ANAHEIM - Despite the inconsistencies of the first half of their season, one thing has remained constant for the Anaheim Ducks: When they take a lead into the third, they don't lose it.
The Ducks carried a 1-0 advantage over the Dallas Stars into the final 20 minutes and turned it into a 2-0 victory tonight at Honda Center, improving to 15-0-1 when they lead after two periods. It was also the fourth win in the last five games for the Ducks, who played a fourth straight without captain Ryan Getzlaf.
Jakob Silfverberg played a part in the two scores, cashing in a long-overdue power-play goal and assisting on Andrew Cogliano's lead-padding tally late in the game. Meanwhile, John Gibson saved all 34 Dallas shots to earn his third shutout of the year, second in the last four games.
"It's a team effort," Gibson said. "Any time you're stopping the puck and the team is playing well in front of you, it makes it easier."
Silfverberg's goal 14:33 into the second period broke two dry spells, in that it was the first goal by either side in the opening 35 minutes, and it was also Anaheim's first on the power play in the last 17 opportunities. Following a John Klingberg high-sticking penalty, Silfverberg banged in a rebound off a Corey Perry shot from the wing to give the Ducks a 1-0 lead.
Video: DAL@ANA: Silfverberg crashes the net, puts home PPG
"Confidence is a big key," Silfverberg said of his elevated play on Anaheim's best forward line with Cogliano and Ryan Kesler. "Any time you know the coach believes in you, that's going to help you play out there and relax. When you're relaxed and have confidence, that's when you play your best hockey."
Silfverberg helped give Anaheim a gargantuan insurance goal with 5:18 left in the game, leading a 3-on-2 rush before feeding Cogliano, who made a beautiful snipe top shelf from the left wing for his 10th of the year.
Video: DAL@ANA: Cogliano buries sharp feed from Silfverberg
"I had the mindset of shooting from the onset, and it ended up working out," Cogliano said. "Silvy made a good play and I was able to get it off quick. It was one of those games where you came to the game ready and want to play. Our line, right from the start, was good."
Silfverberg just missed on his second goal late in the game, with the Stars skating 6-on-4 after a Ducks penalty and having pulled goalie Antti Niemi for an extra attacker. Silfverberg's shot on the empty Dallas from his own end missed just inches wide, as he hung his head in disbelief.
"Tonight, he was a player possessed," said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle of Silfverberg. "He had the puck and nobody could get it away from him."
Added linemate Cogliano, "I've always thought he was one of the most underrated in the league. When you play with him you appreciate him more about what he does with his stick battles and how hard he is on pucks. When he's playing well, he's usually the best player on the ice. He's taken his game to another level."
While the Ducks are in the midst of a January in which they play 10 of 14 at home, they now hit the road for two - in Colorado on Thursday and Arizona on Saturday.
Video: DAL@ANA: Gibson denies Seguin with late glove save