ANAHEIM, Calif. – The Anaheim Ducks were eager to get back on track and the Florida Panthers paid the price.
Corey Perry and captain Ryan Getzlaf each had a goal and two assists, and the Anaheim Ducks snapped their four-game home skid with a 6-2 victory over the Florida Panthers on Sunday night.
“We had the puck and didn’t turn it over too much. We played with the puck and found each other. Everybody was moving,” said Perry, who notched his team-leading 37th goal of the season to give the Ducks a 5-2 lead at the 11:56 mark of the second period.
“We got back to doing what we need to be doing,” said Getzlaf, who is second in the NHL in scoring with 79 points. “We find a way to get open and get shots. Tonight, we clicked better.”
Teemu Selanne, Jakob Silfverberg, Kyle Palmieri and Perry scored during Anaheim’s four-goal second period.
“I feel re-energized,” said Selanne, who recently has been teamed with Getzlaf and Perry. “Today we were really clicking and reading each other well. The more time we spend together, the more you’re going to learn from one another. It was fun to play with those guys. They’re so dangerous and talented, so you have to be ready.”
Patrick Maroon also scored an early goal before leaving the game with a lower-body injury for the Ducks, who pulled within one point of San Jose atop the Pacific Division standings.
Selanne had a goal and an assist, while Jonas Hiller made 28 saves for Anaheim, which is four points behind Western Conference-leading St. Louis with 11 games left.
Jimmy Hayes and Tomas Fleischmann scored in the second period for the Panthers, who lost the last three games on their West Coast road trip by a combined 12-3.
Former Anaheim goalie Dan Ellis stopped 34 shots in Florida’s seventh loss in nine games overall.
The Ducks had lost two straight and six of eight while slipping out of first place in the NHL standings, but they got back to their usual dominant selves during the second period.
After Maroon scored his first career power-play goal in the first period against the NHL’s worst penalty-killing team, Selanne scored his 684th career goal just 15 seconds into the second.
Silfverberg scored an unassisted short-handed goal less than four minutes later, Fleischmann’s eighth goal of the season midway through the second trimmed the Ducks’ lead to 3-2, but Palmieri and Perry scored 1:01 apart later in the period. Perry’s 37 goals are second most in the NHL.
Getzlaf got his 30th goal early in the third period, and new defenceman Stephane Robidas had an assist for his first point with the Ducks.
Florida goalie Dan Ellis has given up 11 goals in his last two appearances.
“It’s a good hockey team,” Ellis said. “They are one of the top teams in the West and the West is arguably stronger than the East. They’ve had a little adversity lately, but you had to be ready for a big push out of them. They are desperate for playoff position, to get home ice. They played us hard. I needed to make some key saves at key times and I didn’t.”
NOTES: Anaheim’s next eight games are against opponents currently out of the playoff picture. The Ducks begin a three-game road trip Wednesday at Calgary while the NCAA West regional men’s basketball tournament occupies Honda Center. … The Panthers went 1-3 on their four-game road trip. … Ellis started his 200th career NHL game. … Anaheim equipment manager Doug Shearer worked his 2,500th game.