Anaheim's offense roared to life in a three-goal second period to fuel the club to a 4-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena on Thursday night. Jakob Silfverberg had a hand in each of those goals, scoring two of them and assisting on another as part of a career-tying four-point night, as the Ducks improved to 7-5-3 (17 pts.) on the season. Ryan Kesler also scored twice, including an empty-net tally in the third period, to give him a team-leading six goals on the season. Jonathan Bernier made 25 saves for his second victory of the season (2-1-0).
Ryan Getzlaf also cemented himself in franchise history with his assist on Kesler's empty netter. With the assist, Getzlaf surpassed Teemu Selanne (531) for the all-time franchise lead in assists.
"Teemu is such a friend and mentor to all of us," said Getzlaf. "It's a big thing. I don't know if it would've meant as much passing certain guys, but I played with 'T' so long, and I have a lot of respect for him."
Teuvo Teravainen and Victor Rask scored for Carolina, which fell to 3-6-4 (10 pts.) after dropping the first of a five-game homestand.
The Ducks had to face a bit of adversity minutes into the game when Kevin Bieksa was sent to the penalty box for cross checking. Carolina's best chance with the man advantage came from a point shot that happened to sneak behind Bernier and rest in the crease for a few precarious seconds before Sami Vatanen managed to sweep it out of harm's way.
Anaheim's best chance in the opening period came from Silfverberg, who nearly beat Cam Ward with a backhander that the veteran netminder managed to get a piece of.
The Ducks opened the scoring at the 4:46 mark of the second period when Kesler finished off a nice sequence down low from the team's "shutdown line." The play started when Andrew Cogliano made a simple dump-and-chase play to retrieve the puck in the corner. From there, he cycled the puck with Silfverberg, who reversed it back to Cogliano. In one motion, Cogliano sent a backhanded pass into the slot where Kesler managed to chip it past Ward for his fifth goal of the season. The goal gave Kesler eight points in his past eight games.
Video: ANA@CAR: Kesler nets a great feed for opening strike
"They've been great," Getzlaf said of Cogliano, Kesler and Silfverberg. "They've been doing it for the past couple of years. That's the one benefit of having that depth. They go out and do their job properly almost every night. When they chip in with offense, that's big."
Anaheim increased the lead to 2-0 when Silfverberg corralled a wide point shot to beat Ward top shelf. Cam Fowler took the initial shot from the left point, which went wide, but the lively boards gave Silfverberg a friendly bounce for his fourth goal of the season and second point of the night. Cogliano was credited for the secondary assist, giving him two points in the game and his second multi-point effort of the season.
Video: ANA@CAR: Silfverberg doubles the Ducks' advantage
Silfverberg wasn't done. The easy-going Swede tallied his second goal and third point of the night just three minutes later when he capitalized on Brett Pesche's turnover at Anaheim's blueline. From there, he chugged it down the ice and beat Ward with a low shot to give the Ducks a 3-0 lead.
Video: ANA@CAR: Silfverberg slides his second goal past Ward
Carolina responded at the 14:58 mark of the period when Teravainen got a stick on a point shot for his third goal and fourth point of the season.
The Hurricanes struck again in the early stages of the third period when the Ducks failed to clear the zone. After Jeff Skinner gathered the loose puck behind Bernier, he quickly sent a pass to the near post where Rask one-timed it home at 3:15 of the third period.
Kesler would give the Ducks the insurance goal they needed with 26 seconds remaining in regulation when he fired a shot into an empty net for his team-leading sixth goal of the season.
"We let our foot off the gas pedal a little bit," Kesler said. "They have a lot of pride over there and almost tied it. We showed great character in those final 10 minutes to hold off their pressure to get the win."
In addition to tying his career high in points in a single game (last: March 14, 2016 vs. New Jersey), Silfverberg became the first Duck to record four points (or more) in a road game since Dec. 21, 2013, when Getzlaf had four points (3g/1a) at Nassau Coliseum against the New York Islanders.
The Ducks will have a full day off tomorrow before resuming action on Saturday night against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena.