It wasn’t exactly a burst into glory, but two wins this past week gave the Anaheim Ducks a bit of momentum after losing four straight. The pair of victories helped them rise out of last place in the National Hockey League Pacific Division.
On Friday, the Orange County team edged the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1 in overtime. Coupled with a 4-2 win over the Nashville Predators on Thursday, the Ducks are 19-24-5, good for 43 points and seventh place in the division, two points ahead of the Los Angeles Kings (18-27-5).
In Friday’s win, Sam Steel scored the winning goal at 1:36 in overtime in Raleigh, taking a pass from Jakob Silfverberg for the decider. The other Anaheim score came from Erik Gudbranson. Ryan Miller made 25 saves in goal.
“We do have to play a highly detailed and almost non-mistake game,” Anaheim coach Dallas Eakins said. “If that’s our circumstance, that’s our circumstance. It’s what we have to do. We got on the right track with the game in Nashville, but tonight was exactly how we have to play.”
In that game against the Preds on Thursday, Richard Rakell and Josh Manson each had a goal and an assist in the game in Tennessee. John Gibson made 33 saves in goal for Anaheim.
“It’s nice to win games,” Manson said. “It’s never fun to lose, so we get that win and remind ourselves that we can do that. We can play for 60 minutes and stay on the gas the whole way.”
This week, the Ducks will be taking a week off because of the NHL All-Star weekend in St. Louis. They will be in action next on Monday, Jan. 27 visiting the San Jose Sharks, and then will come home on Wednesday, Jan. 29 to host the Arizona Coyotes.
Ducks Stat Leaders
- Scoring: Ryan Getzlaf 33, Jakob Silfverberg 29, Rickard Rakell 28.
- Goals: Silfverberg 16, Cam Fowler 16, Rakell 12.
- Assists: Getlzaf 22, Rakell 16, Fowler 16.
- Goaltending (goals against average): John Gibson 2.96, Ryan Miller 3.01.