It might have vanished for the final 10 games of last season, but Corey Perry's scoring touch has reappeared to coincide with the Ducks' sprint to the most points in the NHL after 17 games.
"I'm just trying to win, I haven't changed anything," said Perry, the Ducks wing who has scored four of his team-best 10 goals in the last three games.
Perry had two goals in the Ducks' 6-3 win at Buffalo on Saturday. He also has seven assists, and two came in what he says was the key game of the team's recent eight-game trip: a 2-1 victory at Ottawa on Oct. 25. The Ducks started their current 6-0-1 run with that victory.
"When we went 0-2 after the first two games, we had to play the next night, so it was going to be 0-3 or 1-2, and we didn't want to be on an eight-game trip starting with three straight losses — that could've been disastrous," Perry said.
Scoring two power-play goals in four chances against Phoenix after managing a league-worst four in 60 tries qualifies as significant progress for the Ducks.
Before the game, the team watched film of their successful power plays, and then executed Wednesday with Ryan Getzlaf and Cam Fowler getting goals.
"We moved the puck. We shot the puck. We had great net presence," Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "When the goalies can't see the puck and you get them through, usually good things happen."
The Ducks have outscored visitors, 26-10, haven't lost in two weeks and yet aren't double-digit points ahead of the fifth-place Kings in the deep Pacific Division.
"I'm not getting too excited about it," Boudreau said of owning the league's best record. "When you don't come out with the Holy Grail, people don't care about what happened in the regular season. … There could be a team with 102 points not to make" the playoffs.
Where: Honda Center.
On the air: TV: Prime Ticket; Radio: 830.
Record vs. Sabres: 1-0.
Etc.: It's first versus worst as the Sabres entered Thursday's game against the Kings with only seven points; the Ducks have 27.