When the going gets tough, the tough guys get going?
Smarting from a loss to previously winless Toronto and mired in a four-game losing streak, the Ducks broke through for a 7-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Friday in front of 14,756 at the Honda Center.
The victory came courtesy of a couple of rare goals by George Parros and Mike Brown, two fourth-line players better known for dropping their gloves than putting the puck in the net.
“It’s always fun when guys like us score, so we were happy to take the momentum and help the team out with a couple of points tonight,” Parros said.
They opened the floodgates against an injury-hampered Vancouver team that is without goaltender Roberto Luongo because of a cracked rib.
Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan, the Ducks’ rookie star of a season ago who had started slowly, each scored two goals, and defenseman James Wisniewski had three assists.
“Their lineup is decimated, let’s be realistic,” Ducks Coach Randy Carlyle said.
“The most important thing for our mental psyche going forward is it’s a starting point.”
By game’s end, even Joffrey Lupul’s dump-in off the glass caromed into the net.
“It was just one of those days where everything was working for us,” Lupul said.
It didn’t start that way. The Ducks fell into a 2-0 hole in the opening 4:39, giving up the first goal to Steve Bernier little more than a minute after the opening faceoff.
It looked like another disaster unfolding, but Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller tightened down and made some good saves a game after being besieged by repeated five-on-three power plays against Toronto on Monday.
Perry got the Ducks started when he scored at 16:31 of the first. But it was the fourth-line muscle that pulled the Ducks even and then ahead.
Parros, a 6-foot-5 Princeton-educated bruiser who leads the team with 27 penalty minutes, went to the front of the net and got his stick on the puck and put it past Vancouver goalie Andrew Raycroft after a shot from the left wing by Ryan Carter at 2:29 of the second.
The score-tying goal was Parros’s first goal since March 22 last season, and only the 10th of his career.
Carter, who returned after missing three games because of a bruised foot, assisted on the go-ahead goal too, this one by Brown, another sometime-pugilist.
Brown was on the ice with the Ducks’ recently beleaguered penalty-killing unit when Carter got the puck out front to him on a breakaway. Brown made good on it at 16:15 of the second period for the first short-handed goal of his career — and only his fourth of any kind.
“You know what, it’s a huge boost for the entire team,” Ryan said.
“Those guys are not undervalued — because we certainly know what they can do in the room — but underestimated. They can provide offense for us from time to time, and they certainly did tonight.”
Ducks captain Scott Niedermayer scored his 700th NHL point on a second-period assist, making him the 24th defenseman in league history to reach that mark. . . . Goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere continued to rest a nagging groin injury, with minor league call-up Justin Pogge dressing as the backup.