For much of the 2015-16 season the lack of consistent secondary scoring has been one of the defining offensive issues.
Shea Theodore's third period power play goal, his first career tally, unleashed a torrent of scoring late as the Anaheim Ducks skated away from the Ottawa Senators 4-1 on Wednesday night at Honda Center.
The Ducks (18-17-7) held Ottawa to just seven shots on goal in the third period, getting goals from Theodore, Carl Hagelin and Jakob Silfverberg in the final five minutes of the game. Frederik Andersen had a 24-save performance in his first start since taking a hard luck shootout loss in Vancouver on January 1.
"You could see how happy everyone was on the bench, that's what we're going to need if we want to win games. We can't win games by scoring just one goal, so it's good that everyone contributes and hopefully we can continue on that," Hagelin said on Prime Ticket.
Anaheim opened the scoring in the second period, with Andrew Cogliano snapping home his fourth of the season. The lead lasted for nearly ten minutes, before the second ghastly turnover by Ryan Getzlaf in as many games sprung Curtis Lazar. Getzlaf attempted to hook a blind backhand pass through center to Corey Perry on the left wing, only to have it picked off by Lazar and wristed to the back of the net on the clean breakaway.
With the score square at 1-1 through 40 minutes, head coach Bruce Boudreau sat down the Ducks captain for nearly 9 minutes of game time after the turnover and through the start of the third period. When reinserted in the lineup Getzlaf was dropped from the top line, with Rickard Rakell centering Patrick Maroon and Perry for the remainder of the game.
Yet, with Patrick Wiercioch in the penalty box after slashing Maroon's stick in half, Getzlaf redeemed himself. A controlled carry-in and hesitation at the blue line gave Theodore the time to sneak up the far wing, and a perfectly placed pass to the rookie defenseman set up his snapper that glanced off the shoulder of Craig Anderson and in for the 2-1 lead.
The forecheck of the second line helped Anaheim salt the game away, as Ryan Kesler feathered a backhand pass to the slot that Hagelin crashed hard on and slid into the gaping net mouth. Silfverberg's tally came on a find from Hampus Lindholm, springing him for a break in up the near wall for a wrist shot from the circle that beat Anderson far post.
Anaheim once again held a sizable edge in even strength shot attempts at 55-34, while generating a 20-14 scoring chance edge and 12-6 high danger advantage. The second line was the team's best, all three forwards with +12 five-on-five attempt differentials, while Kevin Bieksa was tops on the blue line with a team-high +17 unblocked attempt differential.
The Ducks continue their home stand on Friday against the Central Division leading Dallas Stars, a 7 PM start at Honda Center.