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Ducks defeat Jets, extend winning streak to seven

by Patrick Williams

WINNIPEG -- The Anaheim Ducks have the ability to take over games. The Winnipeg Jets learned that Saturday.

Jakob Silfverberg, Ryan Getzlaf and Nate Thompson scored in the second period and Frederik Andersen finished with 27 saves in Anaheim's 4-1 win at MTS Centre. The Ducks have seven consecutive wins, and their 47 points and 21 wins lead the NHL. Anaheim has won 10 of its past 12 games.

Andrew Cogliano scored an empty-net goal for the Ducks (21-6-5), who are in the middle of a five-game Canadian road trip and a span of seven of eight games away from home.

"I'm extremely happy with it," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. "To come in and play the way that we did, I'm really proud of the guys."

Anaheim, which won at the Edmonton Oilers on Friday, is 14-3-2 in the second of back-to-back games since the start of the 2013-14 season. Boudreau did not worry before the game about fatigue being an issue.

"I think the group as a whole, they've had some good regular-season success the past couple of [seasons], so I think they go out there every night and think they should win," Boudreau said. "When they play hard enough, they usually do [win]."

Getzlaf has five points in two games against Winnipeg this season (one goal, four assists).

"[Getzlaf is] doing a good job," said Patrick Maroon, who had an assist. "That's why he is our leader and why he has a 'C' on the jersey. You can see that he has taken a big step. He is our best player, but he has elevated his game."

The Jets (15-10-6) got a goal from Bryan Little and goaltender Michael Hutchinson finished with 27 saves. Winnipeg has lost two games in a row (0-1-1) for the first time since Nov. 23, and the loss broke its streak of eight games with at least one point (5-0-3).

"They play a game that in a lot of ways we're trying to model ourselves after," Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice said of the Ducks. "It was an absolute swordfight for every puck out there, and there [was] no easy ice to play on."

Little gave the Jets a 1-0 lead after Anaheim center Ryan Kesler went off for interference. Little snapped his 12th goal past Andersen on a rising shot at 20 seconds into the power play at 11:28. Since the Jets' 0-for-25 power-play slump ended Nov. 25, they have 10 goals in their past 33 power plays.

Anaheim took advantage on a power play early in the second period. After Anthony Peluso's holding penalty gave the Ducks their third power play, they pressured Winnipeg inside the offensive zone for nearly the entire man advantage before Silfverberg's wrist shot snuck past Hutchinson for his fourth goal at 6:15.

The Anaheim power play has scored on five of its past 20 opportunities. Silfverberg, who had 10 goals in each of his past two seasons, has three goals in his past five games after scoring once in his first 26 games.

"I'm glad for [Silfverberg], because if he starts scoring we [will] get that added scoring as a group, I think we'll be tougher," Boudreau said.

Getzlaf's 10th goal then gave Anaheim its first lead when he sent a wrist shot through traffic past Hutchinson 2:04 after Silfverberg's goal. Getzlaf has goals in back-to-back games.

Even with right wing Corey Perry out with a knee injury, Getzlaf has continued to produce; the Ducks captain has points in seven of his past eight games (four goals, 11 assists).

"[Getzlaf is] driving the train, but right behind him in the next car is Kesler," Boudreau said. "They're both playing at the top of their game right now. They're really leading by example right now. That's what you need."

Miscommunication between Hutchinson and Winnipeg defenseman Dustin Byfuglien set up Anaheim's next goal. After the Ducks dumped the puck into the Jets zone, Hutchinson misplayed moving the puck over to Byfuglien. The error allowed Getzlaf to grab the loose puck and feed it into the slot, where Thompson shoveled it past Hutchinson with 2:07 left in the second period for his third goal.

From there, the Ducks clamped down on Winnipeg, something that they had struggled to do in their home-and-home series against Edmonton.

"We're learning," Getzlaf said. "I mean, we still have a fairly young team, and guys are learning along the way a bit. I thought that tonight we did a better job of keeping our composure and playing.

"We did it two games in a row against Edmonton. We stopped playing. It was nice to see us come back. We talked a little about it [Friday], and it was nice to see our guys respond the way they did."

Penalties also stalled any chance of a third-period comeback for the Jets, who took two minors that set up the Ducks' second 5-on-3 power play of the game. Winnipeg's 121 times shorthanded lead the League.

With the Jets on a 6-on-4 power play after Maurice pulled Hutchinson, Cogliano finished off Winnipeg with an empty-net goal with 1:15 left.

"Everything we do when we're playing good, we have to do even better when we’re playing against a top team," Little said. "I don't know if we change our game, if we try to do too much or too little, but that's something we need to figure out. If we're going to have a shot at this thing, we need to figure out how to beat the top teams in the League."

Andersen played his 18th consecutive game; the 25-year-old goaltender has played three back-to-back sets since Nov. 15. His 27 games this season rank him second in the League behind Cory Schneider of the New Jersey Devils.

"I just try to relax as much [as possible]," Andersen said. "Get treatment, make sure the legs are fresh, eat well and sleep as much as I can."

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