Leason gets his first 2-goal game in NHL, Drysdale ends goal drought in Ducks' 5-2 win over Knights

Thu, Dec 28, 2023
NHL News (AP)

Leason gets his first 2-goal game in NHL, Drysdale ends goal drought in Ducks' 5-2 win over Knights

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - Brett Leason scored twice for the first time in his NHL career, Jamie Drysdale put in his first goal in nearly 21 months and the Anaheim Ducks used a four-goal first period to propel them to a 5-2 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday night.

"I thought we started strong. As a line and individual we were playing fast, shooting pucks and getting lots of chances," said Leason, who has six goals and 11 points this season.

Frank Vatrano and Troy Terry also had goals for Anaheim, which found the back of the net four times in the opening 12 minutes. It was the 16th time in franchise history they have scored at least four times in the first period and the first since March 16, 2021, against Colorado.

Mason McTavish had three assists, Cam Fowler had two and John Gibson stopped 30 shots.

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Alec Martinez and Mark Stone scored for the Golden Knights, who have dropped four straight. Logan Thompson made 21 saves.

"I just don't think we were ready to play, myself included. Too many breakdowns, not good enough gaps," Martinez said. "They're a real offensive team, good on the rush, we gave them too many opportunities, but also credit to them, they buried on it."

Leason opened the scoring at 3:23 of the first period with a redirect of Cam Fowler's shot from the blue line. Leason then put in a rebound at 17:45 of the second to put the Ducks up by three goals.

Drysdale, the sixth overall pick in the 2020 NHL draft, got the puck just inside the right faceoff circle and ripped a snap shot past Thompson 8:23 into the first period to give the Ducks a 2-0 advantage.

The 21-year old defenseman missed most of last season due to a torn labrum in his left shoulder and was out for the first 29 games this season due to an upper-body injury.

"It's obviously nice to get on the board, but it's also nice to get a win here against a team like that, especially at home, where we've been struggling a little bit," Drysdale said.

The Ducks had 11 players with a point in the opening 20 minutes.

The four-goal onslaught included a pair within 40 seconds. Vatrano had a one-timer at 11:38 for his team-leading 16th goal of the season and Terry followed with a wrist shot that went between Thompson's legs at 12:18 for his ninth.

"It's tough for them. The fly in this morning and have to play a game and guys were probably spread all over the place for the holiday. I've always said that the home team has an advantage on these games after a break. We had energy and we were buzzing," Ducks coach Greg Cronin said.

After Martinez's fourth goal of the season at 7:23 of the second period, Stone extended his point streak to five games with a power-play goal at 12:34. Stone has two goals and seven points during that span.

"We didn't start on time today as well as we could have, yet we generated five or six chances as well. It wasn't a one-sided first period by any means, theirs went in, ours didn't," Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy said.

UP NEXT

Golden Knights: Host the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday.

Ducks: Host the Arizona Coyotes on Friday.

___

AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl

JOE REEDY Sports writer based in Los Angeles. twitter mailto "
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