ANAHEIM - Jakob Silfverberg has gotten hot, and just when the Ducks need him desperately.
The notoriously slow-starting Silfverberg had two huge goals in the third period of a 4-1 Ducks victory over the Vancouver Canucks at Honda Center, helping Anaheim snap a four-game losing skid. The pair of tallies give Silfverberg four on the season, all in the last six games, crucial for a Ducks team that continues to have several notables out with injuries.
"I've been feeling better as the games have been coming in the season," Silfverberg said. "I've been having chances, just not managing to get the puck in. I had two shots and both went in. That's a good feeling."
Added to the well-documented list of the ailing Ducks tonight was goalie John Gibson, who suffered an injury in the third period of Tuesday night's overtime loss to LA. In his stead, Ryan Miller got the win against a Vancouver team he spent the last three seasons with before signing with Anaheim in July. But he too was forced to leave the game with 8 1/2 minutes left after suffering an injury during a scramble in his crease.
Backup Reto Berra replaced him and went the rest of the way. Afterward, Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said Miller has a lower-body injury that he tried to play through but "didn't feel right." He will be re-evaluated tomorrow.
The Ducks had just five power-play goals on the season coming into the game, but had three tonight alone.
"We've been practicing it so much these last couple of days. We talk a lot about it, too," Silfverberg said. "We had a good practice this morning. We told ourselves we have to go out and play with confidence. It showed."
The Ducks thoroughly dominated at even strength, too, outshooting the Canucks 35-20 for the game. "It all comes from hard work, and it was a team effort tonight," added Silfverberg "Hopefully we can keep it going."
The Ducks actually surrendered the game's first goal with 7:48 left in the first when former Canuck Kevin Bieksa attempted to clear the puck to the corner, but it went right to the stick of Sven Baertschi, who put it home.
Anaheim got one back on the power play - seconds after a two-man advantage expired - when Hampus Lindholm threw the puck into the crease from below the goal line and it banked in off goalie Jacob Markstrom.
Video: VAN@ANA: Lindholm banks home PPG off Edler, Markstrom
Another power-play opportunity late in the second led to the go-ahead goal when Brandon Montour took in a Corey Perry pass in the slot and whipped a wrist shot past Markstrom stick side.
Video: VAN@ANA: Montour snipes it past Markstrom for PPG
Anaheim added to the lead only 30 seconds into the third period on the man advantage (from a Ben Hutton holding call near the end of the second) when Rickard Rakell went Swede-to-Swede with a pass to Silfverberg, who buried the one-timer.
Video: VAN@ANA: Silfverberg slams home one-timer for PPG
Another half-minute later it was Silfverberg again, punching in a rebound off an Andrew Cogliano shot from just outside the blue paint.
The two goals in 35 seconds were the second-fastest by a single player in Ducks history. The club record for the fastest two goals by one player is 13 seconds by J.F. Jomphe in the second period of a 5-4 win on Dec. 13, 1996 vs. Washington.
Video: VAN@ANA: Silfverberg nets second goal in 35 seconds
"It's been a long wait for our power play to awaken," Carlyle said. "Tonight we were more determined to get pucks back on our entry. We moved the puck effectively and got the puck directed on net. We were more tenacious and hungrier for the puck. We need to bottle that and maintain that as we go forward."
The Ducks play the third part of their five-game homestand on Sunday vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning at Honda Center.