Ducks hand Avalanche 7th straight loss

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Bobby Ryan scored twice and the Anaheim Ducks beat Colorado 4-1 on Sunday to remain in the thick of the fight for a playoff spot and send the Avalanche to their seventh consecutive defeat.

The losing streak is the franchise’s longest since they were the Quebec Nordiques and dropped eight in a row in 1992.

The Ducks, meanwhile, won all four meetings against Colorado this season to sweep the series for the first time.

With six games left, Anaheim is competing for a postseason berth with Edmonton, Nashville, St. Louis, Minnesota and Dallas for the final two spots in the Western Conference.

Jonas Hiller made 26 saves for Anaheim. He got the start after Jean-Sebastien Giguere allowed four goals on seven shots before Hiller replaced him in a 5-3 loss to Edmonton two days earlier. The win was his 19th, the same number Giguere has posted this season.

Hiller also made a “save” of sorts when he charged out to knock the puck away and prevent a potential breakaway in the second period, skating then sliding all the way to the blue line on the play.

Colorado’s Peter Budaj made 27 saves.

Ryan, a rookie notching his third multigoal game of the season, gave Anaheim a 3-1 lead at 4:05 of the third when he beat defenseman John-Michael Liles and Budaj the same way, by sliding a 25-footer between the pads of both for 26th goal.

Drew Miller padded the lead to 4-1 when he scooped the puck into the net during a scramble in the crease for his fourth goal.

Ryan’s power-play goal at 4:13 of the second period snapped a 1-1 tie. Skating across the slot with two defensemen dogging him, Ryan flicked a backhander that beat Budaj high on the stick side.

After the Ducks’ Corey Perry opened the scoring at 12:50 of the first period, Liles evened it at 16:39 of the period.

Liles, whose 11 goals and 38 points lead the Colorado defensemen, scored on a power play. After a battle for the puck in the right corner, T.J. Hensick came up with it and slid a pass to Liles in the slot and he wristed a shot past Hiller.

Perry had intercepted T.J. Galiardi’s pass near the Colorado blue line and, all alone, took a slap shot from the right circle that sailed over Budaj’s right shoulder and into the net just inside the left post. The goal was Perry’s 28th.

Notes: The Avs haven’t scored more than two goals in any game

during their losing streak. … The first of the Ducks’ remaining games is at Edmonton on Tuesday, then they play two next weekend against conference leader San Jose. Anaheim concludes the regular season at Phoenix on April 11.

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