for this game

Kunitz, Pahlsson keep Ducks surging

Mar 10, 2008 - 4:16 AM
By Craig Shultz PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ANAHEIM, California (Ticker) - Home ice truly has been an advantage for the Anaheim Ducks this season, and that held true as they skated to a 3-1 triumph over the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday.

Chris Kunitz and Samuel Pahlsson scored goals 33 seconds apart midway through the third period to snap a 1-1 tie as Anaheim tied a franchise record by extending its home winning streak to seven games. The Ducks have accomplished this feat three times - and twice this season.

Todd Marchant also scored for Anaheim, which improved to 12-3-0 in its last 15 games.

Alexei Kovalev scored the lone goal for Montreal, which fell to 9-4-0 in its last 13 games.

The victory gave Anaheim a five-game sweep at home against the Northeast Division.

"It's so important to play well at home and try and get the wins," Ducks goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere said. "As of late, we've really done that. We've really made a statement that you are going to have a tough time winning in our barn. We like playing here, there's a lot of energy in the building, the fans have been great. It's just a lot of fun playing here right now."

"I think that every team likes to have a dominance, and I think that that's a credit to our fans, that they've supported us and there's lot of energy in our building, and we feel comfortable," Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said.

Carlyle said he doesn't put any great significance on the domination of the Northeast Division.

"We think that we have lots of work ahead of us," he said. "We're fortunate that we've had some success against the Northeast Division. I don't look at it anything other than that."

All-Star Ryan Getzlaf sent a pass across the crease to a streaking Kunitz for the go-ahead goal with 7:24 remaining and Pahlsson recorded a shorthanded goal 33 ticks later to increase the lead.

Defenseman Scott Niedermayer brought the puck down the left wing, stopped above the circle and fed Pahlsson inside the right circle. Pahlsson then put a wrist shot high into the right hand corner for his sixth goal of the season.

"They were down, they have to take those chances and we got a 2-on-1 there," Pahlsson said. "It's a perfect pass and I had a pretty much open net to put it in. They got a chance to come back in the game and tie it up on a power play. It's a real good upswing for us and it's tough for them."

"You can't say enough about (Niedermayer) jumping up into the play like that," Kunitz said. "Sammy always seems like almost never to miss those. He's got quite a shot on the one-timer on that side. Motivational-wise for the guys, it kind of gave us that cushion at 3-1 and we could keep playing."

Getzlaf said he wasn't necessarily trying to pass to Kunitz for the game-winner.

"I was more trying to direct pucks at the net than hit (Kunitz) backdoor," Getzlaf said. "It was a play that (Kunitz) went to the net hard and he was able to tap it in."

"You assume it's either going to either hit off the goalie or redirect that way, so you go to the net," Kunitz said. "It goes off the net and kind of hits my stick and shin pads and goes in. It's just kind of the bounces are right now."

The goals came against rookie goaltender Carey Price, who made 34 saves.

"It's tough to give up a goal in the last period. It's even tougher to give up two," Price said. "You know you are so close the whole game and it's tough to lose the game in third period."

"He was really good," Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau said of Price. "I think we were really hard on him by taking those penalties. But he stood really strong. It's too bad at the end they got two on him, but until then, I thought we played really well."

The Canadiens were called for eight penalties to four for Anaheim.

"I think 5-on-5 we were pretty close to being better than them," Carbonneau said. "We gave them eight power plays. That means you have to spend a lot of time in your zone and you have to use the same guys all the time. I think the game was downhill from there."

Kovalev questioned the disparity.

"I'm not really concerned, but it's a lack of stability in the league," Kovalev said. "Maybe there's different rules in the West Coast than in the East Coast."

Anaheim took a 1-0 lead just 21 seconds into the game on an unusual goal by Marchant.

Marchant sent a pass to Doug Weight, who was behind the net. Weight batted at a flying puck, but missed before it hit rookie Price in the back and went into the net. After a review, the goal was allowed.

"I think it hit a stick and went way up in the air. I didn't know where it was," Price said. "I thought it went out of play, but I guess it went straight up in the air and landed in the net. It's just a tough break, especially at the start of the game."

The goal for Anaheim ended a scoreless stretch of 130 minutes, 22 seconds - which included back-to-back shutout losses on the road last week.

"It was a big two points for us," Giguere said. "It was nice seeing us scoring right off the bat, the first shift. It gave us a little bit of confidence tonight. I think we dominated the whole game tonight against a really good team."

"It's a good confidence builder for us," Kunitz said. "Our power play didn't click tonight. We got a lucky one in the first goal, (but) we were doing the right things, we were going to the net, shooting the puck, screening the goalie, playing well."

Montreal tied the game on Kovalev's 30th goal just 8:44 into the first period. Mikhail Grabovski received a pass from Andrei Kostitsyn in the right circle, drawing Giguere out of the net. Grabovski sent a pass to Kovalev in the slot, who put the puck into an empty net for the tie.

"We got the guy coming with speed through the middle and I had a chance to get away while he sort of lost the puck, or something that happened there," Kovalev said. "I turned around and tried to join the rush and I found it in the slot."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 1 0 0 1
    ANAHEIM 1 0 2 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ANA - TODD MARCHANT 6 (DOUG WEIGHT, TODD BERTUZZI) 0:21
    MON - ALEXEI KOVALEV 30 (MIKHAIL GRABOVSKI, ANDREI
    KOSTITSYN) 8:44
    2ND PRD: NONE
    3RD PRD: ANA - CHRIS KUNITZ 20 (RYAN GETZLAF, KENT HUSKINS) 12:36
    ANA - (SH) SA

    Mar 9 10:34 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 1
    ANAHEIM 3
    3RD PRD: ANA - (SH) SAMUEL PAHLSSON 6 (SCOTT NIEDERMAYER, ROB
    NIEDERMAYER) 13:09

    Canadiens 1, Ducks 3  3rd - 6:51Mar 9 10:19 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 1
    ANAHEIM 2
    3RD PRD: ANA - CHRIS KUNITZ 20 (RYAN GETZLAF, KENT HUSKINS) 12:36

    Canadiens 1, Ducks 2  3rd - 7:24Mar 9 10:18 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 1 0 1
    ANAHEIM 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ANA - TODD MARCHANT 6 (DOUG WEIGHT, TODD BERTUZZI) 0:21
    MON - ALEXEI KOVALEV 30 (MIKHAIL GRABOVSKI, ANDREI
    KOSTITSYN) 8:44
    2ND PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MO

    Mar 9 9:39 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 1 1
    ANAHEIM 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ANA - TODD MARCHANT 6 (DOUG WEIGHT, TODD BERTUZZI) 0:21
    MON - ALEXEI KOVALEV 30 (MIKHAIL GRABOVSKI, ANDREI
    KOSTITSYN) 8:44
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MON 5

    Mar 9 8:47 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 1
    ANAHEIM 1
    1ST PRD: MON - ALEXEI KOVALEV 30 (MIKHAIL GRABOVSKI, ANDREI KOSTITSYN)
    8:44

    Canadiens 1, Ducks 1  1st - 11:16Mar 9 8:26 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 0
    ANAHEIM 1
    1ST PRD: ANA - TODD MARCHANT 6 (DOUG WEIGHT, TODD BERTUZZI) 0:21

    Canadiens 0, Ducks 1  1st - 19:39Mar 9 8:13 PM
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