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Recap: Offense Comes Alive and Miller Stands Tall in 5-2 Win Over Avs

by Kyle Shohara @kyleshohara /

What better way for the Ducks to snap their skid than by defeating one of the league's hottest teams? The Ducks needed to get back on track, and they did just that by earning a 5-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center on Saturday night. The impressive victory put an end to a three-game losing streak, and gave the Avs their first loss of any kind at home.

It was a resilient effort from the Ducks, who jumped all over the Avs in the opening minute of the game. Adam Henrique broke a three-game goal-less drought with a snap shot just 50 seconds into the game, and the Ducks came away with a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes.

Video: ANA@COL: Henrique scores in game's opening minute

The Avs entered tonight's matchup with an 8-1-1 record overall, and a 4-0 mark at Pepsi Center. They routed the Vegas Golden Knights last night, 6-1, and had scored five or more goals in half of their first 10 games this season. But their red-hot offense cooled off tonight, thanks to a strong performance from Ducks goaltender Ryan Miller. The 39-year-old netminder battled for a 35-save performance to remain unbeaten this season with a 3-0 record.

Video: ANA@COL: Miller snags Wilson's wrist shot

"The guys played a great game," said Miller. "They're a dangerous offense. We're catching them on a back to back, so I thought our effort and pushing at them to play defense made it so we were off to a lead early."

Hampus Lindholm left his mark on the game in every facet, tying a career high in points in a game with three assists tonight. Lindholm was paired with new acquisition Erik Gudbranson, whom the Ducks acquired yesterday from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for Andreas Martinsen and a 2021 seventh-round draft pick. Gudbranson anchored the right side on the top pairing, formerly occupied by Josh Manson (currently on injured reserve), and finished with a game-high 22:24 TOI. Gudbranson also had two shots, two hits and a +2 rating.

Anaheim's versatile fourth line chipped in with a big goal at the 12:51 mark of the opening frame when Carter Rowney buried a shot over Pavel Francouz's left shoulder for his second goal of the season, finishing off a nice feed from Derek Grant to make it 2-0 Anaheim.

Video: ANA@COL: Rowney finishes Grant's great feed

After the Avs got on the board at the 5:22 mark of the second period on a goal from Joonas Donskoi, the Ducks dug deep and answered back with a clutch goal just three minutes later.

With a power play winding down, Ryan Getzlaf carried the puck between the faceoff dots and unloaded a shot that beat Francouz to put the Ducks up 3-1. It marked Getzlaf's fourth goal of the season and his second with the man advantage.

Video: ANA@COL: Getzlaf fires home wrist shot for PPG

The Avs got one back on the power play early in the third when Nathan MacKinnon scored on the backhand, giving him points in each of his first 11 games this season, but the Ducks once again had an answer.

Five minutes after MacKinnon's goal, Anaheim regained a two-goal lead when Max Comtois pounced on a loose puck in the crease and backhanded it past Francouz. It all started when Getzlaf entered the zone and sent a pass over to defenseman Brendan Guhle, who had the presence of mind to throw the puck on net with teammates crashing the crease. From there, Nick Ritchie and Comtois jammed at it in the slot, with Comtois finishing the play for his second goal in as many games.

Video: ANA@COL: Comtois knocks in loose puck

"Every game I try to be better and prove I belong in this league," said Comtois. "Every time we can get on the score sheet - us young guys - it's good for our confidence."

Jakob Silfverberg put the game away when he scored an empty-net goal at 17:37 of the third to give the Ducks a commanding 5-2 lead.

Video: ANA@COL: Silfverberg takes puck, scores on empty net

The Ducks will finish off their four-game road trip tomorrow night against the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena.

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