And the Ducks keep rolling along, making it look easy when it really isn't.
A 5-3 victory over the Coyotes on Saturday night gave the Ducks the season series sweep against Phoenix as well as their 16th victory in 17 games. They are only the seventh team in NHL history to do that.
"It can’t get any better when you’re winning like that," said Mathieu Perreault. "Everyone has a smile on their face. It’s fun to come to the rink every day. We’ve been enjoying ourselves quite a bit lately."
Goaltender Jonas Hiller enjoyed getting win #13 in a row and had to be good when it mattered, making 28 saves.
For the umpteenth time, the Ducks fell behind when their opponent scored first. This time it was Lauri Korpikoski who got one past Hiller at 3:57 of the first period.
Phoenix did a good job shutting down the top line in the first 20 minutes and it was the blue line that stepped up to tie the game. Hampus Lindholm, still a teenager for the next week, got his first of two goals of the game at 12:27. The second was the bookend at 6:10 of the third on the power play, giving him five goals on the year and some interesting consideration for the Calder Trophy.
Going into the second period tied was not a bad thing for Anaheim and defenseman Sami Vatanen gave the Ducks the lead at 5:44.
It was the start of a scoring spurt for Anaheim, who scored three goals in 5:10. Dustin Penner, who missed a couple of games with a severely swollen elbow, looked just fine taking his slapshot at 9:11. A beauty from Ryan Getzlaf at 10:55 made it 4-1 and chased Thomas Greiss out of the net. Greiss had already made 19 saves at that point, and with the exception of one goal that went rolling through his pads, it wasn't his fault.
Getzlaf, who blocked a hard shot late in the second period, left the game and did not return for the final period. An xray was negative, according to coach Bruce Boudreau, and because of the score, they felt they could take the conservative approach.
"We said 'ice it, get ready for Sunday,'" Boudreau reported.
Whether he plays against Detroit at the Honda Center will still remain to be seen.
The Coyotes did not have to rely on Mike Smith too much in the final period, but the Ducks needed Hiller to keep them on the winning side of things.
"In the third, it was a little more action than I wished for," said Hiller. "But we found a way to win. We’ll take the two points."
Goals from Martin Hanzal at 11:16 on the power play and another from Mike Ribiero at 18:10 made it interesting, but they were not able to finish getting out of the hole they dug.
"It’s great to be winning so many games," said Hiller. "It proves I play consistent and the team plays consistent over the last month and a half. I was a little worried tonight was going to be the night where something doesn’t go right, but I’m really happy it worked out again."
The Ducks will try to make it work out again when playing Detroit at home on Sunday, the second of back to back games for both teams. It is the first time Detroit has shown up at the Honda Center since eliminating the Ducks from the playoffs last spring.