Nearly three months after their home opener, the Anaheim Ducks still haven’t lost a game in regulation at Honda Center.
Although Jonas Hiller believes there’s no secret to how the Ducks keep rolling at home, not even the powerful Boston Bruins could figure out how to end this remarkable streak by the overall NHL leaders.
Mathieu Perreault scored two goals, Hiller made 30 saves in his 12th consecutive victory and the Ducks beat Boston 5-2 Tuesday night for their 14th win in 15 games.
Perreault, Corey Perry and Nick Bonino scored power-play goals for the Ducks, who improved to 18-0-2 in Anaheim during the NHL’s fifth-longest home points streak to open a season in the last 41 years. The Ducks started awfully slow, managing just two shots in the first 19 minutes while Boston controlled play, but still ended up with yet another comfortable win after a three-goal second period.
“We’ve proven to ourselves by now that even if we’re down or haven’t played our best game, we still find a way to win,” said Hiller, who hasn’t lost since Dec. 3. “Every night somebody is making a contribution.”
Andrew Cogliano scored short-handed and Teemu Selanne added two assists in Anaheim’s eighth consecutive home win, matching its 8-0 streak to open the season.
The Ducks opened a nine-point lead over San Jose atop the Pacific Division by scoring a season-high three power-play goals after a long struggle with the man advantage. Hiller, who will represent Switzerland at his second Olympics next month, did much of the rest of the work in his 21st victory.
Anaheim already was one of the NHL’s most potent teams with an inept power play, but captain Ryan Getzlaf was confident it would improve.
“We had been worrying too much about what we had to do instead of just going out and doing it,” Getzlaf said. “We’re getting good chances out of it, and we know if we play good hockey, we have a chance to win every night.”
Daniel Paille and Dougie Hamilton scored for the Bruins, who played without forward Milan Lucic for the first time this season due to an illness. Tuukka Rask stopped 15 shots, but the Atlantic Division leaders couldn’t overcome their special-teams woes in the opener of a three-game California road trip.
“I actually thought we played a great game, but you look at the scoreboard and it’s 5-2,” Rask said. “They didn’t have many chances, but they put them in the net.”
After a scoreless first period, Anaheim went ahead when Perreault converted a one-timer from Selanne for his eighth goal on a power play. The 43-year-old Selanne, who hadn’t scored a point since Dec. 20, was selected to his record-tying sixth Olympic team with Finland earlier in the day.
Perry then batted home a loose puck just 10 seconds into the Ducks’ second power play for his 24th goal of the season. Anaheim’s power play scored on its third consecutive attempt, including Perry’s overtime winner against Vancouver on Sunday night, after a 1-for-34 skid.
Daniel Winnik and Cogliano generated another goal on pure hustle late in the period, with Winnik chasing down a puck and feeding it to Cogliano for his second short-handed goal of the season.
“We have nobody but ourselves to blame on those,” Boston coach Claude Julien said. “I thought we didn’t do a very good job there on the PK tonight. It set us back, but we battled right to the end, and I wish we would have had a better chance of tying that game up.”
Paille ended Hiller’s shutout bid in the final seconds of the period, getting his fourth goal in five games on a pass from Justin Florek, who scored his first NHL point on the assist. Hamilton then trimmed the Ducks’ lead to one goal in the third period with his first goal since Nov. 2 on a high shot through heavy traffic in front of Hiller.
But after Brad Marchand short-circuited a late Boston power play with an interference penalty, Getzlaf got the puck below the goal line and found Bonino for his third goal in four games. Perreault then beat Rask again with 2:31 to play.
NOTES: Before the game, Anaheim put D Bryan Allen on injured reserve with a lower-body injury and recalled D Nolan Yonkman from the AHL. … Anaheim also scratched F Dustin Penner, who has an upper-body injury. … The 23-year-old Florek, a Northern Michigan product, made his NHL debut Saturday.