Teemu Selanne scored a goal and added an assist as the Anaheim Ducks shut down the punchless Chicago Blackhawks, 3-1, Sunday night at the Honda Center. Anaheim goaltender Jonas Hiller was only called upon to stop 19 Chicago shots.
The Ducks have won three of the last four and six of their last eight, as they attempt to erase a horrible start to the season to get into a playoff spot. After the victory over the Blackhawks, Anaheim is just six points shy of the eighth and final spot in the Western Conference.
Chicago appears to be headed in the exact opposite direction, as its free fall since getting to the top spot in the entire NHL continued Sunday night. Streaks are becoming commonplace for the Blackhawks, as the current three-game losing skid has followed a four-game winning streak, while prior to that they were on a nine-game binge (0-8-1). The Blackhawks presently sit in the sixth spot with 73 points, just three points ahead of the eighth-place Dallas Stars.
Patrick Kane, who in his fifth NHL campaign is suffering through his worst offensive season, opened the scoring midway through the first. With defenseman Toni Lydman in the penalty box for high-sticking Kane, the 'Hawks winger beat Hiller for his 14th goal of the year at 11:29.
It was his first goal in five games and only the second marker for Kane in the last 10 contests. Kane pretty much personifies Chicago's struggle for offense, as he has tallied just seven times in the last 45 games, dating back to Nov. 16.
The power-play goal was also the first Blackhawks' goal with the man advantage in a month, breaking an 0-for-39 stretch.
But that would be it for the visitors.
The Ducks tied the game late in the opening period when Andrew Cogliano kicked the puck into the crease and jammed at it with his stick as it got between the pads of Chicago goaltender Ray Emery. The puck squirted into the net, but was ruled no goal. After a rather lengthy video review, it was determined that Cogliano did, in fact, get his stick on the puck, and he was awarded his 12th of the season with just 20 seconds remaining in the period.
After the home club nearly took the lead in the first minute of the middle frame when Francois Beauchemin hit the post to the left of Emery, the Ducks kept pressure on the Blackhawks' netminder for a 26-9 shots advantage over the final two periods.
The offensive pressure paid off when Selanne sent a pass in front for Bobby Ryan, but the puck hopped over his stick and instead went to Sheldon Brookbank at the point. The defenseman was able to beat Emery for his second goal of the season at 12:31 to stake Anaheim to a 2-1 lead.
Selanne added a power-play marker early in the third period and by virtue of his two points, passed Luc Robitaille for 20th place on the NHL's all-time scoring list.