Penner working on new nickname, Ducks still best team in the NHL

Coming out of the Ducks 6-2 thumping of the visiting Buffalo Sabres on Friday night, there’s much to digest.

Team captain Ryan Getzlaf started things off in the first period, recording his first career hat-trick. It was also only the second time in Ducks history that a player scored three goals in the opening period (last: Teemu Selanne on Nov. 10, 1997 vs. San Jose). Getzlaf’s 22 points are second-best in the NHL.

Overall, Anaheim’s 14-3-1 record (29 points) is the best in the league. Their 62 goals also represents a franchise record through 18 games.

Need more? Having gone 7-0-1 over the last eight games, they currently have the longest points streak in the NHL. They’re also undefeated at home this seasons, flashing a perfect 7-0-0 mark at the Honda Center. The Ducks are the only NHL club with a perfect start at home this season.

As for Dustin Penner, it may be time for a new nickname. Playoff Penner has turned into Perfect Penner.

Anaheim is undefeated in regulation with him in the lineup, going 10-0-1 thus far. Further, with a goal and a career-tying three assists on Friday night, Penner recorded his first four-point game since December 11, 2009 with the Oilers. He’s now riding a career-high five-game assist streak and leading the NHL with a plus-18 rating.

Here’s what was being said in the locker room after the game…

– Ryan Getzlaf on his third goal in the first period: “Perry and Pens [Dustin Penner] made a nice play and I was all alone in front of the net. I just kind of wrapped it around and was able to get it by him.”

– Getzlaf on rekindling the chemistry with Penner from 2007: “That’s exactly how it feels. The way we used to play together and work around each other, and work off each other. It feels like it’s the same. [Penner] has done more than enough work in skating the way he is right now, and playing with that energy.”

– Goaltender Frederik Anderson on the offensive support: “It makes it a little bit easier when you have a 4-1 lead after the first. That always helps a lot. Good performance from the guys coming right out of the gate.”

– Anderson on jumping on the Sabres early in the game: “They’ve been outscored a lot in the first, so that was a key to winning this game. Coming back hard every time, and trying to make a push early. It paid off today. Credit to Getz [Ryan Getzlaf] for three goals.”

– Coach Bruce Boudreau on the performance of Getzlaf, Penner and Perry: “They were really dominant tonight. There was no doubt. You could tell, as soon as he started his skating, that Ryan was great. When we got the power-play goal early, it was because he did something he doesn’t normally do, which is jump right into the play after a shot. As soon as he did that, I said ‘Ok, he’s going to have a good game.’ Consequently, he got four points in the first period.”

– Boudreau on keeping up this pace: “You keep trying to do the same things, and you try not to get into any bad habits. You practice hard so this becomes the norm. This is the only way I know how. At one point, you’re going to go through a streak that’s not going to be as good as you like, but at the same time, you want that to happen as late as you can put it off.”

– Sabres’ Cody Hodgson on the overall game: “It’s tough. Obviously it’s tough and you want to help the team win, but their lines were working hard and getting on the forecheck and things. I wish them the best…They’re a great team. That line especially is the top in the NHL. We didn’t have a good start and they capitalized on it.”

– Sabres goalie Ryan Miller on the overall game: “That’s the way you feel after these kinds of games. You start to give a team an advantage, a team that just beat us in our building by six goals. You give them an offensive advantage right off the start. It’s not the way to go… They (Anaheim’s first line) are open because they are willing to hold on to pucks and put it in areas where they are going to get it back, or protect it. It’s not always fancy passes, they’re just willing to hold the puck and look for options and spread the ice well. They go to the areas where they can make plays. They get good chances.”

– Sabres coach Ron Rolston on the overall game: “We got in the box early and they had a couple power plays right off the bat. All their top players. We talked about that before the game…We just regroup and get back at it on Monday and we have LA coming in on Tuesday… We have to work and I just don’t think the work was there.”

Reminder – West Coast Bias, our radio show on NHL Network Radio, will be broadcasting live from the Honda Center on Sunday night following the Canucks v Ducks game. We’ll have two hours of hockey talk, largely focused on the Western Conference. Brad Richardson of the Canucks will be one of our guests. Be sure to join us!

RELATED CONTENT:

AUDIO: West Coast Bias on NHL Network Radio – November 3, 2013 with Kelly Hrudey and Kerry Fraser

AUDIO: West Coast Bias 10/20/2013– with Tyler Seguin, Emerson Etem and more

AUDIO: West Coast Bias 10/13/2013– with Dustin Penner, Bobby Ryan, Guy Hebert and more

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