ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Lukas Dostal made 52 saves and stopped Jack Hughes' penalty shot attempt with 2.1 seconds to play, and the Anaheim Ducks held on for a 4-3 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Friday night.

Frank Vatrano scored two goals and Adam Henrique added his 18th goal for the Ducks, but Vatrano also handed a dramatic penalty shot to New Jersey by deliberately knocking the net off its moorings following a scramble around Dostal.

Hughes had a goal and two assists for New Jersey, but he botched the penalty shot by turning over the puck during his tentative approach to Dostal.

“Just not a good play by me,” Hughes said.

Dostal's stellar performance highlighted the Ducks' second back-to-back victories of 2024. His 52 saves are the most ever recorded by a Ducks goalie in a victory, and he matched the second-most saves by any rookie goalie in a victory since 1977, according to the NHL.

“I just wanted to make sure I filled the space when he went so wide,” Dostal said. “It's always kind of 50-50, but we do it all the time (in practice), breakouts and shootouts. I was pretty confident in the end that I can stop it.”

Anaheim coach Greg Cronin said his Czech goalie's play was even more impressive than fans knew: Dostal was ill throughout the day, and the team gave him unspecified medicine on the ice during a break in the second period. Cronin asked Dostal during the second intermission if he could finish the game, and the goalie responded confidently.

“What a wild way to end a game, but give credit to Dostal,” Cronin said. “He was the best player on the ice and deservedly won the game for us.”

Max Jones had a goal and an assist as the Ducks opened a five-game homestand with their first win at Honda Center since January.

Timo Meier also scored for the Devils, who dropped to 1-1-0 on their three-game California road swing. Tyler Toffoli scored his 26th goal of the season with goalie Akira Schmid pulled for an extra attacker with 2:57 to play, but the Devils couldn't equalize.

“Tough game,” Hughes said. “We needed that one.”

Nico Daws made 10 saves on 14 shots in the first two periods for the Devils before Schmid replaced him for the third. New Jersey has lost four of six, giving up 24 goals in that stretch and falling out of playoff position.

Anaheim is all but certain to miss the playoffs for a franchise-record sixth consecutive season, which means Vatrano and Henrique are logical candidates for trades to supplement the Ducks' seemingly interminable rebuilding effort.

Vatrano scored early in the first period and late in the second for the Ducks, showing off his continued fine form in the highest-scoring season of his NHL career. The All-Star right wing has featured in numerous trade rumors because of his career-best production and reasonable salary through next season.

The Ducks played without cornerstone defenseman Cam Fowler, who was hit in the face by a puck Thursday in San Jose. No. 2 overall pick Leo Carlsson also missed the game with what the Ducks called an upper-body injury from the third period in San Jose.

Mason McTavish was sidelined during the game by a lower-body injury. Cronin had no postgame update on the center, whose superb pass set up the Ducks' first goal, which was also Vatrano's 50th in his 141 games for the Ducks, making him the fifth-fastest player in franchise history to hit the mark.

New Jersey tied it late in the first with Meier's rebound goal, but Henrique scored against his old team 51 seconds later after forcing a turnover by Luke Hughes.

Henrique is in the final year of his contract. He has seven goals in 12 career games against the Devils, who drafted him in 2008 and employed him until November 2017.

Jones scored late in the second period, redirecting a puck from Gustav Lindstrom in the slot. Jack Hughes answered with a power-play shot through traffic, scoring in his second straight game, but Terry found Vatrano for his second goal less than two minutes later.


Devils: At Los Angeles on Sunday.

Ducks: Host Vancouver on Sunday.



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