ANAHEIM — Forty-two days after the Ducks started their NHL regular season, they finally won a game in regulation.
The result: Ducks 3, New York Rangers 2, on Wednesday night at Honda Center. They had played 19 games without a win in regulation, one short of the league record to begin a season. In 2017, the Arizona Coyotes became the first team in NHL history to go 20 games into the season without a win in regulation.
Of course, it was little surprise that Ducks goaltender John Gibson kept them in position to pull it off against the Rangers, making 41 saves. It was probably even more unexpected that Ducks defenseman Dmitry Kulikov was a meaningful source of offense, scoring the go-ahead goal 39 seconds into the second period off a shot from the right-wing boards, making it 2-1. Earlier, he assisted on Mason McTavish’s first-period goal.
In between those efforts, Kulikov had to get stitched up after a shot from Rangers defenseman Adam Fox deflected off Kulikov’s stick and hit him in the face at 12:05 of the first period.
Troy Terry gave the Ducks a 3-1 lead at 5:25 when he ripped a shot from the right circle, which went in off the post past Rangers goaltender Jaroslav Halak. It was his eighth goal of the season. That was the first time the Ducks have held a two-goal lead in any game since they had a 2-0 lead against the New Jersey Devils on Oct. 17 before going on to lose 4-2.
But the Ducks gave one back late in the second period when Rangers defenseman Braden Schneider cut the lead to 3-2 at 18:06. It was also the first time the Ducks have had a lead after two periods this season.
More to come on this story.
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