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Ducks hold off Penguins, 3-2

by John Kreiser
The Anaheim Ducks' big guns came up bigger than their counterparts on the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Anaheim's Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan scored two of the Ducks' three second-period goals Friday night and Jonas Hiller made 31 saves in a 3-2 victory that left Pittsburgh 0-2-0 so far on this week's Western swing that ends in Phoenix on Saturday.

"We were overdue," Ryan said of the big second period. "We had some chances in the first that didn’t quite find the net the way we wanted them to. When you stick with the basics, they are going to come back around for you. We did that in the second."

Sidney Crosby had both goals for the Penguins, who dominated the last 25 minutes after the Ducks scored three times in less than seven minutes in the second period. His backhand deflection of Kris Letang's slapper at 17:27 of the middle period got Pittsburgh on the board, and he swatted a backhander through Jonas Hiller's pads 3:48 into the third period to make it a one-goal game.

The Ducks held on the rest of the way, though Pittsburgh outshot them 12-4 in the third period and 32-19 for the game. Anaheim ended a four-game losing streak against Pittsburgh -- the Ducks hadn't beaten the Penguins since a 3-2 overtime victory on Nov. 6, 2006 -- the first time Crosby played against them.

Pittsburgh has lost five of six.

"We had some chances tonight," Crosby said. "It was a better game (than the 5-2 loss at Dallas on Wednesday).

"We need to be consistent. You can't not give yourself a chance to win. We didn't against Dallas, and tonight we did. You can't make a habit of not giving yourself a chance."

It was a big boost for an Anaheim team that has struggled through the first month of the season.

"Hopefully it’s a stepping stone and we can get some confidence," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "We’ll feel a lot better about ourselves tomorrow morning again. That is what we’re trying to do, something to build on here. We want this building specifically to be a tough place to come into and play. We’ve accomplished that in these last two games."

Ryan, drafted with the No. 2 pick in the 2005 Entry Draft after Pittsburgh took Crosby No. 1, opened the scoring 7:35 into the second period. Lubomir Visnovsky picked up his own blocked shot and slid a pass to Ryan in the high slot for a long wrister that beat Marc-Andre Fleury to the top corner past his blocker.

Perry got around Fleury's stick sweep and fed Getzlaf in front for the second goal at 12:22.

Penguins coach Dan Bylsma was impressed with the Ducks' big line.

"Their real strength is in the offensive zone," he said. "They play a 1-on-1 type of game, and they have those long cycles behind the net. They gave us a problem in the second period."

Saku Koivu made it 3-0 when he crashed the net and cashed in the rebound of Visnovsky's shot. Fleury had made a sliding save through traffic and was out of position, leaving Koivu an open net.

"The first and the second period were really strong for us and they pretty much took it to us in the third period," Koivu said. "The great thing is we got that win and two points that were big for us."

Crosby's deflection of Letang's shot marked his first career goal against the Ducks, and he got his second by backhanding a rebound through Hiller's pads. The Penguins spent the rest of the game buzzing the Ducks' zone but came up a goal short.

"I liked our game," Bylsma said. "I liked the way our team battled and played. It got a way from us a little bit, down 3-0, but we stuck with it. We kept playing, we kept battling. We talk about not worrying about the score but just keep playing and battling, and in a lot of areas, we did that."

Material from team media was used in this report

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