ANAHEIM, Calif. –
One of the better games in a dismal Anaheim Ducks
season marked the end of the Randy Carlyle era.
Carlyle was fired after Wednesday's 4-1 victory against the Montreal Canadiens
at the Honda Center and replaced by former Washington Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau.
Anaheim also jettisoned assistant coaches Mike Foligno and Dave Farrish in a clean-house move after a 2-12-4 run over the previous 18 games marked the worst stretch in Carlyle's seven-year tenure.
The organization made the announcement about an hour after the game ended and neither Carlyle nor Ducks players were available to comment. ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun tweeted that general manager Bob Murray informed Carlyle 40 minutes after the game, and Murray then met with the team leaders.
Anaheim, ironically, finally played a 60-minute game.
Much-maligned captain Ryan Getzlaf
snapped a career-high 14-game goal scoring drought and Corey Perry
had a power play goal as the Ducks broke a seven-game winless streak and won for only the third win in the past 19 games for Anaheim.
"It's a frustrating thing," Getzlaf said. "It's one of those things where you're working and working and working and not getting the results that you need. This is the first time I'd ever been through something like that. We're going to take tonight and enjoy this one and get back to work."
The Ducks also snapped a five-game home losing streak with a goal from promising rookie Devante Smith-Pelly
, and their penalty killing unit forced Montreal into an 0-for-7 performance.
Montreal fell hard in its first game without second-leading scorer Max Pacioretty
. The Canadiens were held without a shot on goal – a dump in by P.K. Subban
-- through the first 15 minutes of the third and three total in the final 20 minutes.
"It seemed like the whole third period was special teams, either on the power play or killing penalties," Brian Gionta
said. "It's tough to get some momentum back, but that's why you need your power play to create something and unfortunately in the third period we didn't create any shots or sustained pressure."
Anaheim rebounded with captain Getzlaf, who has come under scrutiny for his lack of leadership-by-example, and Perry, who had been singled out for a slow start to the season although he has goals in four straight games.
The Ducks have had numerous meetings about their spiral, and Getzlaf and Perry talked briefly before the game. Wednesday night, they got results.
"It's nice to see our group buy in the way we want to and do the things that we talked about the last few days," Getzlaf said. "We've been talking 'til we're blue in the face for the last month. We had a couple of good, hard days' work of practice the last few days, and I think it carried over on the ice tonight."
Perry deflected Francois Beauchemin
's snap shot for his team-leading 11th goal at 2:55 of the third for Anaheim's second power-play goal.
Equally important for Anaheim was not only holding a third period lead and killing two Montreal power plays. Anaheim blew a 4-2 third period lead against Chicago last Friday, which was essentially rock bottom for the Ducks.
"Those games hurt when you're up by a couple and behind at the end of the game," Perry said. "We talked between periods … put pressure on their 'D,' stay on the forecheck. We're skating and moving our feet, we're going to draw penalties. It showed out there … it's definitely huge when we're doing that."
Smith-Pelly gave Anaheim that rare lead going into the third period with a power play goal from a double-minor high sticking penalty by Tomas Plekanec
Smith-Pelly grabbed a puck from mid-air in front of the crease, whacked it past Peter Budaj
and let loose a big fist pump for good reason. He scored his first NHL goal on Nov.9, but he was credited for it after the game because video reviews determined the puck hit his knee.
The Ducks actually turned in another poor start, but Getzlaf salvaged it with 19 seconds to go to forge a 1-1 tie.
Linemate Matt Beleskey
created pressure down low and Getzlaf forced the puck away from Hal Gill
. Perry collected the loose puck and zipped a cross-ice pass to Getzlaf for a snap shot.
Getzlaf said he wasn't aware of his drought until Perry told him before the game.
"It is nice to get the monkey off his back and get him going again," Perry said. "We needed him to score big goals and he did that tonight."
Montreal's 25th-ranked power play got nearly seven minutes of opportunity in the first period because of interference, holding and a closing the hand on the puck penalties by Anaheim. But the Canadiens managed just three shots on goal total during the advantage.
"They were a desperate team and we did some things early on, and we got going the right way," Gill said. "We let a few things creep back into our game and they have some skill players that make plays. We couldn't get the job done on the power play and we gave up some (power-play) goals."
made his NHL debut for Montreal and played on a line with Travis Moen
and Lars Eller
. Andrei Markov
had treatment on his knee Wednesday and did not skate.