McGinn scores in debut, Ducks beat Canadiens 3-2 in shootout
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Jamie McGinn knew he was jumping into the middle of something special when he joined the Anaheim Ducks this week.
The team that hit the Christmas break in last place in the Pacific Division is now tied for first, and McGinn immediately played a role in the Ducks’ latest surge up the standings.
McGinn scored in his Ducks debut, Jakob Silfverberg got the only goal in the shootout, and Anaheim beat the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 on Wednesday night for its ninth consecutive victory.
Corey Perry scored the tying power-play goal with 9:09 to play for the Ducks, who have won 18 of 21 to streak into a first-place tie with Los Angeles atop the Pacific. They overcame a slow start after getting a heady first goal from McGinn, who enjoyed his first taste of the Ducks’ high-octane hockey.
“It’s definitely good to get (the first goal) out of the way quick,” McGinn said. “That’s what hockey is all about, is getting a chance to play in the playoffs and play for the Cup. You can’t ask for much more, so this is exactly what I want to do. This is where I want to be, and make a nice run.”
McGinn made an immediate impact in his first game since Anaheim acquired him from Buffalo at the trade deadline. He scored his 15th goal of the season during the second period, setting up in front of Condon and corralling a puck from Hampus Lindholm before popping it in.
The Ducks earned a point in their 11th straight game and moved one shy of the longest winning streak in club history, a 10-game run in December 2013. Anaheim hasn’t lost since Feb. 11 and has just one regulation defeat since Jan. 17.
“We dug ourselves a hole early,” Perry said. “It’s nice to see where we’ve come. But at the end of the day, you still have 20 games left. You have to go out and keep pushing.”
All-Star John Gibson stopped 25 shots and all three Montreal shootout attempts to remain unbeaten since Feb. 8.
Alex Galchenyuk scored two goals and Mike Condon made 32 saves for the Canadiens, who largely played well in their second straight loss to open a West Coast road trip.
Galchenyuk scored in the first period and again early in the third, giving him 19 goals this season and five in Montreal’s last four games. The 22-year-old American was omitted from the early roster choices for the team of North American 23-and-under players headed to the World Cup of Hockey in Toronto later this year.
“I don’t know,” Galchenyuk said when asked if he was thinking about the snub. “Obviously, it was disappointing. You want to be out there and on that list, but that’s how things go sometimes. I had a game to play. That’s where my mind was at.”
The Ducks improved to 9-2-2 in their last 13 meetings with Montreal, but had little of their regular spark early. Anaheim failed to score during four minutes of power-play time stemming from a prolonged scrum in the corner during the second period.
Montreal coach Michel Therrien got a bench minor for his comments to officials after defenseman Greg Pateryn needed 12 stitches following a hit from behind, but his team killed the entire disadvantage.
“It was a bad judgment call by the referee,” Therrien said. “I can’t be behind the bench and see one of our players get hit from behind and end up having 12 stitches and the referee don’t make any call. I can’t sit behind the bench and not let those guys know.”
After Montreal defenseman Morgan Ellis took a penalty late in his NHL debut, the Ducks scored a power-play goal in their ninth consecutive game when David Perron made a slick cross-ice pass to set up Perry for his 27th.
Perron has 17 points in 19 games with his new team — one more than he scored in 43 games with Pittsburgh before he was traded.
NOTES: The 23-year-old Ellis got his promotion after four pro seasons spent mostly in the AHL. Stefan Matteau also made his Canadiens debut after arriving from New Jersey in a trade for former Ducks forward Devante Smith-Pelly. ... Anaheim visits Montreal on March 22. ... The Ducks’ franchise record is 10 consecutive regular-season victories.