Ducks pass a test, as Lindolm scores and Penner leads NHL


After a grueling road trip, the Anaheim Ducks returned home on Wednesday night and picked up right where they left off. With a 5-2 thumping of the Phoenix Coyotes, Bruce Boudreau’s club now sports a 13-3-1 record, producing a league-best 27 points.

The game had all the chatter of a playoff match-up coming in, with Dave Tippett’s club just behind the red-hot Ducks in the standings. However, Anaheim pushed their home record to 6-0-0 and looked every bit the part of the better team.

Hampus Lindholm scored his first NHL goal at the ripe young age of 19. He also leads all rookies with a plus-13 rating this season.

Meanwhile, Dustin Penner leads the entire NHL with a plus-15 rating on the season (+2 tonight). Even better, Anaheim is 9-0-1 with him in the lineup.

After the game, here’s what they were saying in both locker rooms…

– Coach Bruce Boudreau on the overall effort: “I was a little worried the first seven or eight minutes. It didn’t look like we had a lot of energy or jump. I don’t know which line it was, but it had a great shift, and it was followed up with another shift. Then it seemed like it all kicked in again.”

– On Lindholm’s performance: “It’s nice to see anybody get their first goal. He was jumping up into the play which is what we’ve been trying to get the D to do, to get more offense from them. So, him doing that and getting that first goal is always pretty nice for a coach to see.”

– Cam Fowler on the overall game: “We were definitely treating this game with tons of importance. We knew the type of roll Phoenix was on coming in here, and it seems like nobody seems to be losing in our division right now. We understood how important these two points were, and luckily we were able to come out and put a good effort out there.”

– Fowler on getting offense from the defense: “We’ve been getting our chances. I was very happy to see him [Hampus Lindholm] score, and he’s been playing great for us. It was good for me to get on the board, too. It’s something I’ve been waiting to do.”

– Hampus Lindholm on his first career NHL goal: “I got a really good pass from Mathieu [Perreault]. The goalie was deep in the net, so I just tried to get a shot quick on the net. I saw it glide in, and it was a very good feeling.”

– Lindholm on getting offense from the defense: “I feel like we’ve been creating [chances] out there. Just keep shooting and it’s going to fall in sooner or later. It was fun for me and Cam to get a goal tonight.”

– Coyotes’ Michael Stone on the overall game: “We had some costly turnovers. I think that’s what you can narrow it down to. We gave up too many odd man rushes. They capitalized on the odd man rushes. When you turn the puck over you don’t spend a whole lot of time in the offensive zone. You tend to play defense a lot. I think that’s first and foremost, you have to take care of the puck…We didn’t expect them to come out slow or be soft. They’re a big team, a quick team, we knew what we were in for. I don’t think we were unprepared.”

– Coyotes coach Dave Tippett on the overall game: “You can’t win a game in this league if you are going to turn the puck over and be undisciplined. We knew it was going to be a hard game. It was a great test for our team to see how we reacted and we didn’t play well enough, we didn’t play disciplined enough to win…Two of their goals came off direct turnovers by us. We gave up a 4-on-3. We took a penalty on the power play and then another penalty in the offensive zone. You can’t make mistakes like that against good teams in this league and we made too many mistakes tonight. It cost us the game.”

Anaheim will host Buffalo on Friday night and the Canucks on Sunday.

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