ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)Troy Terry scored his 18th goal and Derek Grant got one short-handed in the Anaheim Ducks’ fourth victory in five games, 4-1 over the Seattle Kraken on Wednesday night.
Trevor Zegras and Sam Carrick also scored for the Pacific Division-leading Ducks, who spoiled expansion Seattle’s first appearance in Southern California with a one-sided win. Anthony Stolarz made 19 saves for Anaheim, which has scored 11 goals on the Kraken in two meetings this season.
Although they’re off to an outstanding start this season, the Ducks still aren’t too far removed from their struggles of the past three years to forget the importance of bringing their best game nightly, even against a last-place opponent on the second game of a back-to-back trip.
”We’ve learned our lessons here,” coach Dallas Eakins said. ”We’ve been in a tough spot. We take no one lightly.”
Ryan Donato scored a power-play goal in Seattle’s fourth loss in five games. Philipp Grubauer stopped 15 shots through the first two periods of his fourth consecutive winless appearance before Chris Driedger finished up the Kraken’s two-game California road trip, which began with a win at San Jose on Tuesday.
”Early on, we gave them a 2-on-1, and then we made a mistake on the power play, and it’s 2-0,” said Jordan Eberle, who had an assist. ”It was tight to a point, but then we gave them freebies, and the game is somewhat out of hand. … We made too many mistakes against a good offensive team. You can’t be doing that and expect to come back.”
Anaheim earned at least one point for the eighth time in nine games and moved out to a three-point lead on Calgary atop the division, continuing its abrupt transformation after missing the playoffs the previous three seasons. The Ducks got a goal from both their power play and their penalty-killing unit, extending their excellent play on special teams after being among the NHL’s worst last season.
”For us, it’s about the progress we make every day,” said Grant, who scored his second goal in 28 games this season. ”We believed in ourselves from Day One, and we’re just enjoying the progress we’re making.”
Stolarz also was solid in his first back-to-back starts of the season in place of injured John Gibson. Stolarz hasn’t lost in six starts since October.
Zegras put the Ducks ahead just 10 minutes into his first home game since making his over-the-net pass to Sonny Milano in Buffalo for one of the most spectacular NHL goals in recent seasons. Anaheim’s prized 20-year-old center scored his seventh goal of the season with a wicked wrist shot that beat Grubauer through traffic.
Grant then got the puck on a Seattle power play and skated unimpeded for an unassisted goal, Anaheim’s third short-handed tally of the season.
Terry scored from the slot early in the second period on a power play, moving him to fourth in the NHL in goals during his breakout season. Only Teemu Selanne (23), Corey Perry (19) and Paul Kariya (19) have scored more goals in the first 30 games of an Anaheim season than Terry’s 18.
Donato scored on Eberle’s setup with four seconds left in a power play late in the second, giving him goals in back-to-back games for the first time this season.
Carrick scored his sixth with a remarkable tight-angle shot from below the goal line early in the third period, all but clinching the Ducks’ 10th win in 16 home games this season in front of a loud crowd.
”It’s been fun, and we’re a pretty confident group right now,” Carrick said. ”We know what we’ve got, and we know what our expectations are.”
Kraken: Host the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday.
Ducks: Host the Arizona Coyotes on Friday.
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