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Getzlaf and Giguere lead Ducks to 5-3 win over the Blackhawks

CHICAGO - The Anaheim Ducks are starting to play like defending Stanley Cup champions.

Ryan Getzlaf had a goal and two assists, and Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 39 saves in Anaheim's 5-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday night.

Chris Kunitz added two goals - including an empty-netter - and Corey Perry and Mathieu Schneider also scored for the Ducks, who improved to 10-0-1 against Chicago.

After a 4-7-1 start, the Ducks are now 10-5-3 in their last 18 games.

"We've obviously had some wake-up calls in the last little while," Getzlaf added. "We need to bear down and play. We were able to do that tonight. We were a team."

The Ducks haven't lost to Chicago in regulation since falling 3-1 at the United Center on Nov. 2, 2003. The Blackhawks' only victory over the Ducks since then was a 4-3 shootout decision at Anaheim on Nov. 17, 2006.

Following up on a solid 4-1 win at Buffalo on Wednesday, Anaheim fell behind 1-0 and 2-1 to Chicago on Friday.

But the Ducks rallied for the victory against Chicago, with Getzlaf's breakaway goal early in the third period turning out to be the eventual winner.

"I think it's just a matter of our ability to play and stick with the system we've put in place," Getzlaf said. "We weren't thrilled with our first period, but we were able to rally around each other and get some goals in the second and third periods."

Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle also liked what he saw after the opening 20 minutes.

"We weren't very good in the first period," Carlyle said, "but I thought after that we were pretty good.

"We're a grinding team, a cycling team," he added. "We have to be a strong forechecking team. When we've had success, it's because we've established those traits."

Chicago's Jonathan Toews, the NHL's rookie goal-scoring leader, netted his 11th. Patrick Sharp and Robert Lang also scored for the Blackhawks, who lost their third straight. Nikolai Khabibulin blocked 17 shots.

Despite the loss, Chicago coach Denis Savard was pleased with the way his young team matched up against the defending Stanley Cup Champions.

"I liked our desire, our grit, our will," Savard said. "We have to bring it every night. If we do, we'll win lots of games. ... I know where we're at; we're very close. It's consistency we're looking for."

Toews opened the scoring with a power-play goal 1:07 into the first period.

Giguere stopped Dustin Byfuglien's shot from the blue-line, but the rebound popped up over his shoulder. Toews batted the puck in as it landed on the ice.

Perry's power-play goal with 6:06 left in the first tied it 1-1. He swept through the crease and knocked in a rebound while Anaheim's Todd Bertuzzi collided with Khabibulin. Goalie interference was not called because Bertuzzi was shoved into the crease by Chicago defenceman Duncan Keith.

Sharp made it 2-1 just 36 seconds into the second. While being checked to the ice in the left circle, Sharp's centring pass struck Kunitz's ankle and deflected in between Giguere's legs.

Kunitz tied it 2-2 at 7:15 of the period. Set up by Perry, his quick shot from the slot rolled in over Khabibulin's blocker.

Schneider gave the Ducks their first lead, 3-2, with 8:13 left in the second. After the puck squirted out into the slot from a scrum on the right boards, Schneider skated in and beat Khabibulin high on the glove side.

Getzlaf's breakaway goal at 4:21 of the third made it 4-2. After slipping past the Chicago defence, Getzlaf took a pass from Francois Beauchemin and beat Khabibulin with a high backhand shot.

With Khabibulin on the bench for an extra attacker, Lang was credited with a goal with 1:50 left in the third that cut it to 4-3. Following a faceoff, Martin Havlat's shot from the point deflected in off Lang's abdomen.

Kunitz completed the scoring with his empty net goal.

Notes: Blackhawks C Jason Williams missed his fourth straight game and eighth in the last nine with a nagging groin injury and is out indefinitely. ... RW Rene Bourque missed his eighth game with a broken thumb. Rookie C Jacob Dowell missed his fourth game with a broken right foot. ... Anaheim C Brian Sutherby missed his second game with a groin injury and is day to day.



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