The Ducks set a record for the fastest four goals to start a game in franchise history — then had to hang on for dear life after Ryan Miller replaced Patrick Lalime in goal for Buffalo.
The game was a rollercoaster for the Ducks (23-20-7). They saw their 4-0 lead shrink to 4-3 over the first 6:12 of the second period, then 24 seconds later lost their best player, Ryan Getzlaf, to an injury when he was struck above the right eye with a puck.
But Getzlaf would return later in the second period after receiving stitches in the locker room, and the Ducks recovered from a sluggish middle period in which they were outshot 11-3. The score held until a wide-open Troy Bodie wound up and scored from the slot with 4:07 left in the game.
Bodie’s second career NHL goal came two days after his first.
“Bodie got a huge goal for us there late in the third period,” Getzlaf said. “Those are things that we need to win hockey games. Tonight wasn’t the prettiest effort throughout the whole game, but we were able to get that early lead and hold it.”
The Ducks’ first-period scoring flurry set a number of team records. Just 51 seconds into the game, Getzlaf fired the rebound of a Corey Perry shot past Lalime, and Artyukhin’s breakaway strike 63 seconds later broke the mark for fastest two goals to start a game.
When Mike Brown knocked in a slick pass from Artyukhin at 5:23, it broke the record for fastest three goals by a full two minutes. Paul Kariya, Marc Chouinard and Patric Kjellberg took 7:24 to score thrice against Chicago on Dec. 1, 2002.
And when Bobby Ryan deflected in a Getzlaf shot at 10:26, it eclipsed the record of 11:09, set on Dec. 21, 2005 by Teemu Selanne, Andy McDonald, Sammy Pahlsson and Tyler Wright against the St. Louis Blues.
The Ducks extended their home winning streak to eight games and will try to maintain their momentum on a six-game road trip beginning Thursday in San Jose. The Sharks have defeated their last two opponents by a combined 14-2 score.
“We put ourselves in a position now where we’re challenging,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. “We can’t afford to give up ground here just because we’re going on the road. We have to win our share of games on the road.”
Added Jonas Hiller, who made 41 saves, “We have that confidence that we can win every game.”