Perron, Getzlaf lead streaking Ducks past rival Kings, 4-2
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Anaheim Ducks’ midseason surge hit a new peak in the first period when Ryan Getzlaf scored an even-strength goal.
That’s normally not a big deal for a two-time Olympic gold medalist and a Stanley Cup champion, except Getzlaf hadn’t done it since last season.
“When you only get a few, every one feels good,” Getzlaf said.
With everyone making contributions to the Ducks these days, even the Los Angeles Kings can’t slow them down.
David Perron had a goal and two assists, and Getzlaf added a goal and his 500th career assist during Anaheim’s 4-2 victory in the Freeway Faceoff on Thursday night.
Ryan Garbutt scored his second goal in two games and Hampus Lindholm added a power-play goal in the Ducks’ fifth straight victory and 12th in 16 games since Christmas, when Anaheim had the worst record in the Western Conference.
“We’re hoping the struggles we went through early are going to push us the rest of the way,” Getzlaf said.
Getzlaf appears to be warming up after his painfully slow start to the season. While his first-period goal was just his fourth, the Ducks captain ended a 12-game goal drought with his first even-strength score since April 11, a span of 16 playoff games and 48 regular-season games.
“In the history of this team, if he’s playing the way he can, like he was tonight, then usually the rest of the team follows suit,” Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said.
Getzlaf has found remarkable chemistry with Perron, who has eight points in six games since arriving from Pittsburgh last month. Getzlaf became the 138th player to reach 500 NHL assists when Perron deflected home his pass before sliding skates-first into Jonathan Quick’s net.
The Ducks chased Quick while routing the Pacific Division-leading Kings, who have lost four of six in regulation for the first time this season.
John Gibson made 23 saves to win a duel of All-Star goalies. Quick yielded three goals on nine shots before getting replaced early in the second period by Jhonas Enroth.
Tyler Toffoli matched his career high by scoring his 23rd goal during a power play for the Kings, who have lost three straight home games for the first time since the first three games of the season. Alec Martinez scored in the final minute.
“The whole game wasn’t the way we wanted, and it’s not the way we drew it up,” Toffoli said. “We’ve got to get better defensively.”
The Southern California rivals have split the first two meetings of the year, each winning on the road. Anaheim has won nine of the clubs’ last 12 regular-season derbies, but Los Angeles won their only playoff series in 2014.
“They’re the team to beat,” Los Angeles coach Darryl Sutter said. “Just ask most of the people in this room. They’re supposed to win the Stanley Cup. They’re supposed to win the division. We’ve got to look at it like we are in a series with them, and we are 1-1.”
Garbutt chased Quick with a nasty wrist shot. The physical forward has played on the winning team in 16 consecutive games since Dec. 27, dating to the Chicago Blackhawks’ 12-game winning streak before he was traded to Anaheim.
Toffoli scored on a weird deflection off his leg, but Lindholm made it 4-1 with another vicious shot. The Swedish defenseman has goals in back-to-back games for the first time in his three-year NHL career.
NOTES: The Kings’ next home game is Feb. 23. They open a seven-game East Coast trip next week. ... Getzlaf is 20th among active players in career assists. Jaromir Jagr leads with 1,101, sixth in NHL history. ... LW Kyle Clifford returned from a 24-game injury absence for the Kings, suiting up for the first time since Dec. 6. ... The Kings wore their road whites for the rivalry game, while the Ducks wore their orange alternate jerseys. Los Angeles apparently hadn’t worn white at Staples Center since before its two Stanley Cup championship seasons.