Newark, NJ (SportsNetwork.com) - Francois Beauchemin's early third-period goal proved to be the winner as the Anaheim Ducks held on for a 2-1 victory over New Jersey Devils on Sunday night.
Beauchemin was credited with a goal that went in off New Jersey defenseman Jon Merrill, and the Ducks hung on for their NHL-leading 32nd one-goal win of the season.
Ryan Kesler scored in the first period for Anaheim, which closed out a five- game road trip with a third consecutive win. The Ducks, who are in the driver's seat for the Presidents' Trophy as the NHL's top team, started their trek by getting outscored 12-5 in losses to the New York Rangers and Columbus.
"We weren't really happy after the 7-2 and 5-3 losses in New York and Columbus, so we had a little bit of a regroup in Boston," said Beauchemin. "We had a couple of meetings and wanted to make sure we were back at our game, and make sure everybody knows what they're doing."
John Gibson made 26 saves, including one in the Devils' final flurry after Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm fired the puck over the glass for a delay-of- game penalty with 1:02 left in the game. Scott Gomez hit the crossbar during the 6-on-4 power play.
Dainius Zubrus scored with 3:25 remaining in the third for the Devils, who have dropped five straight games and were officially eliminated from playoff contention. They haven't reached the postseason since losing to Los Angeles in the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals.
Cory Schneider stopped 23 Anaheim shots.
The Ducks quickly extended their lead in the third. Merrill was battling with Kesler in front of Schneider and had Beauchemin's shot deflect in off him at the 1:39 mark.
"They get rewarded for putting pucks to the net and getting guys to the net, but just a tough bounce for us," Schneider said.
The game got interesting once Zubrus tipped in a shot by Andy Greene, and it became even more perilous for Anaheim in the late stages.
Kesler scored after an unsuccessful clearing attempt by Jordin Tootoo. James Wisniewski gloved the puck out of the air at the New Jersey blueline and fired a shot that Kesler deflected past Schneider with 2:53 left in the first.
Anaheim is 32-1-7 in one-goal games ... Gomez played in his 600th game with New Jersey ... The Devils were 0-for-2 on the power play.