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Ducks find answers in Detroit, and for Jimmy Howard, to win 5-2

Andrew Cogliano scores twice in third period as Anaheim wins in Michigan for first time since 2008 and ends six-game winless streak vs. Red Wings goalie Howard.

February 15, 2013|By Lance Pugmire, Los Angeles Times

The Ducks have defined themselves early in the NHL season as a team capable of handling adverse situations, no matter the opponent.

Friday night in Detroit, facing a goaltender who's given them fits, in the fifth game of a six-game trip, in a building where they hadn't won in five years, the Ducks fired two early third-period goals past Detroit's Jimmy Howard and beat the Red Wings, 5-2, at Joe Louis Arena.

The Ducks are 10-2-1, lead the Pacific Division and are second in the Western Conference with 21 points. They're also off to the best start on the road (6-1-1) in team history.

They are 4-1 on the trip and 7-1 this month, including victories over previously unbeaten-in-regulation Chicago and San Jose.

Andrew Cogliano scored twice Friday, including the goal that broke a 2-2 tie 1 minutes 2 seconds into third period. It came after a Detroit neutral-zone turnover and was set up by a superb pass from Saku Koivu.

"Tough town to play in, but we felt we were in a good spot to win the game," Cogliano said afterward. "I'm just finding the right spots."

Just 48 seconds later, Bobby Ryan scored on the rebound of his own shot, his fifth goal of the season. Teemu Selanne's pass set up the play.

Cogliano added his fourth goal in three games, into an empty net late in the period, to help rookie goaltender Viktor Fasth improve to 7-0 as a starter.

"This team just believes in itself," Ryan said. "We have confidence that we can come back."

The teams combined for four goals in the second period and were tied going into the third, in a place where the Orange County team had lost eight consecutive games since 2008.

This was only the Ducks' fourth win in 37 trips to Joe Louis.

After a scoreless first period, Anaheim twice shrugged off Detroit goals to quickly tie the score in the second.

Joakim Andersson gave the Red Wings a 1-0 lead with his first career goal, firing a shot under Fasth's left arm.

But Matt Beleskey responded 26 seconds later, taking a crisp pass from Ryan Getzlaf from the left side of the net and slapping the puck past Howard.

A delay-of-game penalty on the Ducks' Peter Holland set up a power-play goal by Detroit's Tomas Tatar, who swiped home a shot by teammate Damien Brunner.

Just 1:05 later, the Ducks tied the score again after a pass behind the Detroit net by Red Wings defenseman Ian White was softened by White's broken stick.

Corey Perry collected the puck and followed a first shot slowed by Howard with another that got past the goalie to make it 2-2 with 12:23 left in the period. It was Perry's second goal of the season and provided some satisfaction for last year's Western Conference scoring leader after a slow start.

"It's a good sign to be able to come back," Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said.

Howard had proven to be a difficult wall for the Ducks to penetrate. He started the night 5-0-1 against them in the last six meetings, with a 1.33 goals-against average.

But the Ducks peppered him, forcing Howard to make 26 saves by the end of the second period.

Tonight

AT NASHVILLE

When: 5 PST.

Where: Bridgestone Arena.

On the Air: TV: Prime Ticket; Radio: 830 AM.

Record vs. Predators: 1-0-0.

Etc.: The Ducks beat the Predators in a shootout Jan. 26 at Honda Center. Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne is third in the NHL with a 1.61 goals-against average.

lance.pugmire@latimes.com

twitter.com/latimespugmire

Pugmire reported from Los Angeles.

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