CHICAGO (AP) -- Andy McDonald was at the center of the Anaheim
offense in a win over the Blackhawks.
McDonald scored twice and Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 22 saves
to lead the Mighty Ducks to a 2-1 victory against Chicago. Vitaly
Vishnevski assisted on both goals for the Anaheim, which has won
four of five.
The Ducks, with 76 points, moved one behind eighth-place Los
Angeles and the final Western Conference playoff spot.
McDonald, who has a career-high 24 goals, has been centering a
line with Teemu Selanne on the right and, recently, Chris Kunitz on
the left. He got a chance to jump into the middle of the Mighty
Ducks' top line after Sergei Fedorov was traded to Columbus early
in the season.
On Friday, McDonald made the most of it.
"I don't think it's any one thing," McDonald said. "Obviously
playing with Teemu, and Chris has been involved with our line and
he's helped us a lot.
"This year, I've gotten the opportunity to play in key
situations. The coaching staff has shown a lot of confidence in me
and I've been healthy. I've struggled with injuries earlier in my
Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle wasn't completely pleased with his
team's effort, but was impressed with McDonald's contribution.
"We got away from our game plan in the second period, but we
did find a way to get ourselves back in the hockey game," he said.
"But we won't critique a win. We felt we earned our opportunities.
"He's [McDonald] been given an opportunity because he's earned
it. It doesn't hurt to play with Teemu Selanne, with the way he's
playing right now. We found a combination that's working for us."
Giguere sealed the win by apparently getting a piece of Patrick
Sharp's point-blank shot in the final seconds that then deflected
off the post.
"I heard the ping and then heard the buzz of the big horn,"
Giguere said. "I am just happy that I got lucky on that play, and
sometimes you do get lucky. I think we got a big win out of it."
Kyle Calder scored for the Blackhawks, who have lost four of
five. Chicago has three wins in 12 games. Nikolai Khabibulin
stopped 28 shots, but the Blackhawks were swept 4-0 in the season
series with the Ducks.
"The effort for the most part was there, but it was a funny
game," Chicago coach Trent Yawney said. "[Sharp] hit the
crossbar. That epitomizes our season. We've lost 20 games by one
Anaheim outshot Chicago 14-4 in a scoreless first period,
although the Blackhawks failed on several close-in chances late in
McDonald opened the scoring at 3:15 of the second, completing a
2-on-1 with Selanne. McDonald held the puck instead of making a
pass, then beat Khabibulin with a low shot.
Calder tied it 1-all at 6:33. His shot from the right circle
deflected off the elevated stick of Ducks defenseman Scott
Niedermayer and past Giguere's stick side.
McDonald gave Anaheim a 2-1 lead at 1:57 of the third. After his
shot from the right circle was blocked by Chicago's Duncan Keith,
McDonald grabbed the loose puck and fired a rising shot past
Khabibulin on the short side .
McDonald's previous goal-scoring high was 10. He's in his
fifth NHL season. ... Anaheim D Jason Marshall and LW Travis Moen
were healthy scratches. ... The Ducks played the second of a
four-game road trip. They have only seven home games left out of
17. ... Khabibulin started his fifth straight game since returning
from a sprained left knee.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: United Center Location: Chicago, Illinois
Referees: Dean Morton, Rob Shick Linesmen: Mike Cvik, Jay Sharrers
Attendance: 12,031 (61.0% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
No scoring this period
Andy McDonald (23)
Assists: Chris Kunitz, Vitaly Vishnevski