ANAHEIM - On a night when the Ducks honored their 2007 Stanley Cup champions, it was only poetic that the two remaining players from that magical team vaulted Anaheim to victory.
Corey Perry had two goals and an assist, and Ryan Getzlaf added a goal and two assists, as the Ducks blitzed the NHL-best Washington Capitals 5-2 at Honda Center. It was the third win in the last four games for surging Anaheim.
The night's Stanley Cup 10-Year Celebration ceremony began two hours before puck drop, when Getzlaf and Perry momentarily joined many members of the 2007 team for an on-ice program that relived the run to California's first Cup. The 2006-07 captains - Scott Niedermayer, Rod Niedermayer and Chris Pronger - dropped the ceremonial first puck, while luminaries from that team were shown in-arena throughout the evening.
Video: WSH@ANA: 2007 Ducks captains drop ceremonial puck
"It was good to come out and play in front of those guys," Getzlaf said. "Maybe some good mojo. Our team did a great job staying focused on the task and coming out and playing the way we did."
After nearly 25 minutes of scoreless hockey, Perry broke through for Anaheim, skating unabated past the Washington crease and putting a fake on goalie Braden Holtby before deftly slipping the puck past him. It was the 13th of the season and second in the last three games for Perry.
"It was good seeing them and doing the ceremony," Perry said. "I haven't gotten to see a whole lot of them. For them to be here and see the game, and play the way we did, it's definitely a great feeling for everybody."
Video: WSH@ANA: Perry stays patient, opens the scoring
Less than five minutes after his first goal, it became 2-0 Ducks after Getzlaf made a pretty backhanded feed to Ryan Kesler, who fired a shot from the slot that Perry tipped through with his back to the net.
Video: WSH@ANA: Perry deflects Kesler's shot into the cage
Just 28 seconds after that goal, the Ducks struck again as Getzlaf won an offensive-zone faceoff, sending the puck to the feet of Rickard Rakell, who quickly buried it for his team-leading 29th.
Video: WSH@ANA: Getzlaf wins faceoff, Rakell lights the lamp
Washington got one back on the power play courtesy of John Carlson after a Nick Ritchie tripping penalty, but the Ducks regained the three-goal lead 4:27 into the third on a 5-on-3 power play. And it was Perry and Getzlaf again factoring in again, as Perry made a nice feed across the slot to Getzlaf, who lifted it into the open left half of the net.
Video: WSH@ANA: Getzlaf nets Perry's cross-ice feed for PPG
Shortly afterward, the Caps made it 4-2 on a fluky goal, as the puck went off Evgeny Kuznetsov's stick, then was accidentally kicked in by Jakob Silfverberg.
Silfverberg made up for it with a little over seven minutes left in the game, sweeping a backhand pass out of the corner to a crashing Kesler, who tipped it through.
Video: WSH@ANA: Kesler nets Silfverberg's feed from boards
"We all try to lead by example out there," said Kesler, who joined Perry and Getzlaf in posting a three-point night. "It might not show on the scoresheet all the time, but it did tonight. The emotions were high out there. It's good getting those two points tonight."
Randy Carlyle, the coach of that '07 team honored tonight, earned his 400th career win as an NHL head coach tonight, becoming the 36th coach all-time to reach the 400-win milestone.
With the victory, the Ducks (36-23-10) pulled back into second place in the Pacific Division with a matchup against St. Louis looming on Wednesday.
"We definitely played an energized game," Carlyle said. "I felt it right from the opening faceoff that we had our legs under us and we were engaged in the game. We knew we had to play a skating game against a hockey club of that caliber."