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Ducks get shootout win against Blackhawks

by Brian Hedger

CHICAGO -- The Anaheim Ducks went to a third straight shootout, and this time they made sure it didn't last very long Friday night at United Center.

Nick Bonino and Kyle Palmieri scored in the shootout, and the Ducks earned the extra point in a 3-2 victory against the Chicago Blackhawks.

After allowing a goal to Jonathan Toews to start the shootout, Anaheim goalie Jonas Hiller made saves against Patrick Sharp in the second round and Patrick Kane in the third to end it, giving the Ducks (19-7-5) their first shootout victory since Oct. 18 against the Phoenix Coyotes.

"We've been in shootouts the past three games and those are where you've got to get those extra points," said Corey Perry, who scored his 17th goal early in the first period. "Those extra points are crucial. Guys buckled down tonight and got the win."

Ryan Getzlaf assisted on Perry's goal and scored on a power play midway through the second period. Along with a secondary assist by Dustin Penner on Perry's goal, the Ducks' top line again produced almost all of the offense prior to the shootout.

Anaheim continues to seek more secondary scoring, but will take wins any way they come. The Ducks appeared to get the game-winner in overtime from somebody other than a top-line forward, but Mark Fistric's tap-in from the side of the net was waved off.

Referee Kevin Pollock saw Blackhawks goalie Antti Raanta get bowled over in the crease and immediately called no goal. Replays showed Chicago defenseman Brent Seabrook checked Anaheim forward Saku Koivu into Raanta during the play. The Ducks weren't happy but wound up getting the second point anyway.

"It looked like [Koivu] was pushed in, but I haven't seen it on replay yet," Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said. "I'm just happy we won, because if [we hadn't] then we'd be pretty upset, especially after losing a couple shootouts in a row."

The victory snapped a two-game winless skid for the Ducks, during which they lost a pair of shootouts. Their most recent loss came Tuesday against the Los Angeles Kings and lasted nine rounds.

This one pushed the Ducks' win streak against the Blackhawks to five games dating to the 2011-12 season. Anaheim won all three games against Chicago last season, including two at United Center.

"I think a lot of guys are still the same guys on our team," Hiller said. "We come in here and know we can have success. It's already a mental advantage instead of coming in here and knowing you haven't [gotten] points in forever."

The Blackhawks (20-6-5) are winless in three straight for the first time this season. They looked a little worn down in this game, which was the 13th in a stretch of 19 in 34 days, including a seven-game road trip in November that started it.

They got goals from Ben Smith and Kris Versteeg to tie the score each time Anaheim took a lead.

"You can't overreact to it," Toews said. "We just have to try keep improving on the little things we do well as a team and know that if we keep working, eventually we're going to get the breaks."

Chicago plays the Florida Panthers at home Sunday night.

Hiller had to make a great sprawling save off a rebound against Brandon Bollig 1:50 into the game to keep it scoreless, but it didn't stay that way much longer.

After Perry lost his stick in front of the net, he picked it up and tipped a wrister by Getzlaf from the left circle past Raanta at 3:20 for a 1-0 lead. Smith tied it 1-1, 45 seconds later with a wrist shot from the top of the right circle that skipped between Hiller's pads.

The tie wasn't broken until Chicago's season-long issues on the penalty kill cropped up at 10:05 of the second period, when Getzlaf fired a long shot from above the right circle that trickled through Raanta's pads with one second left on a power play.

The goal, scored during Anaheim's first man-advantage, was the fourth time in as many games Chicago has allowed at least one power-play goal. It was their 24th power-play goal allowed in 85 chances, after giving up 18 through the entire 48-game schedule last season.

Versteeg's power-play goal tied the game 2-2 with 2:12 left in the second. It was his second goal in 12 games since coming to Chicago in a trade with the Florida Panthers and happened after his initial shot was blocked in front of the net. The puck came right back and Versteeg buried the rebound with a wrister from the low slot.

The Ducks end their two-game road trip Saturday with a game against the St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center. After that, Anaheim is looking forward to a three-game homestand at Honda Center before heading out on the road again.

"It's been a grind this first half of the season," Perry said. "It's just one of those things. That's the way the schedule is and we've just got to go through it and after [the next trip] we're going to be home a little more. Hopefully we can continue to get some wins and roll then."

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