Bookended by a couple of goals each in the first and third periods, the Anaheim Ducks defeated the New Jersey Devils 3-2 on Sunday at Honda Center to break the tie for third place in the NHL Pacific Division.
The win not only gives the Orange County team a 37-24-12 (86 points) the inside track for the last guaranteed Stanley Cup playoff berth, it cripples the chances of the Devils (37-27-8, 82 points) to make the post-season as well.
Scoring for the Ducks were Ryan Getzlaf, Jakob Silfverberg, Brandon Montour and Rickard Rakell. John Gibson had 15 saves in goal.
“That was definitely a better effort throughout the whole game,” said Ducks captain Getzlaf. “We made a couple mistakes, but overall we played pretty solid throughout the whole game and didn’t allow them a whole lot. Any time you can play that complete game, it allows you to look back on different times and understand what it takes to play in the moment and do those sort of things.”
With nine games remaining on the schedule, the Ducks will seek to tighten their grip on third place in visiting the Calgary Flames (35-28-10, 80 points) on Wednesday.