Ducks tied atop division with win over Jets

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[March 25, 2017]  ANAHEIM, Calif. -- With eight games left, the Anaheim Ducks and the NHL's defending Western Conference champions share first place in the Pacific Division.

Andrew Cogliano's game-winning goal not only gave the Ducks a 3-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Friday night at the Honda Center. It also put Anaheim into a first-place tie with the San Jose Sharks. Both teams have 91 points.

Corey Perry and Jakob Silfverberg also scored for the Ducks (40-23-11), who have won seven of nine. Goalie Jonathan Bernier stopped 17 shots in his fifth win in six decisions.

"We kept a pretty high-scoring team at bay for most of the night," Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler said. "We're climbing in the right direction and finding different ways to win hockey games, which is encouraging. Tonight was a pretty complete game for the most part."

The division's co-leaders each have eight games remaining, divided evenly between home and road. But the Ducks have five games left against playoff contenders and the Sharks have six.

Josh Morrissey scored for the Jets (33-35-7), who received 32 saves from Michael Hutchinson. Patrik Laine, who shares the lead in rookie scoring with the Toronto Maple Leafs' Auston Matthews, was held to one shot that was blocked.

"They play a hard style of game," Morrissey said of the Ducks. "They play physical. They box you out and don't let you have a lot of room in the (offensive) zone."

Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle believes his team must play that kind of style to succeed.

"We've got to be a strong forechecking club," he said. "We've got to have five men involved in our puck recoveries and defend all lines when teams are trying to enter our zone. We think we're a dangerous hockey club, but we still have to take on the mandate that we're going to have to win games 2-1, 1-0, 3-2."

Cogliano received some unexpected assistance in breaking a 1-1 tie with 2:38 left in the second period. Cogliano fired a pass from the left corner intended for Silfverberg. But the puck bounced off Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba and inside the left post for Cogliano's 15th goal of the season.

"It's unfortunate to have a bounce like that go in and end up being the game-winning goal, but that's hockey," Hutchinson said. "I was really happy with the way the guys played in front of me. I don't know how many blocked shots we had, but we had quite a few."

Perry's 15th goal gave the Ducks a 1-0 lead with 2:43 left in the first period. After Nick Ritchie dropped a pass to Perry in the left corner, Perry skated along the left boards to the top of the slot and unleashed a rising wrist shot that settled under the crossbar.

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Ducks score a goal past Winnipeg Jets goalie Michael Hutchinson (34) in the first period of the game at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Morrissey tied the score with three seconds left on a power play in the second period. Matthieu Perreault began the scoring sequence with a pass from the right circle to Blake Wheeler, who one-timed a slap shot from the blue line that Morrissey redirected from the slot for his sixth goal 6:08 into the period.

Bernier kept Winnipeg from moving ahead when he stopped Joel Armia's shot with 8:32 left in the second period. Armia intercepted defenseman Josh Manson's pass in the neutral zone and began a give-and-go. But when Armia received Nic Petan's return pass, Bernier blocked Armia's attempted tip-in at the right post with his left skate.

"They had some Grade-A scoring chances for only 18 shots," Bernier said. "But I thought our forecheck was so strong tonight. We spent a lot of time in their zone."

Silfverberg registered his 21st goal by shooting the puck into an empty net with 1:07 to play.

NOTES: Winnipeg scratched D Dustin Byfuglien, D Ben Chiarot, C Marko Dano, G Ondrej Pavelic, D Paul Postma and D Brenden Kichton, who was recalled from Manitoba (AHL) after Byfuglien suffered a late injury Thursday night. ... Jets RW Blake Wheeler needs one goal to pass Vyacheslav Kozlov and become the third-leading goal scorer in franchise history with 146. ... Anaheim scratched D Kevin Bieksa, G John Gibson and C Logan Shaw. ... Ducks D Clayton Stoner will begin a conditioning assignment in San Diego (AHL). Stoner, who underwent abdominal surgery in December, has not played since Nov. 15. ... The Ducks sent RW Ondrej Kase to San Diego (AHL) on Thursday. ... Ducks coach Randy Carlyle passed Hall of Famer Punch Imlach in career coaching victories on Wednesday night. Carlyle claimed his 403rd in a 4-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers and now sits 35th all time.

[ 2017 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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