Rakell scores 30th in Ducks' win over Blues

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[March 16, 2017]  ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Anaheim Ducks demonstrated the kind of hockey their coach believes they must display consistently in the season's final three weeks.

Rickard Rakell and Ryan Getzlaf scored goals to give the Ducks a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday night at the Honda Center.

Goaltender Jonathan Bernier stopped 26 shots for his fourth successive win as the Ducks (37-23-10) used their fourth victory in five games to take over second place in the Pacific Division by two points over the Calgary Flames.

"Points are points right now," Getzlaf said. "We're in a dogfight in trying to finish as high as we can so we can get home-ice advantage in that first round, at least. We want to build something. We want to play well. It's about the way we're playing and the consistency we can play with."

Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle believes defensive discipline must dictate that consistency. Since Christmas, the Ducks have conceded the fewest goals in the NHL, 75.

"We haven't been able to generate enough offense," Carlyle said. "We knew that if we could be stout defensively five-on-five and improve our penalty killing, then we would give ourselves the best chance.

"We're not going to win the 5-4 games. We try to convince our players that it's the 2-1 game, the 3-2 game, the 1-0 game that's going to be the model we're going to have to adopt."

Ivan Barbashev scored for the Blues (36-28-5). St. Louis goalie Jake Allen made 20 saves.

St. Louis, which had its five-game winning streak ended, remains two points behind the third-place Nashville Predators in the Central Division, and four ahead of the Los Angeles Kings in the race for the final Western Conference wild-card spot.

"We're in the fight of our lives, so our play has to show that desperation," Blues coach Mike Yeo said. "It didn't for too much of the game. We just weren't creating enough, and I didn't feel we sustained pressure. You could feel that the momentum was starting to shift. When we had an opportunity to grab the game, we didn't take advantage of it."

Blues left winger Magnus Paajarvi said, "Every game intensifies now. You can feel it. We're coming to the end and you need to be on your toes in every game."

Rakell's 30th goal gave the Ducks a 1-0 lead 5:42 into the game. St. Louis defenseman Jay Bouwmeester passed from the right corner in Anaheim's zone, but Getzlaf deflected the puck to Rakell, who swept a rising shot under the crossbar while in front of the crease.

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That shot enabled Rakell to score in his third consecutive game, and it gave him eight goals in nine games.

The Blues had a chance to tie the score on a power play about four minutes later, but a wide-open Alexander Steen hit the left post with his wrist shot from the top of the right circle.

Getzlaf extended the lead to 2-0 with a short-handed goal 6:37 into the second period.

While skating down the right wing, Anaheim's Andrew Cogliano lost control of the puck. Barbashev tried to secure it by extending his stick but failed. Cogliano regained control and tapped a soft pass to Getzlaf, who fired a rising wrist shot from the top of the slot into the upper left corner of the net for his 14th goal.

Getzlaf has 19 points, including six goals, in his past 14 games.

"I really felt, especially at the start of the second period, we came out without the intensity we needed," Yeo said. "It showed up in our execution, in our inability to create turnovers to get on the forecheck."

Barbashev ended Bernier's bid for a shutout with 9:52 to play in the game by redirecting Paajarvi's backhanded pass across the front of the crease inside the left post for his third goal.

NOTES: St. Louis scratched RW Dmitrij Jaskin, LW Zach Sanford and D Jordan Schmaltz. Blues coach Mike Yeo said after Wednesday's morning skate that Jaskin will be out for at least a week with an upper-body injury. ... Blues G Jake Allen needs one victory to pass Jaroslav Halak for sixth place in career wins for the club. ... Blues LW Alexander Steen needs one point for 400 in his tenure with the team and one goal to pass Jorgen Pettersson to move into ninth place on the club's all-time list with 162. ... Anaheim scratched G John Gibson, RW Ondrej Kase, D Brandon Montour and RW Logan Shaw. ... Ducks LW Rickard Rakell shares first place in the NHL with nine game-winning goals. ... Ducks C Ryan Getzlaf needs one point for 800 in his career.

[ 2017 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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