Coach Bruce Boudreau is an astute watcher of the NHL, and that's why even in the face of the astounding production by the Ducks' first line he harped on the scoring void elsewhere.
"We were sort of in the rut of 'Let the big line do it,' " Boudreau said Tuesday after the Ducks practiced for Wednesday's home game against the Minnesota Wild.
So even though Corey Perry already has 20 goals, Ryan Getzlaf has scored at least one point in 14 consecutive games he has played, and Dustin Penner ranked second in NHL plus/minus before Tuesday's games, help is needed.
"It's a rarity for one line to dominate where you can win everything — maybe Mario Lemieux's, [Wayne] Gretzky's line — but when I look at recent Stanley Cups, it's three and four lines deep," Boudreau said.
His wish has been granted since third-line center Saku Koivu returned from a concussion. The Ducks, leading the Pacific Division with 47 points, are 4-0-2 since Koivu's return.
In addition to Koivu's goal and three assists, his linemates, Andrew Cogliano and Daniel Winnik, have combined for three goals and seven assists during the six-game unbeaten streak.
"You feel comfortable, because he's always in the right areas," Cogliano said of Koivu. "It's really helped. Great passer, strong presence on the ice."
The line kept the Ducks in Monday's 5-2 victory over the New York Islanders. Koivu scored a goal in the first period, and Winnik had assists on Cogliano's and Perry's goals in the second period.
"I don't think I'm going to blow anyone's door off with my shot, but I know how to score," said Cogliano, who has nine goals. "I can find areas of the ice to get goals. Sometimes you go to dirty areas and you don't have to think too much. Pucks find you."
Winnik said none of the veterans were wounded by the coach's push for more scoring.
"Everything's coming together at once," Winnik said. "Opportunities, getting pucks to the net. The two goals that we scored were the same — driving the net. We've known if we're scoring it would help our team a lot."
Emerson Etem is up and down
The Ducks let forward Emerson Etem return from the minor leagues for three games, then sent him back to Norfolk on Tuesday after he was scoreless in the two games he played.
"These guys are … going up against good players," Boudreau said.
A move for a defenseman also might be at play after Mark Fistric, who has had 12 hits in the last two games, departed Monday's game because of an upper-body injury.
Before center Nick Bonino tore a hamstring last season, his pairing with Teemu Selanne boosted the veteran's production.
Although Selanne, 43, did not take a shot in 15 minutes 10 seconds of playing time Monday and hasn't scored a goal since Oct. 20, Boudreau is hopeful the reunion will help Selanne.
"I know he's struggling offensively, but he's always a threat when he's out there," Boudreau said. "I still believe that it's going to break for him at some point."
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Etc.: Minnesota goalie Josh Harding leads the league with a 1.5 goals-against average and is tied for the lead with three shutouts.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun