Fedorov scored his first game-winning goal with Anaheim on Friday, snapping a tie with just under nine minutes remaining and lifting the Ducks to a 4-3 victory that stretched the Chicago Blackhawks’ winless streak to 10 games.
“I always rely on the way I’ve been taught to play hockey. It’s not always about getting goals and points,” Fedorov said. “Sometimes you have to forcheck and backcheck and help your team play defense.”
Fedorov has five goals and four assists in his last seven games, after scoring only three goals in his first 16 games with Anaheim. The Ducks are 8-2-1-1 when Fedorov gets a point, and 0-5-2-4 when he doesn’t.
“It takes time to get used to a new system and a new coach and everything,” teammate Petr Sykora said. “But we know how good a player he is and it was just a matter of time before he broke through. He’s been awesome the last 10 games.”
Chicago lost its fifth straight overall and sixth in a row on the road. The Blackhawks are 0-9-1 since goaltender Jocelyn Thibault went down with a hip injury.
“Right now I think we’re lacking confidence,” Chicago defenseman Bryan Berard said. “We’re not showing the desperation early in games. We’re waiting until we’re down by a goal before we start bearing down.”
Travis Moen, Igor Radulov and Mikhail Yakubov scored for the injury-plagued Blackhawks, who have not scored more than three goals in any of their first 24 games. It’s Chicago’s longest such stretch to start a season since 1928-29, when they played a 44-game schedule and had only one three-goal game.
“There are a lot of guys in that room who are playing their hearts out,” coach Brian Sutter said. “We played a team that went to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals and I think we outplayed them. I’m sure they’ll say the opposite in the other room.”
Yakubov, making his NHL debut, made it 3-all by redirecting a centering pass from Radulov past goalie Martin Gerber midway through the third period.
But Fedorov responded with his eighth of the season with 8:47 remaining, beating goalie Craig Anderson with a short wrist shot. Andy McDonald beat Chicago’s Scott Nichol to a loose puck behind the net and fed it in front.
“Andy was very quick on that play,” said Fedorov, whose 75 career points against Chicago are his highest against any team. “I wasn’t sure the puck was coming out in front, but if it did, I was ready for it. I knew the goalie was going to go down, I kind of sensed it, and I shot it between his legs along the ice.”
Sykora and Lupul snapped a scoreless tie with goals 17 seconds apart in the first period against Anderson, 0-7-2 in 12 career NHL games and 0-4 this season.
Anderson made his first NHL start at Anaheim last Dec. 1 and surrendered goals 23 seconds apart in the first 2 1/2 minutes of a 3-2 loss.
“I don’t think we played that well, but sometimes you get away with it,” Sykora said. “You can never let down against any team at any time in this league, and I hope we learned our lesson. We had a 2-0 lead at home, and it should never have been that close. But it was a huge two points for us, so we’ll take them and move on.”
Blackhawks right wing Steve Sullivan missed his first game of the season because of a sore back. Alexander Karpovtsev was scratched due to a sore ankle, and fellow defenseman Steve McCarthy sat out because of a groin strain. Forwards Eric Daze and Alex Zhamnov haven’t played since the third game of theseason because of back injuries.
Gerber’s only other start at home this season also was against Chicago, in a 1-1 tie on Oct. 26. … The Blackhawks conclude their six-game road trip Saturday at Los Angeles. … Anaheim is 58-75-21-6 against the NHL’s Original Six teams, including a 21-19-5 mark against Chicago. … Fedorov, credited with an assist on Krog’s goal after the game, increased his career points total to974—moving him past Andy Bathgate into 70th place on the NHL list.