1:51 AM EDT, October 14, 2013
Hampus Lindholm wasn't born when the Mighty Ducks entered the NHL and wore the purple-and-jade uniforms that were replicated Sunday night to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the franchise's first victory.
But the 19-year-old Swedish defenseman, chosen sixth by the Ducks in the 2012 entry draft, was instrumental in making their future look bright on the night they celebrated their past by reverting to their old name and bringing back 15 players from the inaugural squad.
Lindholm recorded his first NHL points with a pair of assists and Corey Perry scored twice as the Ducks took a team-record 56 shots in a 4-1 victory over the road-weary Ottawa Senators before an announced sellout crowd at Honda Center.
"I think we passed up a few shots, as well," Perry said after the Ducks won their fourth straight game and broke the previous team record of 54 shots, set on March 27, 2009 against Edmonton.
"That's the way we want to play. We want to shoot as many pucks at the net as we can. Good things are going to happen when you start doing that."
Perry scored from the slot 27 seconds into the game and Lindholm set up the goal that gave the Ducks a 2-0 lead with a shot that was rebounded by Ryan Getzlaf at 4 minutes 6 seconds of the first period.
That was the last shot faced by starter Craig Anderson, who was replaced by Robin Lehner.
Lindholm, the first man to play for the Ducks who was born after the franchise came into existence, said he didn't get the puck as a souvenir of his first point. He didn't mind.
"The biggest thing is to keep this winning streak going," said Lindholm, who is exceptionally mobile at a gangly 6 feet 3 and 197 pounds. "It's fun to be around the team when you're winning."
They won because of that fast, energetic start and because they sustained that pace most of the game. Their 24 shots in the first period was a team record for the first period of a game, and instead of falling back they kept the tempo up and followed with 21 shots in the middle period.
"It's our building and we want to show it's not easy to play here," Lindholm said. "We want to come out strong and show that we're a hard team to play against."
Former Duck Bobby Ryan, in his first game here since he was traded to Ottawa in July, got the Senators within 2-1 late in the first period with a nifty one-timer. Lindholm then set up the goal that gave the Ducks some breathing room by feeding a backhand pass that Perry converted at 3:18 of the second period.
Nick Bonino lost a faceoff but regained possession and scored the Ducks' final goal at 15:28 of the second period against the hapless Senators, who had yielded 50 shots on Saturday in a loss at San Jose.
"We're not very good," Senators Coach Paul MacLean said. "We need to go back to square one and find something to hang our hat on."
The Ducks had plenty to savor Sunday. Goaltender Jonas Hiller stopped 30 shots to improve to 3-0-0 with a 1.30 goals-against average and .959 save percentage, and he loved his throwback Mighty Ducks jersey and specially decorated mask.
"It was actually fun. I was super-excited about the retro gear and I think the mask turned out pretty cool," Hiller said. "If it's up to me we could play the whole season like that."
For Perry, who wore the Mighty Ducks uniform in his first season, 2005-06, wearing the replica Sunday was a skate down memory lane. "It's nice, and exciting to come back to your roots," he said.
But for Lindholm, wearing the cartoon-like masked Mighty Ducks logo was something old and new at the same time.
"Those were cool jerseys," said Lindholm. "I've seen the Mighty Ducks movies. It's a good one."
Lindholm can be a good one, too. "From the first day of rookie camp to now the improvement has been really, really remarkable," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "He absorbs everything and he's taking it all in. ... He's still only 19. It's going to take a little while but he's getting better every night."
Lindholm is young, and so is the Ducks' season. But on Sunday, at least, both looked mighty promising.
Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times