Ducks rout Blues 7-4 on Bobby Ryan's hat trick

By Greg Beacham

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 12 2011 10:51 p.m. MST

Anaheim Ducks right wing Dan Sexton (42) waits for the puck to settle as St. Louis Blues' Alex Pietrangelo (27) defends in the second period of an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011.

Alex Gallardo, Associated Press

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Bobby Ryan had three goals and an assist, All-Star selection Jonas Hiller made 30 saves, and the surging Anaheim Ducks beat the St. Louis Blues 7-4 Wednesday night for their sixth win in seven games.

Ryan scored twice in the first period and completed his third career hat trick 30 seconds into the third. Ryan later scored his career-best fourth point with an assist on All-Star pick Corey Perry's score during Anaheim's four-goal third period.

Lubomir Visnovsky had a power-play goal and two assists for the Ducks, who won three straight to wrap up a six-game homestand that catapulted them back into the Western Conference race.

All-Star selection David Backes scored two second-period goals for the Blues, who are winless in five straight.

Hiller's career-best shutout streak ended at 178 minutes, 34 seconds on Backes' first goal, but the Ducks' Swiss goalie earned his 22nd victory, matching Detroit's Jimmy Howard for the NHL lead.

Jason Blake and Brandon McMillan also scored, while Teemu Selanne and rookie Cam Fowler each had two assists for the Ducks, who have outscored their past three opponents 14-4.

After Perry put a wraparound into an open net with 13:43 to play, the third period degenerated into a prolonged brawl that included six combined goals, 70 penalty minutes, four fights and two misconduct penalties.

Ryan Reaves scored his first NHL goal in the final minutes for St. Louis, which opened the second half of its regular season and a three-game California road trip by dropping to 0-4-1 in January.

Brad Boyes also scored, and Ty Conklin stopped just 17 shots for the Blues on a rare night off for starting goalie Jaroslav Halak.

Ryan is embracing a major role for the Ducks in captain Ryan Getzlaf's absence with broken facial bones, shifting over from the wing to center Anaheim's top line. He has six goals in his last three games, yet the U.S. Olympian wasn't selected for the All-Star game.

Ryan clinched his third straight 20-goal season with a pair of nifty scores in the opening minutes while Anaheim went ahead 3-0. St. Louis dominated the second period while pulling within one goal, but the Ducks poured it on with four consecutive goals in the third.

Anaheim scored during a power play just 3½ minutes in when Ryan took a cross-ice pass from Lupul and beat Conklin with a short wrist shot before Blues defenseman Barret Jackman could get out of his goalie's sight line.

Ryan connected again late in the first period after an exceptional pass from Perry, who fought off two defenders while skating behind the net before finding Ryan in front as he fell to the ice.

Ryan deflected home Andreas Lilja's shot from the point to complete the 30th hat trick in Anaheim club history. Ryan has three of the last four, including two this season — but this was his first in front of his home fans.

Notes: St. Louis D Carlo Colaiacovo was hit in the face by a puck off the stick of Anaheim's Matt Beleskey during the first period. He didn't return. ... Anaheim F Todd Marchant's third-period assist ended a 14-game scoreless skid for the former 60-point scorer. ... The Blues scratched enforcer Cam Janssen for the first time since Dec. 15. ... The Honda Center crowd heartily booed St. Louis D Erik Johnson late in the second period when replays showed he dived in an attempt to draw a stick penalty against the Ducks when he actually hadn't been touched.

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