ANAHEIM, Calif. – Jakob Silfverberg is making himself right at home with the Anaheim Ducks, scoring four goals in his first four games.
He had a pair of goals, and Jonas Hiller made 34 saves for his 17th NHL shutout in Anaheim’s 6-0 rout of the New York Rangers on Thursday night in the home opener of the Ducks’ 20th season.
Silfverberg was acquired from Ottawa when the Ducks traded veteran Bobby Ryan in July. The 22-year-old right wing is holding his own on a line with 43-year-old Teemu Selanne and Mathieu Perreault. They assisted on both goals by Silfverberg, who had the second two-goal game of his young career.
“I’ve been fortunate to play with two great players,” Silfverberg said. “They’re so good at one-on-one battles and at finding me. I’ve been lucky so far and it’s a matter of keep shooting the puck.”
Dustin Penner and Daniel Winnik each added a goal and an assist.
The goals were the most scored by Anaheim and its largest margin of victory, both in a home opener.
“We want to build up a lot of confidence at the start of the season,” Silfverberg said. “We can’t get satisfied. We got to keep pushing harder.”
New York has been outscored 20-6 to start their first season under new coach Alain Vigneault. The Rangers lost 9-2 at San Jose on Tuesday.
“If we play this way, we’re going to be in deep trouble,” defenceman Dan Girardi said. “We’ve just got to figure out what the heck is going on and start being a hard team to play against, and get back to what we were successful at the last couple of years.”
The Ducks outshot the Rangers 37-34 for their third win in a row in the teams’ first meeting in nearly two years.
Playing without injured All-Star forward Rick Nash, the Rangers fell to 1-3 on their nine-game trip, the longest to open a season in franchise history.
Nash got hit in the face by San Jose’s Brad Stuart on Tuesday. Stuart received a three-game suspension for an illegal check to the head.
New York’s Henrik Lundqvist, a finalist for the Vezina Trophy last season, stopped 31 shots in losing for the third time in four games.
“It’s going to be hard for Henrik to stop everything if we keep turning the puck over like that,” centre Derick Brassard said. “We just need to support the puck better and make the simple tape-to-tape pass. We’re not executing right now and it’s really hurt us. We pretty much had the same game in San Jose, but I don’t think it’s because of lack of effort.”
The Ducks built a 3-0 lead on goals by Ryan Getzlaf, Silfverberg and Winnik in the first period, when Anaheim outshot the Rangers 17-3.
“I had a good seat for an exciting game,” Hiller joked about having little to do in the first.
Silfverberg’s initial goal came on a tip-in.
“It’s really nice to see him fit right in that line,” Hiller said. “It’s great to see him scoring.”
The Rangers were the NHL’s least penalized team last season, but they racked up 26 minutes worth in the first. Derek Dorsett accounted for 19 minutes, including a 10-minute misconduct after instigating a fight with Anaheim’s Bryan Allen.
Silfverberg struck again 1:27 into the second, scoring on a long rebound that caught Lundqvist out of the net. The play began when Benoit Pouliot gave away the puck in New York’s zone.
“There’s just no pride going on right now in our defensive zone,” Rangers captain Ryan Callahan said.
Saku Koivu made it 5-0 on a wrist shot, and Penner beat Lundqvist glove side to score his first goal of the season, giving the Ducks three more goals in the period.
“The first two periods were as good as we can play,” Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said.
The Rangers cut their penalties to one in the second, when they kept Hiller busier by outshooting the Ducks 14-13 but still had nothing to show for it.
“It’s kind of tough when you’re up 6-0 to keep pushing,” Hiller said. “It was nice to get a couple stops there.”
In the third, New York had 17 shots to Anaheim’s seven.
NOTES: Penner and Nick Bonino left the game with lower body injuries, and Perreault sustained an upper body injury. … It was the first time New York allowed at least six goals in consecutive games since Oct. 12 and 14, 2006. … The Rangers were the opponent for the other team’s home opener for the third time in four games. … The teams last played on Nov. 3, 2011, in New York. … Selanne, who at 43 is the NHL’s oldest player, got a standing ovation during pregame introductions. Among the coaching staff, former team captain and current assistant Scott Niedermayer received the loudest cheers. … The Ducks plan to celebrate the franchise’s 20th anniversary all season, including Sunday when they will wear Mighty Ducks purple retro jerseys. Fourteen of the original players from the 1993 squad will attend. … Kiss’ Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley attended the game and held up gear representing the L.A. Kiss, the Arena Football League team that will play at Honda Center starting next year. The rockers have an ownership interest in the team.