ANAHEIM, Calif. – The Anaheim Ducks were looking for a better start at home, and their power play provided it.
Teemu Selanne scored two power-play goals and Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 29 saves in Anaheim’s 4-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Monday night. Looking to end a 1-3-1 stretch on home ice, the Ducks took an early lead on a first-period goal by Selanne. Chris Kunitz and Chris Pronger scored at even strength and Selanne added his NHL-leading 12th power-play goal in the third as Anaheim improved its home record to 6-6-2.
“We have to get that feeling back that this is our barn and getting points from here is going to be tough,” Selanne said. “A good start, especially in your own building, is huge. We have to do that more often.”
After compiling an 80-25-18 record at home during the last three years, including a 28-9-4 mark last season, the Ducks have struggled so far this season.
“You have to credit our power play with going out and taking the opportunity that we were presented with,” coach Randy Carlyle said. “It’s more of that type of intensity and overall play that we’re looking for, especially in our building because we’ve been able to do that historically here with this group.”
Colorado outshot Anaheim 30-24 but couldn’t overcome the Ducks’ early attack.
“The bottom line is they didn’t play that great, we played really bad,” said Avalanche forward Ian Laperriere, who ended Giguere’s shutout bid by deflecting in Jon-Michael Liles’ shot 2:13 into the third period.
“We can’t give them power-play chances like they had,” Laperriere added. “You try to pressure them as much as you can, but they have a lot of skill out there.”
The Avalanche skated without defenceman Adam Foote and forward Wojtek Wolski. Both were still being evaluated after jarring hits in Colorado’s 4-3 shootout win at Los Angeles on Saturday.
Foote has back and neck pain after being rammed into the boards by Kings forward John Zeiler in the first period. Zeiler received a three-game suspension Monday for the hit.
Wolski is being evaluated for a concussion following a third-period check by Los Angeles defenceman Sean O’Donnell.
Anaheim’s opening goal was set up by a botched pass on the power play. Ryan Getzlaf’s intended pass through the slot to Selanne was blocked, but the puck caromed to Corey Perry at the left side of the Colorado net. Perry quickly poked it back across the crease to Selanne for an easy tap-in midway through the first.
Getzlaf has assisted on at least one goal in the last eight Ducks games, while earning points in 15 of his last 16 games (eight goals, 18 assists).
The Ducks were set up with another power play less than two minutes later and as that advantage ended, Kunitz roofed a wrist shot over the glove of Avalanche goalie Peter Budaj from the right circle for a 2-0 lead.
“They took advantage of two power plays in the first period. I know the second one wasn’t a power play but it was a result of pressure from their power play,” Colorado coach Tony Granato said. “They scored just as our guy came out. So the first two goals were certainly a direct result of the power play.”
Pronger whisked a 45-foot slap shot past Budaj 6:51 into the second. Andrew Raycroft replaced Budaj at the start of the third period.
Selanne scored again by swiping in a rebound 11:17 into the final period.
Notes: Ducks centre Brendan Morrison returned to the lineup after being a healthy scratch in Dallas on Saturday. He assisted on the goal by Kunitz. … The Ducks provided a video tribute to Colorado defenceman Ruslan Salei, who made his first appearance in Anaheim since leaving as a free agent in 2006. Salei was Anaheim’s first pick in the 1996 draft. He played nine seasons with the Ducks and remains fourth on the team’s career games played list (594).