ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Quietly or perhaps not so quietly, the Ducks' recent success with the man advantage has lifted them to the top of the NHL power-play rankings.
The Ducks entered Friday's home game against Minnesota atop the league with a 29.3 percent conversion rate that's been aided by a run in which they've scored eight times in 14 chances the previous four games.
There are many gaudy records in quite the number of scenarios and statistics for a team that's won 15 of its first 19 but an 8-1 mark in games where the Ducks have scored a power-play goal only underlines its importance.
"It's a big part of our success," defenseman Francois Beauchemin said. "And when we do get it going on the power play, it gives you a big momentum change during the game and helps us win games.
"We just keep things simple. Easy plays. Pucks to the net and get the rebounds.
"It's when you start trying to make those fancy plays on the power plays (where) that's not going to work. So far, we're working hard. Two good units. It's clicking."
It helps that Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry are heating up offensively, which will improve any team's power-play numbers. Perry has had two goals, while Getzlaf has one, and the two set up Kyle Palmieri for a score on the man advantage during this run.
Saku Koivu also has power-play goals over the previous two games against the Kings and Nashville. The Ducks have 18 in all despite having just 58 opportunities, the second fewest in the NHL.
"It's not just them," Beauchemin said, referring to Getzlaf and Perry. "Both units. Saku scores some big goals. Teemu (Selanne). Bobby (Ryan). Just making good plays. If one unit is not going one night, then the other unit steps up and scores some big goals."
Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau didn't want to make too much of their success as he used a baseball analogy to compare the usual ebb and flow that teams often go through when they have the advantage.
"I think we've been going good for the last couple of weeks," Boudreau said. "But power-play percentages and penalty-killing percentages to me are like batting averages. You go 8-for-20 and then you go 0-for-23 and then you go back to 8-for-20.
"You don't have two goals for every five attempts every time throughout the course of the year. Right now, they're doing some pretty good things on the power play and they feel it."
As Boudreau has indicated he would at times this season, defenseman Sheldon Souray was scratched as a means of resting him up ahead of Saturday's contest in Phoenix.
It was the first game missed for Souray, who has played a big role for the winning Ducks with four goals, eight points and a plus-13 rating.
"Somewhere during this month, there's going to be days off for him and other guys too," Boudreau said.
Souray faded as his season went on for Dallas last year, and Boudreau is taking that into account as well as the 21 minutes he is averaging per night while playing in every situation.
"There's a lot of reasons why you want to keep a guy like him fresh because he's done great for us," Boudreau said.
GOAL TO GO
Emerson Etem had a couple of shots on goal and some near-miss chances in his first game back from the minors Wednesday night against Nashville. It has him thinking that his first NHL goal isn't far away.
"It's coming," Etem said. "Actually this is the first time in a long time that I've started out a season with (this many) games without a goal. I think this season in the AHL, it took me seven games.
"We'll see. I'm not too worried about it. As long as I'm focused on the little things."
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