ANAHEIM, Calif. -- There is a new storyline developing for the Ducks when it comes to the beginning of a season.
Once a team that never got out of the gate cleanly, the Ducks have now started fast for the second season in a row. Jakob Silfverberg's goal in the sixth round of the shootout helped forge their sixth straight win, a 3-2 decision over the Phoenix Coyotes on Friday night.
Jonas Hiller stopped Phoenix captain Shane Doan at the other end and the Ducks are now 6-1. They started 7-1-1 last seson.
Hiller and Phoenix's Mike Smith had a goaltending duel through the first 65 minutes but it was the shooters who ruled afterward.
The Ducks scored four times in all against Smith while Phoenix (4-2-2) beat Hiller three times but Silfverberg provided the difference with a clean wrist that beat Smith. Hiller made 30 saves while Smith stopped 37 shots for the Coyotes.
"I thought it was a good hockey game," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. "It's just two teams that have played against each other for a while in the Pacific Division. We know how tough they are. They know how tough we were. It was a seesaw game."
The Ducks had scored 20 goals in the first five games of their streak, but were continually foiled by Smith until Nick Bonino found a way to tie it with 2:02 remaining in regulation.
Bonino intercepted a clearing attempt at the blue line and threw a floating shot toward the net. The puck sailed over the head of Dustin Penner, whose big body provided enough of a screen that Smith never saw the puck until it was behind him.
"I just tried to put it on net and about halfway there, I saw the line the puck was on was looking pretty good and Smith had no idea where it was," Bonino said. "Went in. I'm happy."
Rostislav Klesla snapped a 1-1 tie at 7:54 of the third when he put a shot on goal from the point that skipped off Ducks defenseman Bryan Allen past Hiller.
Teemu Selanne opened the scoring for the Ducks with a first-period wrist shot that slipped by Smith for his 677th career goal and second in two games. Phoenix's Antoine Vermette tied it midway through the second.
PENNER ROUNDING INTO FORM
From a healthy scratch to the top line, Dustin Penner has experienced both extremes and everything in between.
A bad training camp and a seat in the press box on opening night sent a strong message to Penner. The winger wasn't in the kind of peak condition the Ducks were expecting after signing him to a free-agent contract.
Three weeks into the season, the Ducks' big power forward is starting to give them what they wanted. Penner is back playing with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry -- and scoring.
An example of how far Penner has come took place Wednesday night when he rushed to the front of the net with defenseman Sami Vatanen and beat Calgary's Lee Stempniak to a place where he could bang in Getzlaf's centering pass for a goal.
Could Penner have gotten to that spot two weeks ago?
"No," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. "It's my guess. He did then."
Said Getzlaf: "No."
"He's almost there," Boudreau said. "He's worked really hard. I give him total credit for (that). At the beginning, I give him total blame.
"Since training camp has started he's been a great soldier doing whatever we wanted him to do to get to where we think he can be a real good player. He's getting closer."
Penner missed another game because of a hip flexor injury but he has two goals in the four that he played before Friday night's game against Phoenix. It might not seem like much, but it carries a lot of significance when you look at his 2012-13 season.
A chief reason the Kings allowed Penner to walk as a free agent is his inconsistent play and lack of production -- just two goals in 33 games.
Now he is well ahead of the pace in his return to Anaheim. And his goal against the Flames triggered memories of what the trio did when they first came up to the Ducks together before Penner left in the summer of 2007.
"I think the happiness you see when Getzy, Pears or myself score, it's pretty genuine," Penner said. "Not to say other teams don't have that. But whatever it is, we really like scoring goals and doing it together."
It was clear the Ducks had to prod Penner in the early going. That has been the pattern during his stops in Anaheim, Edmonton and Los Angeles. But the winger welcomes it instead of rebelling against coaches.
Randy Carlyle rode him as a youngster but often got the most out of him. There was an oil-and-water relationship with Craig MacTavish before Penner responded under Pat Quinn and flourished in the playoffs under Darryl Sutter's tough-love approach.
"I've dealt with it my whole career," Penner said, "different methods of pushing me. Obviously that's my reputation, but I wouldn't be here today if I didn't push myself. I didn't have an easy path to get here.
"Being with Getzy and Pears, the rapport we have as friends and teammates, we're always pushing each other. You want to maybe subconsciously one-up the other but not in a way that's selfish."
Getzlaf is happy to see Penner kick into gear and knows he can get on him if he slips back out.
"Dustin's playing well," he said. "He's put his work in now. Obviously at the start of the year, he wasn't ready to play and he knows that as much as everybody else.
"He's put his work in now and we're just excited to get going now."
Said Penner: "I'm not where I want to be yet. But I'm definitely on the right track."
Viktor Fasth was not available against Phoenix because of a lower-body issue that occurred during Thursday's practice. The Ducks recalled Frederik Andersen from Norfolk (AHL) to back up Jonas Hiller.
Boudreau said Fasth's injury isn't serious and called the move precautionary.
"We've got so many games coming up, the last thing we need is somebody to get hurt bad and miss ... if you miss a month, you're missing 19 games from here on."
Fasth turned in a strong performance Wednesday against Calgary with 33 saves in a 3-2 victory.
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