The Anaheim Ducks hope a historic afternoon is just what they needed to take the next step in their rebuilding process.
The Ducks will play host to the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday, two days after they celebrated captain Ryan Getzlaf’s move to the top of the franchise’s all-time points list.
With an assist Sunday afternoon that led to the game-winning goal against the Montreal Canadiens, Gelzlaf reached 989 points, breaking a tie with Teemu Selanne for most in a Ducks uniform.
Troy Terry, who scored the game-winner and is in the midst of a breakout season, called it an important moment personally and for the team.
“That whole moment was just crazy,” said Terry, who extended his points streak to eight games in Anaheim’s 4-2 victory. “As soon as we all got back to the bench, we knew we can’t lose that game. To see (Nic) Deslauriers take (a) shot in the ankle at the end — we’re doing that because we need the win as a team, but a big part of that is for Ryan Getzlaf and what he means to us.”
In his 17th season, Getzlaf was supposed to have more of a reduced role this season, but he still spent a team-leading 24 minutes on the ice Sunday. His line also logged the most time on the power play.
While Sunday’s victory was a feel-good moment, it merely ended a six-game winless run when the Ducks went 0-3-3, so the team remains a work in progress.
“I think Ryan understands the game so well, and I think when he says that he’s never cared about points, I think he does care about points,” Ducks head coach Dallas Eakins said. “He cares about two points (for a victory), and that’s it.”
The Devils are hitting the road for a three-game California run following a 4-3 shootout defeat at home Sunday against the Columbus Blue Jackets. New Jersey enters the second month of the season following a solid 4-2-1 October.
Defenseman Dougie Hamilton leads the team with four assists and is in a three-way tie for the team points lead at six with Pavel Zacha and Andreas Johnsson. Defenseman P.K. Subban doesn’t have a goal, while contributing three assists, and has expressed a desire to contribute more on offense.
“I think that’s a big part of our offense, getting (defensemen) to get pucks to the net,” head coach Lindy Ruff said. “The last two (games) we are around 40 shots. We do that, we’re going to generate a lot more goals.”
Hamilton and Johnsson each had a goal against the Blue Jackets, while Zacha had an assist. Johnsson has four goals this season after scoring five in 50 games last season.
New Jersey was 0-for-3 on the power play Sunday, has just three power-play goals this season and a power-play-percentage of 16.7. That is well off the pace of the Edmonton Oilers, who lead the NHL at 47.8 percent, heading into play Monday.
The Devils are playing at Anaheim for the first time since a 3-0 victory March 1, 2020, less than two weeks before the regular season was halted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
–Field Level Media