Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf (15) congratulates goalie Jonas Hiller after… (Jae C. Hong / Associated…)
What the Ducks want out of 2014 they produced Tuesday night.
In a high-energy blitz of talent and toughness that answered a road loss to the San Jose Sharks two days earlier, the Ducks scored five goals in an 11-minute 25-second stretch to win, 6-3, at Honda Center.
"Huge for us, because it shows when we play our game, we win," said Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano, who capped the scoring with a short-handed goal early in the third period.
Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf already had two assists when he outraced the Sharks on an earlier third-period breakaway, closing it with a muscled shot that beat San Jose goalie Antti Niemi and forced his removal from the game.
SUMMARY: Ducks 6, San Jose Sharks 3
The Ducks (29-8-5) are now 15-0-2 at home, and before a standing-room-only crowd, they pierced doubts that crept in during their 0-1-2 start against their nearest Pacific Division pursuers, San Jose (25-9-6) and the Kings.
The point made is that their natural skill and roster depth, complemented by hustle, aggression and home-crowd encouragement, can take them to lofty places.
"We're a good hockey club, and we know it," Getzlaf said. "Obviously, the Sharks are one of the best teams in the league. We proved we've got to keep playing our game no matter who we're playing."
Now riding a better start than even the 2006-07 Stanley Cup-champion Ducks while becoming just the third NHL team in the last 25 years to have a home point streak of 17 games or more, the Ducks got a club-record ninth straight win from goalie Jonas Hiller (33 saves).
"Hilly won the game for us; they could've had a 5-1 lead after one," Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said after Hiller instead stopped all 17 Sharks' shots in the first.
The Ducks set another team record by taking 25 second-period shots — 20 in the first 11 minutes — scoring three goals to counter two San Jose goals on eight shots in the frenzied 20 minutes.
The Ducks' scoring burst started on Niemi when defenseman Francois Beauchemin followed a Ryan Getzlaf blast that left the goalie sprawled.
San Jose tied it again 95 seconds later when Logan Couture hit the crossbar and Hiller backed the puck across the goal line.
But the Sharks' James Sheppard committed a high-sticking penalty on Sami Vatanen, and Ducks center Nick Bonino converted on the power play, sprawling to strike a rebound shot off a Getzlaf try.
Getzlaf's interest in scoring goals is a telling part of the Ducks' success. He's never scored more than 25 in a season but already has 20.
With the lead, Hiller was caught out of position after clearing the puck and San Jose's Joe Thornton charged to shoot, but defenseman Ben Lovejoy slid forward, extended his stick and knocked Thornton's shot out of harm's way. Lovejoy became a father for the first time to daughter Lila on Tuesday morning.
"Big momentum boost," Boudreau said. " … [It] personifies him as a blood-and-guts individual. In the hospital all day having a baby, and puts in that kind of effort."
Bonino then padded the Ducks' lead, taking the puck away from San Jose's Andrew Desjardins behind the Sharks' net and passing to Matt Beleskey for a 4-2 lead with 1:30 left in the second.
The importance of winning the game was seen in Beleskey's knee-dropping, arms-raised motion.
"The Beleskey-Bonino-[Kyle] Palmieri line of getting in there, doing some forechecking … it got the crowd into it," Boudreau said.
The game was the 500th consecutive for Cogliano, making him just the fifth NHL player to play in 500 straight games from the beginning of his career.