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Andersen's 34 saves help Ducks top Blues

by Louie Korac

ST. LOUIS -- It didn't take long for the Anaheim Ducks to wipe the slate clean and get back to winning. Just 24 hours, as a matter of fact.

A night after a loss to the Chicago Blackhawks snapped their eight-game winning streak, the Ducks were off and running again against the St. Louis Blues. Ryan Getzlaf had a goal and an assist, Nick Bonino had a pair of assists and Frederik Andersen stopped 34 shots in a 3-2 win against the Blues before 19,910 at Scottrade Center.

The Ducks (37-9-5) are 19-2-0 in their past 21 games and have beaten the Blues (32-10-5) twice this season at home. Andersen improved to 12-2-0 in his rookie season for the Ducks, who jumped out to a 3-0 lead before holding off the Blues.

Matt Beleskey and Cam Fowler also scored for the Ducks, who rebounded following a 4-2 loss to the Blackhawks that slightly derailed a team that had won 18 of 19 games.

"If you lose, you just want to get back on the horse and win the next night," said Andersen, who was strong in the third period, when he faced 17 shots. "We just stayed poised and focused."

Getzlaf agreed.

"We were able to rebound and play our game tonight," Getzlaf said. "We showed that we needed to bounce back after a tough loss."

The Ducks did, and they did so by having their way with the Blues for the first 40 minutes before St. Louis made a strong push in the third period.

"It's hard to win as many games in a row as we did and lose," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. "Then you're coming back against one of the best percentage teams in the League. It would be pretty easy to say, 'Hey, we had a good run, let's take this one off.' But they didn't. This is a prideful group."

The Blues, who came into the game on a 10-2-1 run, dropped back-to-back games in regulation for the second time this season, and both sets have come against California teams. The Blues are 1-for-California this season -- they are a combined 1-7-0 against the Ducks, San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings. Those teams have outscored the Blues 31-19.

Before this recent four-game stretch in which the Blues have six goals over 12 periods, they scored 21 goals in four games, winning all of those games and scoring five or more goals in each game.

Barret Jackman and Jaden Schwartz scored third-period goals to get the Blues close. St. Louis goalie Brian Elliott made 18 saves, but his 13-game home winning streak came to an end. Elliott's last loss at Scottrade Center was a 2-0 loss to the Blackhawks on April 14, 2013.

Coach Ken Hitchcock and his team were at a loss for words after another game in which the Blues allowed the opposition to set the tempo early and get established.

"When you're getting behind, you're allowing the other team to set the tempo," Hitchcock said. "You're on your heels; they're on their toes. Happened again tonight, on our heels.

"It's really just the same movie, different day. We're going to have to figure out a way to fix it. ... We're going to have to have better starts, we're going to have to have more people engaged, we're going to have to play on our toes. Can't beat good teams playing on your heels. That's what we did. On our heels, quiet.

Getzlaf picked up where he's left off in the past eight games. His sixth goal in nine games gave the Ducks a 1-0 lead on a bit of a busted play when Corey Perry attempted to center the puck only to have it roll off his stick. Fortunately for the Ducks, it went right to Getzlaf in the slot, and he beat Elliott with a wrister 5:27 into the game.

The Ducks could have had a larger lead, but Elliott was able to keep Saku Koivu's breakaway attempt out 10:55 into the game and Perry hit the post in the final minute of the period, during which Anaheim outshot St. Louis 8-7.

After a Blues turnover early in the second period, Elliott appeared to stop Beleskey's shot from the left circle, but the puck crawled over him and trickled into the net at 2:27 for a 2-0 Anaheim advantage.

"It was a hard shot. I tried to squeeze it," Elliott said. "I thought I'd get the whistle. It's a goal you definitely want back. That's the game."

Alexander Steen's interference penalty led to Fowler's power-play goal, a slap shot from the left circle 9:13 into the period to make it 3-0. Getzlaf earned an assist with his cross-ice pass, his 14th point in nine games.

"We talk about listless first two periods where they're down our throats, making us make plays we don't want to, and capitalizing on their chances while we are kind of disjointed and discombobulated all over the place," Blues captain David Backes said.

The Blues made it interesting in the third period. It wasn't enough.

"The third period maybe they started to get tired from the game [Friday], traveling, and we started to step on the gas, but a three-goal deficit in this league against any team is tough, and against the good teams, it's a real tall order," Backes said. "Hopefully that third period, we can gain something out of that and say that's where we start on our first drop of the puck in Detroit on Monday."

Jackman thwarted Andersen's bid for his first career shutout by firing a wrister through a screen and into the near side at 9:12 to make it 3-1.

Schwartz scored his 16th of the season when he banked a puck from the side of the net off Andersen on the power play with 5:29 remaining, but the Ducks were able to hold on after Andersen stopped T.J. Oshie's shot from the right circle with 2.6 seconds to play.

"Some nights, you're just not going to have it," Beleskey said. "We have to battle through it. They put on a late push. We played a good, solid 60 minutes tonight. Some nights you just don't got it. Tonight we did."

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