Not long ago, Corey Perry couldn't buy a goal when it seemed as if every other Ducks player but the goaltenders was finding the net.
Perry is hot these days and the Ducks may never cool off as they dominated the depleted Dallas Stars, 4-1, behind the right wing's two goals Wednesday night at the Honda Center.
The Ducks (27-4-6) also received goals from their one-two punch of Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer, and now have 60 points in the first 37 games.
A year ago, it took until their 53rd game to reach that total in what would be a record-breaking regular season.
And they are earning more admirers along the way.
"There's a reason why they're first in our league," Dallas defenseman Stephane Robidas said. "They played the same way they've been playing all year. We knew what to expect.
"They just work hard and play within their system and play the game the way it should be."
Pronger's seventh goal of the season gave the Ducks a 1-0 lead before Perry scored goals in the first and second periods. The Stars' lone goal came from Stu Barnes.
At the 11:38 mark of the first, Perry ripped a slap shot past Dallas goaltender Marty Turco on his stick side. Barnes cut the lead in half before the forward struck again with a highlight-reel play.
Moments after getting robbed by Turco with a left pad save, Perry beat Stars defenseman Philippe Boucher to the puck following a faceoff win by Ryan Getzlaf and turned in a 180-degree fashion to snap a quick shot top shelf over Turco's glove.
"All the bounces are going my way right now," said Perry, who has 11 goals. "Before, the puck was going one way and I was going the other way. Right now, I'm getting the bounces.
"I did put pressure on myself when I wasn't contributing. That's kind of my job and that's what got me here."
For a three-week stretch, Perry didn't score in 12 games and managed only three assists in that span. Starting with a goal Dec. 8 against Washington, the second-year forward has six goals and nine points in his last seven games.
"I just think he's got more confidence now," Ducks Coach Randy Carlyle said. "He's worked hard at getting through a valley that he was in, in terms of offensive production.
"Right now, the puck is finding him and he's getting the bounces. He's got a tremendous amount of skill around the net."
The production and the absence of Mike Modano and Jere Lehtinen from the Dallas lineup made things easier for goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who made 26 saves in his eighth consecutive start. Modano is out with a hip injury and Lehtinen was scratched because of the flu.
The Ducks are starting to distance themselves from their Pacific Division rivals. Their 12-point lead over second-place San Jose is the largest of any division in the NHL as they won for the 12th time in 14 games.
Niedermayer said the players have taken to the challenge of avoiding complacency.
"It's tough," he said. "I've been around a while and played a few games. The regular season is a long stretch of hockey. There are a lot of games, road trips and everything that goes into it.
"So far, our guys have been doing a great job being committed and working as hard as they can most nights."
The Ducks' second-ranked power play manufactured a goal for the 16th time in 18 games.
Niedermayer was the beneficiary this time as he made it a three-goal lead in the second with his first marker since Nov. 12 against Minnesota.
Andy McDonald gave Teemu Selanne a pass from behind the Dallas net and Selanne fed the puck to Niedermayer in the slot, where he put his one-time shot off the right post.