowney tacked on an insurance goal with 3:48 remaining in regulation when he raced in on a breakaway and snuck a shot through the five hole, and then scored into an empty net in the final seconds, giving him his first career multi-goal game.
Video: WPG@ANA: Rowney beats Brossoit on the break
Video: WPG@ANA: Rowney seals 7-4 win with empty-net goal
Gibson went the distance in the win, stopping 36-of-40 shots for his fifth win of the season (5-6-0). Hellebuyck started the game for the Jets, but surrendered four goals on 18 shots in 28:32. Laurent Brossoit took over from there, allowing two goals on nine shots.
The Ducks will continue their seven-game homestand on Friday when they host the Vancouver Canucks.