Ducks win team-record eighth straight

Dylan Butler, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The Anaheim Ducks set a franchise record with their eighth straight win, rallying from a two-goal deficit to beat the New York Islanders 5-3 Saturday night at Nassau Coliseum.
Now the Pacific Division leaders have a new goal in mind.
"Our motto is to try to get to Christmas on a winning note," said team captain Ryan Getzlaf, who netted a hat trick, including an empty-netter with 22 seconds left in the third to seal the victory.
Getzlaf seemed to will the Ducks, now 5-0-2 on the second night of back-to-back games, to victory. With Anaheim (26-7-5) trailing 3-1 entering the third, the center pulled Anaheim within 3-2 with his second goal of the game, knocking in a rebound 1:10 into the period.
"That ignited (us) a little bit because the first half of the game we were wondering if we were ever going to score on this guy," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. "When he scored that goal in the third period, I think the players believed they had the ability to come back."
Center Mathieu Perreault then tied the game at 3-3 for the Ducks, popping a deflected puck in with 9:28 left in the third for his seventh goal of the season.
Kyle Palmieri, who was born on Long Island and raised in New Jersey, scored his second game-winner in as many games in his homecoming with 6:16 left in the third period.
The winger, who scored the overtime winner against the Devils on Friday night, took the puck off a faceoff win by Getzlaf and walked in alone on Islanders goaltender Evgeni Nabokov (26 saves) to give the Ducks a 4-3 lead.
"It's pretty funny and pretty cool to look back on, but it doesn't mean too much," Palmieri said. "We got the wins and that's what is most important."
Getzlaf, who ignited the rally, also ended it with the empty-netter for the well-deserved hat trick and his 19th goal of the season.
"I'm glad he did it in the East because people can finally get a chance to see how good a player he is," Boudreau said. "He was the catalyst for sure."
While the Ducks celebrated a third win in their four-game road trip, the Islanders (10-20-7) rued another third-period meltdown. It was the sixth home game this season in which the Islanders failed to turn a two-goal lead into two points.
All of the good feelings from a strong second period in which goals by winger Thomas Vanek and center Frans Nielsen had given New York a two-goal cushion were gone as a result of another blown lead.
"We focus sometimes on the wrong things. We tend to focus on the bad stuff instead of just regrouping and getting the puck out," Vanek said. "We were frustrated at the no-calls and the icing that were made. ... We need to just shut up and play."
Vanek, who scored the winner against the Rangers in a 5-3 win Friday night at Madison Square Garden, scored a pair of goals. He beat Anaheim goaltender Frederik Andersen (18 saves) at 17:55 of the second period to put the Islanders in front, 2-1.
Nielsen followed with his 12th at 18:52 to mark the first time a Danish player has scored on a Danish goalie in NHL history.
That bit of trivia, though, was lost on frustrated Islanders coach Jack Capuano, who has watched the same mistakes hurt his team game after game.
"You can break the game down any way you want, but to me we have to learn to play a north-south game and not an east-west game," Capuano said.
Now Anaheim heads south -- to Washington, D.C., where Boudreau faces the Capitals for the first time since he coached them from 2007 to 2011. A win at Verizon Center on Monday is all that separates the Ducks from achieving yet another goal and getting an early Christmas gift.
"It's just another game," Boudreau said with a smile. "I can't even say that with a straight face."
NOTES: This was the second meeting between Anaheim and New York in two weeks. The Ducks won 5-2 at home Dec. 9. ... The Islanders scratched RW Colin McDonald, C Peter Regin and D Aaron Ness, and D Radek Martinek (back spasms) and D Lubomir Visnovsky (concussion) remain on the injured reserve. ... The Ducks scratched RW Teemu Selanne, RW Dustin Penner and D Hampus Lindholm. G Viktor Fasth (lower body), D Luca Sbisa (hand) and D Sheldon Souray (wrist) remain out with injuries. ... Islanders C John Tavares played in his team-leading 243rd consecutive game. ... With a first-period assist, RW Kyle Okposo has six points in six games. ... New York heads to Detroit to play the Red Wings on Monday. ... The Ducks lead the NHL with 23 road games this season.

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