After starting the week with a 3-2 shootout loss at the hands of the Los Angeles Kings at Honda Center the Anaheim Ducks headed off on the road to face two elite Central division foes, the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues. Playing in two of the toughest opposing stadiums to win in the Ducks took care of business and swept the Blackhawks and Blues to wrap up a solid week of hockey. With the victory the Ducks ret-took the lead in the NHL’s Pacific Division, two points up on the San Jose Sharks.
Week Recap: Tuesday night the Ducks lost a tough one to the Kings at Honda Center on Dwight King’s shootout goal. Anaheim had goals from Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. Perry’s third-period goal, his 16th of the season, gave the Ducks a 2-1 lead before Dustin Brown scored for the Kings to send it into overtime. The two teams were scoreless in the overtime period, leading to the shootout and the eventual Kings win. With a couple days off to rest the Ducks visited the defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks on Friday night and defeated the champs 3-2 in a shootout. Captain Ryan Getzlaf had a goal and an assist in the victory with Corey Perry notching the Ducks other goal, his 17th on the season. The Ducks had the difficult task of traveling to St. Louis to face the big and talented Blues club on the second night of a back-to-back. The Ducks jumped out to a 4-0 nothing lead and never looked back in routing the Blues behind two goals from Andrew Cogliano and a goal each from Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf. The two Ducks superstars have now scored in three consecutive games. Getzlaf and Perry are now 3rd and 5th respectively in the NHL in scoring and goals scored. They are clearly living up to the big contracts they signed last season.
The Week Ahead: The Ducks have three at home this coming week against the New York Islanders, Minnesota Wild and Edmonton Oilers. The Islanders, led by fourth-year star John Tavares have struggled this season, as have the Edmonton Oilers and their collection of young talent. If the Ducks can take care of business and knock off the Islanders and Oilers they can perhaps put some distance between them and the Sharks in the division race. The Wild, led by last year’s free agent signees Ryan Suter and Zach Parise are in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race with 39 points on the season. They’re a well coached and disciplined team. The Ducks will look to continue their perfect home record. Other than two shootout losses Anaheim has not lost a regulation or overtime game at Honda Center this season.
Where they stand: With 45 points Anaheim is two points up on the Sharks for tops in the Pacific Division and is tied with the Chicago Blackhawks for the best record in the Western Conference and the entire NHL.
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By: Chris Cabrera