Anaheim finally figured out how to end a four game losing skid by defeating Edmonton 3-1 on Sunday. It was part one of a two part series with the Oilers that will conclude on Monday.
The Ducks still had to come back from behind, as the Oilers scored first. Taylor Hall had the only goal for Edmonton just one minute into the game. Not a great way to start, but Anaheim was able to bounce back.
Cam Fowler, who has struggled with injuries in and out of the line up all season, finally got his first goal of the year. It came with less than two seconds remaining in the first period while the Ducks were on the power play. It was the boost they needed.
"You don't want it to happen this late in the season, but I'm glad that it happened," said Fowler. "It was a big goal for the team. Now it's behind me and I can move forward."
Kyle Palmieri scored the go ahead goal and eventual game winner at 19:03 of the second period. Nick Bonino, who was back in the line up since March 8 with a lower body injury, assisted on both Palmieri's and Fowler's goals. The Ducks could use more of that energy and enthusiasm, not to mention scoring.
Corey Perry made it look easy at 8:53 of the third period. His 15th of the year gave the Ducks a two goal cushion.
Despite pulling Devan Dubnyk, Edmonton could not tie up the game and Anaheim, while quite capable of hitting the post, could not get an empty net goal to add to their tally.
The loss meant that Edmonton was mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. Again. They have not made it to the playoffs since losing in game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals in 2006.
Meanwhile, the Ducks are still trying to clinch the Pacific Division, having secured a playoff berth a while ago. If the Ducks can defeat Edmonton again on Monday, they will get their second Division title.
"It was a step closer to where we want to be," said Ryan Getzlaf, who assisted on Perry's goal. "There are still mistakes that we need to eliminate going into the playoffs, but this was a much-needed win tonight and one that I felt we deserved. It's all about playing the right way going into the playoffs. This was a step in the right direction."
Jonas Hiller had his second start in a row and made 27 saves. Viktor Fasth is expected to handle part two on Monday.
Keep stepping in that right direction boys.