After losing to the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday night, the Anaheim Ducks got back to their winning ways on Saturday with a 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues. Having only lost two games in the past 21 is not too shabby.
The Ducks seemed in control for most of the game, and then the Blues made a late game effort. It was deja vu of Friday night's game, when the Ducks made a late push against Chicago, causing anxiety to the Blackhaws. But just like Friday, the team in the lead remained in the lead when the final buzzer rang.
Frederik Andersen made 34 saves to get his 12th win of the rookie season. 15 of those saves came in the final 20 minutes of regulation.
"All the guys battled hard, especially at the end," said Andersen. "It nly took one shot, but we showed a lot of character, stayed together, kept blocking shots and showed the will to win."
It seemed like it would be Ducks right from the beginning. Ryan Getzlaf got his 25th goal of the year at 5:27 of the first period. That ties Getzlaf's career goal production and there are still 31 games left to play. Safe to say this will be a record year for him.
Goals from Matt Beleskey at 2:27 of the second period and a power play marker from Cam Fowler at 9:13 gave the Ducks a 3-0 lead. A helmetless Beleskey screened Brian Elliott on Fowler's goal.
"That takes a lot of guts," praised coach Bruce Boudreau. "Perfect screen, no lid on, that puck's up around your shoulders. He just stood there."
The Ducks needed to gut things out in the third.
The Blues poured everything on in the third period. Barrett Jackman got the Blues on the board at 9:12 of the third period. A power play goal from Jaden Schwartz at 14:31 put St. Louis within one goal.
Andersen remained firm the rest of the way, even when St. Louis pulled Elliott for the extra attacker.
"We’re very happy about (the win)," said Nick Bonino, who had two assists. "Our goal every week is to win the week. We needed this game. We came out, got a lead. They battled back like we knew they would. We shut the door at the end."
Anaheim now heads home for a couple more games before participating in the Stadium Series game with the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday. The Ducks play Winnipeg on Tuesday and get a preview of the Kings at home on Thursday.
The Ducks remain unbeaten at home in regulation with a 20-0-2 record. They want to keep it that way.
"We love it at home," said Boudreau. "Can't wait to get there."