Ducks nearly fade after fast start before beating Oilers, 4-2

Ducks build a three-goal lead early in second period before holding on for a 4-2 victory at Edmonton

Winning isn't good enough for the Ducks right now.

They have six straight victories after Friday night's 4-2 triumph over the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place, but there were annoyances at play.

Such as the way they were outshot 20-8 after taking a three-goal lead, and the way they nearly gave up the lead.

Anaheim (20-6-5) ended a run in which its last 12 victories were each by one goal, only because center Nate Thompson scored into an empty net with 17 seconds remaining in the game.

But to think last-place Edmonton (7-18-5) was nipping at the Ducks' heels in the final minutes was grating for Anaheim.

"I was mad, our whole group should've been disappointed," Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf said. Getzlaf's third-period high-sticking penalty leading to a deflected goal by Edmonton defenseman Jeff Petry with 7 minutes 20 seconds left.

"We did the same thing last game. Good teams don't do that. We can't afford to come out firing and then go to sleep."

The Ducks, who opened a five-game journey across Canada and who aspire to an extended playoff run, say they're aware of the pitfalls that come with these dramatic, fatiguing affairs.

One man compromised by the slide in effort was goalie Frederik Andersen, who played in his 17th consecutive game Friday, has another staring at him Saturday night in Winnipeg, and could've used a 60-minute team effort that matched the first 20, when the Ducks let Andersen perform leisurely, allowing only three shots on goal.

"We've been giving up some initiative when we have the lead, and we've got to fix that," Andersen said.

Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said he'll decide whether Andersen (16-4-4) or backup Jason LaBarbera will play by Saturday afternoon.

The Ducks hinted at a blowout, getting a first-period goal from defenseman Sami Vatanen and two more in the first 51 seconds of the second period.

Ducks forward Kyle Palmieri was fed from Vatanen after teammate Ryan Kesler's opening faceoff win, and shot under former Ducks goalie Viktor Fasth seven seconds in.

Anaheim had never scored a goal so quickly to start any period in franchise history.

Boudreau said that after being burned by that play against Vancouver and Dallas, he taught it to his team.

"We've been waiting to try it," Palmieri said. "A lot of things [have] to happen for it to work."

A shaken Fasth then missed an outside blast by Getzlaf that beat him for a 3-0 Ducks advantage on the quickest pair of goals to open a period in team history.

Edmonton Coach Dallas Eakins lifted Fasth in favor of former Kings goalie Ben Scrivens.

Fasth slammed his helmet at Edmonton sticks on the bench and launched into a verbal barrage at the Oilers who hung him out to dry with Anaheim holding a 12-3 shots-on-goal advantage at that point.

Fasth's tongue-lashing injected life in the Oilers, as they outshot the Ducks 9-4 to end the second period and cut their deficit to 3-1 with 4:36 left in the second to awaken a quiet home crowd.

"We let our foot off the gas, it's a bad habit we've got to get out of," Palmieri said. "It's a huge deal, we definitely need to be better."


When: 4 p.m. PST Saturday.

On the air: TV: FS West. Radio: 830.

Etc.: It's a return to Winnipeg for a second game in six days, after the Ducks beat the Jets on Sunday on an overtime Palmieri goal. At minor league Norfolk on Friday, the Ducks' recently signed goalie Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 32 of 34 shots in a 3-1 loss and forward Dany Heatley played.

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