Against a team they'd yet to defeat this season, and whom had given them issues on special teams, the league's best units lived up to their billing.
"We had a 20-second blip in the second period, and when you take seven penalties usually teams are going to score a goal. Other than that Gibby was solid, and we got good contributions from a lot of people," head coach Bruce Boudreau said on Prime Ticket.
Corey Perry had three assists to lead all scorers and Jakob Silfverberg scored a pair of goals, becoming the fourth Duck to eclipse the 20-goal plateau and equal his career-high of 39 points set last season. Linemates Ryan Kesler and Andrew Cogliano each had a pair of assists as well.
"We want to win both of these last two games so we can get the first spot in the division... We got the win, we did what we had to do. Big game tomorrow again," said Silfverberg on Prime Ticket.
The game opened with Colorado pushing the play, testing John Gibson early and drawing the game's first power play, but Anaheim held them off the board. Past the midway mark Ryan Garbutt took a late hit in the neutral zone from Andreas Martinsen, which drew a five minute major for interference and a game misconduct, but the Ducks would only enjoy three minutes of power play time as Josh Manson was whistled for roughing coming to his teammates aid.
Colorado had previously injured Simon Despres on a high hit by Tyson Barrie in the first meeting of the year, and Gabriel Landeskog was suspended for a again targeting Despres with a cross check in the second game.
The Ducks made their odd man chance count, scoring their first of goal in the season series and first power play tally on their ninth opportunity against the Avs. Perry found Chris Stewart with a lead pass up the right wing allowing for a carry-in, where Stewart curled at the top of the circle and left the puck on a tee for a late-arriving Cam Fowler. The defender stepped up and snapped it past the blocker of Semyon Varlamov for a 1-0 lead at the 14:44 mark.
"We were able to catch one of their guys getting aggressive up ice, so we had numbers on our entry. Stewy made a great play to me in the middle, he was really the one that made that play and I was just the beneficiary of it," Fowler said on Prime Ticket.
Cogliano helped Anaheim double their advantage, out-battling Francois Beauchemin for a puck in the far corner off a dump-in and winning it to Silfverberg at the far post. A quick give-and-go with Kesler to the opposite side of the net allowed Silfverberg to drift free in front, and buried his 19th goal of the season short-side on the return feed to make it a 2-0 advantage through 20 minutes.
Garbutt continued to impact the game, pushing the Ducks edge to three just before the midway mark of the game. Perry managed to win the puck from Nick Holden and Shawn Matthias along the right side wall off a rimmed around dump in, centering the puck between the circles. Garbutt filled forward to receive the pass, picking the top shelf glove side while falling down.
Response came swiftly from the hosts, as Holden took a return touch from Erik Johnson in the neutral zone off the ensuing face off and fired a slap shot from the blue line. Gibson couldn't control the shot and lost track of it, the puck squirting through and landing stuck flat behind him that the crashing Holden followed up and tapped home.
Just 32 seconds later the Ducks had trouble exiting the zone in the face of the Colorado forecheck, with Ryan Getzlaf unable to control Fowler's pass to him in the high slot that the Avs whacked to the left corner. Despres coughed the puck up to Landeskog behind the net, who found Jarome Iginla out front to trim the score to 3-2.
It was the 611th goal of Iginla's 16-year career, passing Bobby Hull for 16th all time. All three goals came within a 49 second span, and after killing off a late Silfverberg holding minor the Ducks lead by one after period two.
"It was a couple bad hops on the bad ice out there, you can't really worry about that, you just have to buckle down and play hard for the whole sixty," Garbutt said on Prime Ticket.
Colorado was able to generate a couple of quality opportunities early in the third, forcing Gibson to come up with a big stop on John Mitchell from between the hash marks. Landeskog had a chance off the ensuing draw that was padded away. Gibson finished with 29 saves for the game as the Avalanche ended up with a slight 32-31 shots edge.
"Until we started scoring goals, they had a couple bounces around the front of the net. We were getting it deep, we weren't turning pucks over, we weren't trying to make plays to go for goals, we were trying to make plays to prevent goals," Boudreau said on Prime Ticket.
Breathing room came with Mitchell in the box for Colorado after getting his stick up on Perry in the corner. The Ducks took advantage, Perry angling the puck off the right wall for Getzlaf, and the captain carrying to the bottom of the circle before unleashing a wrister that clanked home far post to make it 4-2.
The knockout punch came 1:37 later when Kesler won an neutral zone face off and sped forward, receiving a Cogliano feed before the Colorado blue line. With the Avalanche defenders backed off, he sent it to Silfverberg who hammered a slap shot home to make it 5-2.
A late power play goal by Zach Redmond cut it to 5-3 for Colorado, as his slap shot glanced off the skate of an Anaheim defender in the high slot and found the back of the net through the five hole.
The Ducks dressed three players called up from San Diego to fill holes and allow veterans to rest minor injuries. Shea Theodore replaced Clayton Stoner, Nick Ritchie spelled Mike Santorelli, and Michael Sgarbossa played his first game in Anaheim colors in place of Shawn Horcoff.
Anaheim kept the pressure on the Los Angeles Kings in the Pacific Division, forcing them to have to win tonight against Winnipeg to clinch the Pacific Division. If LA loses, the Ducks will have a chance to swoop their fourth straight division title when they close the regular season tomorrow at the Washington Capitals at 4:30 PM.