Ducks try their luck against Devils
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Anaheim Ducks will have a chance Sunday to do what the rival Los Angeles Kings could not do -- grab two points from the New Jersey Devils.
The teams met once earlier this season in New Jersey and the Devils prevailed 5-3.
Anaheim (36-24-12) posted a 4-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Friday night. John Gibson registered 28 saves for his second consecutive win and each of the team's four lines contributed a goal.
Early scoring came from grit players Nick Ritchie and Derek Grant. The eventual winning goal was scored by Corey Perry, his 16th of the season.
Ryan Kesler got the insurance goal early in the third period. Six of his seven goals this year have come in the third.
New Jersey (37-26-8) played up the freeway in Los Angeles on Saturday afternoon. The Devils shut out the Kings 3-0 for their third consecutive win.
Keith Kinkaid made 38 saves in the victory. Michael Grabner scored the eventual winning goal short-handed and unassisted.
The Devils are 6-4 in the last 10 games. This was Kinkaid's first shutout of the year and the fourth of his career. Two have been against the Kings.
"It's a good building to play in, and they come out really hard," Kinkaid said. We just had to weather their storm. Fortunately, we got a few good goals there, and a few good breaks.
"I'll take wins no matter how they come, whether it's 8-3, 7-5, or 3-0. Anything's good right now."
New Jersey owns a five-point lead for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference and is one point behind Philadelphia and Columbus, who are tied for third in the Metropolitan Division.
Anaheim needs to regain its discipline after a sloppy outing against Detroit. The Ducks took five minor penalties and engaged in three fights.
The first was prompted by a Luke Witkowski hit on defenseman Cam Fowler. Ritchie took Witkowski on.
The second and third resulted from scrums. Losing players to major penalties caused coach Randy Carlyle to mix his lines at the end of the second period and start of the third.
"The game got chippy, but ... we can't afford to take five, six penalties and expect that we're going to be ah, we're not going to give up a goal. ... To me, we don't need to give the opposition that many times to practice the power play," Carlyle said.
The Ducks didn't give up a power play goal. Their penalty kill is top five in the NHL.
Anaheim has killed 31 straight penalties at home. The Ducks have been penalized more than all but two other teams.
Perry complimented his teammate.
"Ritch did a great job," Perry said. "That's what teammates do. They stick up for each other. That guy (Witkowski) hit Cam pretty hard, but it's not like we went right after him. We took a number, and Ritch did a great job. I think the whole game, we fed off of that."
Rickard Rakell leads the Ducks in scoring. He added an assist to bring his season total to 60 points (30 goals).
Captain Ryan Getzlaf, who has points in seven of his last eight games -- 14 during that span, sits second. Perry's goal was his 10th point in his last nine games. He also received five minutes for fighting after taking on Justin Adbelkader.
New Jersey unleashed its offense against Vegas on Wednesday, scoring eight goals. The week before, they poured in six against the Montreal Canadiens. The Devils took the Kings to task with two goals on four shots in the first period Saturday.
Against the Kings, the Devils showed little discipline, taking six minor penalties. The Devils sit eighth in the league in penalty kill and are among four teams who lead the league with 10 short-handed goals.
"It was nice that we were able to take advantage of the opportunities, and I think our penalty kill did an excellent job out here," Devils coach John Hynes said.
"I thought our penalty kill gave us some energy and momentum. Luckily, we were able to kill them off, but I think that allowed us to sustain our energy and push back after we were done."
Carlyle said of the Devils, "We have a pre-scout. We've played them already, in their building, and we know what their strengths are. They're a hockey club that's surprising a lot of people. They've got lots of depth through their lineup, so it's very similar to the team we played (Friday). They've got lots of youth, and they're playing a high-tempo game."
New Jersey placed Patrick Maroon on injured reserve Friday with a lower-body injury.
Anaheim's Kevin Bieksa is on IR (as of March 15) with a hand injury. Left winger Brett Seney signed a two-year, entry-level contract with the Devils on Friday.
After Sunday's game, Anaheim goes on the road for four games against Western Conference teams. New Jersey plays Tuesday night in San Jose.
Copyright 2018 by STATS. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS is strictly prohibited.
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