Talk about an inhospitable host.
The Anaheim Ducks welcomed the Toronto Maple Leafs into town Wednesday for the first time in more than four years by administering a thorough thrashing.
“You prepare pretty much the same way you would against any other team,” Ducks goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere said.
And that’s bad news for any visitors to Honda Center these days. Giguere earned his 27th career shutout to tie Guy Hebert’s franchise record, Todd Bertuzzi and Corey Perry each had a goal and two assists, and the Ducks won 5-0 for their season-high fifth straight home victory.
“You try to focus on your game and make sure that your part of the game is as good as it can be,” Giguere said. “And tonight we did that.”
They sure did. Giguere made 28 saves, handing the Leafs their first shutout loss and thwarting all six of their power plays.
The Leafs, who took 56 shots against Philadelphia’s Antero Nittymaki in Saturday’s 3-2 loss at Toronto before heading west, played their first game in Anaheim since Nov. 13, 2003 — and only their second since March 11, 1998.
“The power play has been struggling for us all year for some reason,” Toronto’s Mats Sundin said. “I really can’t put my finger on it, other than the fact that we are making it complicated out there. We’ve got to simplify it — shoot the puck and get it through to the net.”
In the only other NHL games Wednesday, it was: Dallas 3, Chicago 1; and Washington 2, Colorado 1.
Doug Weight and Chris Kunitz scored power-play goals in the third period, and Brandon Bochenski recorded his first goal in his third game with the defending Stanley Cup champions after joining them in a trade from Boston on Jan. 2. Ryan Getzlaf had two assists, extending his point streak to a career-best nine games.
The Ducks have scored five goals in consecutive games after getting no more than two in five of their previous six wins.
“It does feel good having back-to-back games with five goals and have guys contributing throughout the lineup” Weight said. “We’ve played a lot of close games that have been good defensive battles, and Jiggy’s been great. But we definitely want to help make some of these games a little easier for him.”
Weight also became the fifth American-born player with 700 NHL assists.
“It’s pretty cool. That’s a feat I’m definitely proud of,” Weight said. “That’s my game, and it’s been the bulk of what I do in the league. I think I’ve benefited from a lot of great players around me and great teammates, and it’s a two-way street.”
It was the ninth time in 11 games that Toronto has been held to fewer than three goals.
“It’s discouraging,” coach Paul Maurice said. “You’ve got to find a way to get these guys going. They are struggling with the puck, and it’s affecting the routes they are taking and the decisions they are making.”
Stars 3, Blackhawks 1
Stu Barnes scored a go-ahead, short-handed goal with 6:04 left in the third period for visiting Dallas.
Barnes’ shot from just inside the right point deflected in off Nikolai Khabibulin’s outstretched right pad. Dallas won its second straight after ending a four-game losing streak with a 3-1 home win over Minnesota on Monday.
Dallas’ Loui Eriksson scored a power-play goal in the first period, and Brenden Morrow added an empty-net goal with 17.5 seconds left.
Robert Lang had a power-play goal for injury-depleted Chicago, which is 0-5-2 in its last seven games.
Capitals 2, Avalanche 1
At Washington, Donald Brashear and David Steckel each scored in the third period, and Olaf Kolzig made 18 saves in the Capitals’ victory.
The game was scoreless until Brashear scored 2:51 into the third period. Matt Bradley skated from behind the net and directed a pass to Brooks Laich, whose shot from the left circle was tipped past Jose Theodore by Brashear.
With 3:59 left, Steckel tapped the puck past an out-of-position Theodore.
The Avalanche, in danger of being shut out for the second straight game for the first time since Nov. 2001, scored just 38 seconds later on Marek Svatos’ breakaway.