Stirs the drink. Drives the bus.
The cliche analogies for what Ryan Getzlaf has done for the Ducks came readily postgame. Perhaps that's because the descriptions are getting scarce the longer he carries the Ducks into the final stretch of the regular season.
They were all appropriate Sunday following Getzlaf's four assists in the Ducks' 6-3 win over the New York Rangers in front of a significantly blue-hued sellout crowd at Honda Center.
His signature play was a superb stick-lift steal that led to Patrick Eaves' second goal of the game. Ryan Kesler and Josh Manson also scored as the Ducks took sole possession of first place in the Pacific Division.
They are 8-1-1 in their last 10 games, and all four lines are clicking. But Getzlaf has been the aforementioned straw and bus driver.
"Getzy's playing out of his mind right now," Eaves said. "Just the way he possesses the puck, it makes it really easy to play on his line. And we've got [Rickard Rakell] flying and making plays, so I feel like we're getting some chemistry and that was what I was hoping."
Getzlaf again cited rest from the bye week as a jumping point for his production. He has three goals and 20 assists in 12 games since that five-day break.
"Any time you can get playing and putting up points and the team's winning and we're doing the right things, it's good for your self confidence," Getzlaf said. "It's good for the team. This is the time of year we want to be playing the [way] we are."
Eaves pounced on a rebound in the first period, and put in Rakell's pass off Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei for a 5-3 lead in the third for his 26th and 27th goals. He has four goals in four games during a soft landing since he arrived from the Dallas Stars.
"It's kind of an unknown when you get traded, and where the coach is going to fit you in, and how things are going to work if you can find that chemistry," Eaves said. "So far, so good."
Kesler tipped Getzlaf's shot late in the second period for his second goal in 18 games, after a review for a high stick, to end the Ducks' power-play drought at five games.
Manson made up for an earlier turnover with his first career short-handed goal, on a feed from Getzlaf, in the second period.
It all tamped down the considerable hype that surrounded the Rangers. Goalie Henrik Lundqvist returned from an eight-game absence because of a hip injury, and the Rangers could have clinched a playoff berth with a win in any fashion after they won Saturday against the Kings.
"It's a back-to-back for them," Kesler said. "Obviously, they're a good team. We had their number tonight, and with Henrik coming back, his first game, we took advantage of them."
The Rangers goals, by Skjei, Rick Nash and Derek Stepan, came on uncharacteristic odd-man rushes allowed by the Ducks.