Here’s how well things are going for the Ducks this season: They bring up journeyman Shawn Thornton from the minors, and he scores 57 seconds into his first game back in the NHL.
Thornton scored his first goal since the 2003-04 season, Teemu Selanne scored his team-high 16th goal and had an assist in the third period, and the league-leading Ducks beat the Washington Capitals, 6-1, Friday night for their seventh victory in eight games.
Selanne, Andy McDonald and Corey Perry all scored in the final period for the Ducks (22-3-6, 51 points), who are off to the best start in franchise history.
Thornton was recalled from Portland, Maine, of the AHL for the second time this season.
“It’s been like that the last few years ... up and down, up and down. You never get sick of getting called up,” said Thornton, who also had an assist.
“Yesterday after practice, [Portland Coach] Kevin Dineen called me and said, ‘You’ve got a flight in two hours. Give your wife a kiss goodbye and get to the airport as soon as possible.’ ”
Thornton entered the day with two career NHL goals. But it was an eventful evening for the right wing: He served a five-minute penalty for fighting in the first period, and assisted on Dustin Penner’s goal in the second that gave the Ducks a 3-0 lead.
Todd Marchant had a goal and two assists, and Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 26 saves to help stop Washington’s four-game winning streak.
Giguere’s bid for a second consecutive shutout ended with Alexander Semin’s goal 5:06 into the third period, off an up-against-the-boards, through-the-legs, no-look pass from Alex Ovechkin.
Ovechkin’s only NHL hat trick came against the Ducks last season, but Giguere and his defense held the reigning rookie of the year in check, limiting him to one shot each in the first and third periods.
He did come up with that one brilliant pass, though, while pinned in a corner.