Matt Beleskey scored the tiebreaking goal midway through the third period, and Sami Vatanen had two assists in the Anaheim Ducks’ 4-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Friday night.
After St. Louis rallied three times to erase a one-goal Ducks lead in the first two periods, Beleskey beat Martin Brodeur with a vicious wrist shot for his 16th goal with 9:05 to play. The NHL-leading Ducks hung on for their ninth consecutive home victory over St. Louis since October 2009.
Ryan Getzlaf, Kyle Palmieri and Andrew Cogliano also scored for the Ducks, who are 2-1 on their eight-game homestand.
Kevin Shattenkirk and Alexander Steen each had a goal and an assist for the Blues, who have lost six of seven. T.J. Oshie scored St. Louis’ first goal.
Brodeur stopped 29 shots and was impressive for long stretches in what might turn out to be his final start for the Blues. The NHL’s career victories leader joined St. Louis and played his way into shape while Brian Elliott was out with an injury, but the Blues have three goalies after Elliott returned this week.
Frederik Andersen made 39 saves to earn his 41st career victory – just 650 fewer than Brodeur.
While Beleskey had a goal and an assist in just his second multipoint game of the year, Getzlaf was sharp again in his first game since being named the NHL’s first star for December. He finished the month with 20 points in 14 games and kept Anaheim atop the NHL standings despite the injury absence of Corey Perry, his career-long linemate.
Getzlaf backhanded home his first power-play goal since Nov. 7 in the opening minutes, ending an 0-for-21 power-play drought for Anaheim.
After Oshie tied it, Anaheim went back ahead when Ryan Kesler put the puck on net despite being on his knees with his back to Brodeur, allowing Palmieri to tip it home.
Shattenkirk tied it 63 seconds later with his first goal in six games, but Cogliano put the Ducks back in front with a one-timer on a pass from Nate Thompson. Cogliano’s goal was just his second since Nov. 20, ending a prolonged drought for Anaheim’s speedy, versatile ironman.
Steen tied it again during a 5-on-3 advantage after Vatanen shot the puck 190 feet over the far glass.
Colin Fraser made his debut for the Blues, who signed the three-time Stanley Cup champion as a free agent before the season. The grinding forward spent the past three seasons with the Los Angeles Kings, getting a championship ring and a playoff share even though he didn’t appear in any playoff games last spring with the defending champs.
NOTES: Palmieri returned to Anaheim’s lineup after a six-game absence with a shoulder injury. … St. Louis F Jaden Schwartz missed his seventh straight game with an injury, but participated in the morning skate. He could return Saturday at San Jose. … Beleskey got his 100th NHL point on Palmieri’s goal.