For an indication why the suddenly hot Ducks have taken six of their last seven games, look no further than the re-emergence of top scorers Corey Perry
, Ryan Getzlaf
and Teemu Selanne
Each got off to sluggish starts at the outset of this season and, not coincidentally, so did the Ducks. In the first six games, the trio combined for just two goals and six points, as the Ducks stumbled to a 1-5-0 start.
But the trio found new life starting with a four-game road swing through Eastern Canada and Columbus
that has carried over through the last three games at Honda Center. In those seven games, the three have accumulated 14 goals and a jaw-dropping 39 points. And consequently, the 7-5-1 Ducks are one of the hottest teams in hockey, having picked up a standings point in seven straight games, the longest current run in the NHL.
“The puck is going in the net for everybody,” Getzlaf said after a 3-2 win over Calgary
on Sunday night in which he had a goal and an assist. “It’s not like we’re doing a whole different. It’s just the way things go. When you’re struggling a little bit, you’re hitting posts, you’re hitting this and that. I thought we worked through it well as a group and rebounded tremendously. That’s the big thing that we’re doing right now is everybody is rolling and contributing. We’re a confident team right now, so we’re playing like it.”
As consistent as they’ve been over the last several games, they’ve also gotten points in bunches. Selanne had a hat trick in a huge Oct. 29 win over Detroit
at Honda Center, then added two more goals two nights later in a 7-6 shootout loss to Vancouver
(the only Ducks defeat in the last seven games).
Getzlaf had a five-assist night against Detroit, becoming just the second NHL player in the last 11 seasons to assist on all five of his team’s goals. Then two nights later against Vancouver, Perry had a five-point night of his own with a goal and four assists. The goal came in the final minute of regulation in the game Anaheim ultimately lost to the Canucks in a shootout. The duo became the first in more than 10 years to record back-to-back five-point games. (Brian Savage and Vincent Damphousse pulled off the feat for the 1997-98 Montreal Canadiens.)
|Perry and Getzlaf combined for 19 points over the past week and became the first set of teammates in more than 10 seasons to have back-to-back five-point nights. |
Getzlaf and Perry, skating together on the Ducks’ top line, combined for 19 points over the past week alone, while Selanne added nine points of his own (including six goals). The trio ranked 1-2-3 in NHL scoring for the week, earning them a collective NHL First Star of the Week award. It’s the first time the NHL has named any combination of teammates as the collective First Star since instituting the award in 1981-82.
Selanne scored six of the Ducks’ seven power play goals during the week, almost single-handedly lifting the Ducks from near the bottom of the league in power play percentage to ninth at 20.37 percent. His seven power play goals for the season leads the league.
Selanne had a four-game goal-scoring streak end in Sunday night's 3-2 win against Calgary, but an assist extended his scoring streak to 6 games. Meanwhile, Getzlaf has also scored points in the last six (four goals and nine assists during that stretch).
Perry's assist streak has reached seven games, one shy of tying the club record.
“They are getting inside and creating chances,” says Ducks coach Randy Carlyle. “When you have the amount of skill that they have, those things will eventually turn the tide in their direction. As long as they continue to work hard to get inside and control that puck, they can be an effective group.”