Ducks’ Miller grinds out 40th career shutout
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Anaheim Ducks found the tonic to end a losing streak in an Ottawa Senators team whose season appears to be slipping away as the losses mount.
Ryan Miller made 29 saves to earn his 40th career shutout, and Adam Henrique registered two goals as the Anaheim Ducks defeated the Ottawa Senators 3-0 on Wednesday night.
Anaheim (12-11-6) broke a three-game losing streak (0-1-2) by taking the opener of a three-game homestand. The Ducks have defeated Ottawa in seven of the past nine meetings played at the Honda Center.
Ottawa (9-11-6) lost its second straight game to start a season-high, seven-game road trip. Overall, the Senators have dropped nine of their past 10 contests (1-8-1).
Craig Anderson made 19 saves for Ottawa.
The Ducks had lost consecutive shootouts to the Nashville Predators and Vegas Golden Knights, and while their effort was inconsistent Wednesday, it was more enough to get past a Senators team that has gone scoreless in its last 138:22.
Despite his fine offensive performance, Henrique focused on the Ducks’ effort in their own zone as the key to the win and discussed joining his new team in the middle of a season.
“Coming off a tough shootout loss last night on the road, we knew we have to raise our level defensively tonight,” Henrique said. “It’s actually been a pretty good transition. The guys have been great on and off the ice.”
Miller had a relatively easy time between the pipes with few difficult saves as he tied John Vanbiesbrouck and Frank Brimsek for the second-most shutouts by a U.S.-born goaltender. Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick tops the list with 46.
Miller also tied Montreal’s Carey Price for seventh place among active goaltenders in shutouts while earning his first as a Duck.
The Senators continue to search for answers to stop the tailspin that has plummeted them down the Atlantic Division standings. Although their season is a little more than a quarter of the way complete, coach Guy Boucher knows his team cannot endure much more losing in the short term, though he chose to remain positive.
“The guys gave everything they had. It was a terrific bench,” Boucher said. “Players sticking together and paying the price. We knew this was a big, tough, physical team. We met that physicality right on, right from the beginning. We got to reload, replenish here, and go back at it with the character and the togetherness we had tonight.”
Ottawa defenseman Erik Karlsson, who has struggled to reach the level that allowed him to capture the Norris Trophy in seasons past, is still searching for answers.
“You’re playing good teams every night, and they’re going to create their fair share of scoring chances as well,” Karlsson said. “You never know exactly what is causing it and what is going on. When things are not going your way, you try and look for answers that are not there. You try and get out of your comfort zone and do different things, but at the end of the day, you need to do the things you are good at, and I think that we are starting to get to that.”
Henrique scored his fifth goal of the season and first in an Anaheim uniform to give the Ducks a 1-0 lead at 3:47 of the second period. Henrique one-timed a feed from Rickard Rakell past Anderson to extend his point streak as a Duck to four games.
Corey Perry earned the secondary assist.
Anaheim extended its lead to 2-0 on Ondrej Kase’s sixth goal of the season at 11:10 of the second period. Kase was left unguarded in the right corner of the Ottawa defensive zone and skated toward the net, deking Cody Ceci out of position to covert a backhand shot.
Nick Ritchie and Josh Manson earned assists.
Henrique added an empty-net goal for his sixth of the season at 18:25 of the third period to close out the scoring. Antoine Vermette and Cam Fowler registered assists.
NOTES: Ottawa scratched D Fredrik Claesson. ... The Senators continue their road trip in Los Angeles on Thursday, facing the red-hot Los Angeles Kings. ... Anaheim did not dress D Korbinian Holzer, RW Jakob Silfverberg and C Joseph Blandisi. Silfverberg missed his fourth consecutive game with an upper-body injury. ... The Ducks return to action Friday, welcoming the Minnesota Wild for the middle match of their homestand. ... Anaheim placed D Hampus Lindholm on injured reserve. He will miss Friday’s game. The Ducks recalled D Jaycob Megna on Tuesday to fill the roster spot.