It only took 7:29 for the Ducks to defeat the St. Louis Blues on Saturday evening, but they still played the rest of the game anyway. Well, almost everyone did.
The Ducks came out of the gate like a bat out of hell, carrying momentum from their previous night's shootout win over Chicago.
Technically the Blues started off the scoring at 1:10 into the game. Andrew Cogliano's pass to Saku Koivu ended up bouncing off the skate of Blues defenseman Barret Jackman and into the net. It never got much better for St. Louis.
That was followed by a power play goal from Corey Perry at 5:36, but it was the goal from Ryan Getzlaf at 7:29 that was the merciful end for Jaroslav Halak, who only made five saves on eight shots.
Brian Elliott managed to make some saves for the Blues and kept them in the game and somehow St. Louis righted the ship a bit.
Nick Bonino made it 4-0 at 17:16 of the second period, with an assist from St. Louis native Patrick Maroon. Maroon, who had plenty of family in the arena, seemed to have an extra bounce in his step and earned the third star of the game for his overall efforts.
By the third period, the Blues found their footing. Jaden Schwartz eliminated Frederik Andersen's hopes of a shut out at 1:18 and Patrick Berglund halved the deficit at 6:38.
St. Louis, who has the second best power play in the NHL, was unable to get anything by Anaheim with the extra man. Even when they had not one, but two 4:00 double minor power play opportunities. The Ducks continued their excellent penalty killing and prevented the Blues from even getting a sniff at the net for most of it.
An empty net goal at 18:12 from Mark Fistric, who was denied the overtime game winner in Chicago the night before, was the extra insurance marker. For Fistric, it felt like karmic relief and was a nice reward for a guy who has really stepped up to the plate in light of all the Ducks injuries to that have plagued the blue line.
Andersen, who made 26 saves, is now 8-1-0 with a 1.74 GAA and .938 save percentage.
"Me and Rolly [Ducks goaltending consultant Dwayne Roloson] have been working hard in practice getting ready for games," said the rookie netminder. "I think that’s some of his credit, too. You want to work really hard in practice and be ready. And it’s really fun playing on a team this good, and it’s a big part of the success I’m having, too. It’s the guys in the room. It’s really fun winning."
After earning six out of eight points against the four top teams in the NHL, the Ducks are now tied with Chicago at the top of the standings.
"We’ve just gone through four very good teams without losing in regulation," said coach Bruce Boudreau. "I think it’ll do worlds of good for the confidence of our players. We can’t wait to get home."
The Ducks, who are now 20-7-5, head home for a three game stand in front of the locals. Amazingly, they have played 20 of 32 games on the road thus far.
"We feel like we're an elite team and now we're starting to show it," said Getzlaf, who has had 10 goals and 20 points in his 13 game point streak.
Now they just need to keep this going….