Every All-Star center needs a right-hand man.
“He had the puck and no one could get it away from him.”
Perhaps Silfverberg’s best game of the season included a second-period power-play goal and a pretty setup of Andrew Cogliano’s third-period score to support goalie John Gibson’s ninth career shutout.
Silfverberg had a shorthanded bid in the second period and a highlight takeaway in the third as part of another terrific game from the line of Kesler, Silfverberg and Cogliano.
“I think he’s on another level now,” Cogliano said of Silfverberg. “I’ve always thought he’s one of the most underrated in the league, to be honest. When you play with him, you appreciate more about what he does in terms of his stick battles and how hard he is on pucks. When he’s playing well, he’s usually the best player on the ice.”
Cogliano was no slouch himself with eight shots on goal. The line combined for 17 of the Ducks’ 38 shots. It has embraced the top-line role fully with Carlyle leaning on them heavily.
“Confidence is a big key in this,” Silfverberg said. “Anytime you know the coach believes in you, that’s going to help your play out there and that’s going to help you relax more. When you’re relaxed and you have that confidence, that’s when you play your best hockey.”
There were few scoring opportunities until the Stars made three trips to the penalty box in the second period to expose their 30th-ranked penalty-killing unit to Anaheim.
Silfverberg cashed in his 12th goal when he banged in Corey Perry’s rebound from the slot at 14:33 to end a five-game, 0-for-15 power-play slump by the Ducks.
Cogliano’s 10th goal came on a snap shot from the left circle off a tape-to-tape pass from Silfverberg on a rush.
Gibson had a good view of the line on his way to 34 saves for his second shutout in four games.
“I think they definitely stepped up with [Ryan] Getzlaf out,” Gibson said. “It’s nice to see. They always have a big part every night.”
Getzlaf sat out a fourth straight game because of a lower-body injury. Carlyle said Getzlaf thought he might play Tuesday but when he skated in the morning “he didn’t think it would be safe at this point.”
The Ducks acquired goalie Jhonas Enroth from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for a seventh-round draft pick in the 2018 draft, the team announced after the game.
It is largely a depth move with Dustin Tokarski injured. Enroth previously played for the Kings.
Ducks center Nate Thompson said he feels ahead of schedule from a surgically repaired Achilles’ tendon that was torn during a workout last June but is not expected to return until after the Jan. 27-30 All-Star break.
He began skating Sunday and said, “The first five minutes I felt like Bambi, but it started to come back pretty quick.
“It’s just good to be back on the ice. It’s been a long process. It’s good to feel like a hockey player again.”
Thompson would give the Ducks another strong faceoff man to further solidify them down the middle. He’s also a veteran penalty killer and an unsung two-way player who suffered the injury during an agility drill on turf when “I went to push off and that was it.”