ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)—The rematch was similar to the Stanley Cup finals: mostly all Ducks.
The Cup finalists recently have been heading in different directions. The victory was the sixth in a row for the Ducks, while the slumping Senators have won just nine of their last 24.
Giguere, who notched his third consecutive 30-win season, likes the way the Ducks are playing.
“`We’re really coming together as a team,” he said. “Everything is working well right now. There’s a long way to go before the playoffs, but we’re going the right way.”
Giguere (30-16-5) has had a lot to do with that. With five straight wins, he’s one shy of tying his career best set in January-February 2002.
He’s 9-1-1 in his last 11 starts, posting a 1.26 goals-against average and .950 save percentage during that span.
Like the Ducks, he seems to be peaking at a good time.
“He made some huge saves again tonight,” Niedermayer said. “He’s making big saves. You need that in this league, and he’s giving us that right now.”
Todd Bertuzzi had the other Anaheim goal in the only regular-season meeting between the teams this season. Christoph Schubert scored for Ottawa in the first period after the Senators had fallen behind 2-0.
Niedermayer capped the scoring midway through the third period on a 5-on-3 power play, with a two-minute minor called on Ottawa coach Bryan Murray for jawing at the officials costing the Senators one skater during the power play. He later was ejected for yelling at them again.
The Ducks won the Cup in five games last June, wrapping up their first NHL title with a 6-2 victory on June 6 in Anaheim.
The current winning streak matches the Ducks’ season high. They are 23-8-3 since Niedermayer returned, and 11-1 since right wing Teemu Selanne rejoined them. Both sat out part of the season while deciding whether to retire.
Former Anaheim coach and general manager Murray, back in the arena as the Ottawa GM and coach, drew a game misconduct at 13:01 and was tossed for yelling at officials a second time. He obviously thought the Senators weren’t getting their share of the calls, but said afterward he was sorry.
“I talked to the referees during the game and I took a bad penalty,” Murray said. “I apologized to them (his players). I put them in a bad spot. It was a 2-1 game and we had a chance to win.
“I took a second penalty and cost them the game. I should never do that and it won’t happen again.”
Murray took over the coach’s duties after firing John Paddock on Feb. 27. Ottawa is 1-2 since he moved back behind the bench.
Senators defenseman Wade Redden believes the team is going to bounce back under Murray, who was at the helm last season when the Sens made their first Cup finals.
“We’ve come out a lot better, had a much better effort the last three games when he’s been behind the bench,” Redden said. “We just need to keep going that way and get our wins.
“Good things will happen if we keep working hard.”
Coach Randy Carlyle was behind the Anaheim bench after missing Friday’s game, a 3-1 win over Calgary, because of the flu.
Niedermayer, who assisted on Perry’s goal, capped the scoring with a slap shot from the right circle on a 5-on-3 power play midway through the third period. The goal was the sixth for the Anaheim defenseman.
Thirty-five seconds after Perry gave Anaheim their two-goal lead in the opening period, Schubert narrowed the gap. The Ottawa defenseman beat a screened Giguere with a slap shot from near the blue line at 15:35 for his sixth goal.
Perry got his 29th goal on a power play. In good position in front of the crease, he redirected Niedermayer’s shot past Martin Gerber. Bertuzzi put Anaheim ahead to stay when he scored from the left circle at 11:58 of the first, his 13th goal.
Gerber, who had been Giguere’s backup for two seasons in Anaheim, faced 31 shots.
Anaheim has gone 21-for-22 on the penalty kill in the last five games and allowed just two power play goals in the last six (23-for-25). … Ducks C Doug Weight, back after sitting out eight games with a shoulder injury, assisted on Perry’s goal. Anaheim C Todd Marchant also played after being sidelined by a sore shoulder for three games.