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Hockey

Ducks defeat Avalanche to end three-game losing streak

Ducks goaltender Ryan Miller makes a save against the Avalanche during the third period Saturday night.
Ducks goaltender Ryan Miller makes a save against the Avalanche during the third period Saturday night.
(Jack Dempsey / Associated Press)

The Ducks couldn’t find the back of the net in a three-game skid, but one shot against Colorado on Saturday night started them on the way to an elusive victory.

Adam Henrique scored on the first shot of the game, Ryan Getzlaf had a power-play goal in the second period, and the Ducks beat the Avalanche 5-2 to end their losing streak.

Ryan Miller stopped 35 shots, Carter Rowney also scored in the first period, and Max Comtois and Jakob Silfverberg had goals in the third for the Ducks. They had scored just one goal in each of its three losses despite averaging 29 shots a night.

“I really thought we were due for that,” Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said. “Getzy and I this afternoon were saying, ‘We’re due for a game where we score four or five goals.’ There’s too many games in a row where you get chances and they don’t go in. Great for our guys to stick with the process and finally get rewarded.”

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It took Henrique just 50 seconds to get the first goal of the game and Rowney added another goal 12:01 later to give Anaheim a 2-0 lead.

The Dallas Stars came close to making the conference finals last season. Instead of standing pat, they revamped their roster and are beginning to hit their stride.

Hampus Lindolm added three assists for the Ducks, who handed the Avalanche their first home loss of the season.

The Ducks also handed Colorado its last regular-season home loss, a 5-3 win March 15. The Avalanche won their last six home games of last season and the first four in Denver to begin this year. Including the 2019 playoffs, Colorado had won 14 of the last 15 at home, with the only loss before Saturday coming against San Jose in the Western Conference semifinals.

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“We were just trying to focus on ourselves focus on our game,” Comtois said. “We wanted to bounce back from the losses and we did a good job.”

Nathan MacKinnon and Joonas Donskoi each had a goal and Pavel Francouz stopped 22 shots for the Avalanche, who came off a 4-1-1 road trip that wrapped up with a 6-1 win at Vegas on Friday night.

“After such a complete game against Vegas in their building I don’t know if we just expected that it was going to happen if we just showed up tonight. Clearly that was not the case,” Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog said. “It’s unfortunate that this is a homecoming after a really good trip, that we showed up like this.”

After a slow start, Donskoi got Colorado on the board early in the second, but Getzlaf made it 3-1 at 8:28. MacKinnon scored on the power play just 1:38 into the third to extend his points streak to 11 games to start the season. Comtois responded at 6:42 when he knocked in a rebound.

The Avalanche pulled Francouz for an extra skater with 3:05 left, and less than a minute later Silfverberg scored into the empty net to ice it. It was his sixth of the year.

“My biggest takeaway is we didn’t start the game on time,” Colorado coach Jared Bednar said. “That’s what ended up costing us the game. We weren’t ready to play to a high enough level.”

NOTES: D Erik Gudbranson was in the lineup a day after Anaheim acquired him from Pittsburgh for forward Andreas Martinsen and a seventh-round pick in the 2021 draft. MacKinnon is the first player in franchise history to have at least one point in 11 straight games to start the season. Wendel Clark had at least a point in the first 10 games for Quebec in 1994-95. Ducks D Josh Manson (lower body) and F Ondrej Kase (upper body) were out of the lineup.

UP NEXT: The Ducks are at Vegas on Sunday, and the Avalanche host Florida on Wednesday night.


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