|Date of game: 3/21/2012
Recap: Anaheim vs. St. Louis
Anaheim, CA (Sports Network) - Jason Blake scored the eventual game-winning goal late in the third period as the Anaheim Ducks edged the St. Louis Blues, 4-3, on Wednesday at Honda Center.
Cam Fowler, Nick Bonino, and Devante Smith-Pelly all lit the lamp and Ryan Getzlaf added a pair of assists for the Ducks, who have won two straight games, but sit 11 points behind the Los Angeles Kings for the eighth seed in the Western Conference. Jonas Hiller made 35 saves in the victory.
"We tell ourselves we can compete with anybody," Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau said. "We're not eliminated yet, so we're going to play hard the last seven games."
Jaden Schwartz, David Backes and David Perron scored and Alex Pietrangelo contributed two helpers for the Blues, who have lost three of their last four contests. Jaroslav Halak was tagged for all four goals on 22 shots in defeat.
With the game tied at three, the Ducks took the lead for good at the 14:06 mark of the third period. Sheldon Brookbank gained the offensive zone on the right wing and fired a shot on net that was blocked to the right corner. Blake chased down the loose disc and threw it towards the net from a sharp angle. The shot hit off Blues defenseman Ian Cole and snuck past Halak.
St. Louis pulled Halak with 46 seconds to play, but was unable to find the tying goal.
The Blues got on the board first seven minutes into the opening frame after Pietrangelo fired a slap shot on net from the right point that was kicked out by Hiller, but Schwartz was there to put it top shelf past the Ducks netminder on the rebound to give his team the lead.
Anaheim pulled even with a power-play tally midway through the first period after Getzlaf sent a quick one-touch pass over to Fowler at the left point and the big defenseman blasted a slap shot past Halak.
The Blues took the lead back just under two minutes later after the puck came to the stick of Backes out of a scrum in the left corner. Backes took a quick look up and ripped a wrister past a screened Hiller.
But the Ducks fought back and tied the game at two 6:03 into the second period after Kyle Palmieri found the puck in the high slot and tried to put a quick shot on goal, but he partially whiffed on the shot and it dribbled to Bonino, who waited for Halak to go down before lifting it over the Blues netminder.
"Hilly (Hiller) did a great job in the first period keeping us in the game," Getzlaf said. "We played well the last two periods. We beat a good hockey team tonight."
St. Louis grabbed a 3-2 lead 4:47 into the third period when Kevin Shattenkirk put one toward the net that hit off a leg in front and came right to Perron, who fired it into the net.
But, again, the Ducks came back to tie it at three at 7:50 of the final stanza when Getzlaf collected a loose puck on the right wing and moved down to the goal line before sending it in front for Smith-Pelly, who tapped it home.
"We played a strong first period, then we got away from our game," Blues defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo said. "They got a lucky one on their fourth goal. A couple of mental mistakes cost us the game."Game Notes
The Blues have not won in Anaheim since October 17, 2009, a span of five games...The Ducks improved to 25-19-7 since Boudreau was named head coach on November 30, 2011...St. Louis suffered its first loss in regulation when scoring at least three goals in a game. It had been 37-0-1 when scoring three this season...Blues center Jason Arnott returned to the lineup after missing the previous two games...Anaheim went 1-for-4 with the man advantage, while the Blues failed to score on their only power-play chance.