ANAHEIM, California — Daniel Sprong didn’t waste time making a positive first impression on the Anaheim Ducks.
The 21-year-old right wing, acquired from Pittsburgh on Monday, scored in his Ducks debut Wednesday night as Anaheim stretched its winning streak to five with a 4-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks.
“It’s a new opportunity. I was excited for it. I wanted to come out hot,” Sprong said. “I’m a shooter and I wanted to start off early putting pucks on net and getting chances.”
Sprong gave Anaheim a 2-0 lead six minutes into the first when he beat Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford top shelf with a shot at a sharp angle that just went over Crawford’s shoulder.
Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle was pleased with Sprong’s performance despite having only one practice with the club.
Brandon Montour, Ondrej Kase and Jakob Silfverberg also scored for the Ducks, who have matched Toronto for the longest active winning streak in the league.
“You could tell in the first period we were playing with a lot of confidence. That comes from building off earlier games knowing that we are playing real good right now. We have to keep it going,” Silfverberg said.
Erik Gustafsson and Alex DeBrincat scored in the second period, and Corey Crawford stopped 28 shots for the Blackhawks, who have dropped five straight and seven of eight.
Chicago is 3-9-2 under Jeremy Colliton, who replaced Joel Quenneville on Nov. 6.
“I thought the second period was excellent,” Colliton said. “I don’t think they’re better than us, just the puck went in the net. Frustrating.”
Montour put the Ducks on the board 20 seconds before Sprong’s goal with a 54-foot wrist shot that got past a screened Crawford for his third of the season. The Ducks came into the game next-to-last in the NHL in first-period goals but scored a pair in the first 20 minutes for only the third time this season.
“Just finding ways. We feel good about ourselves. We’re a work in progress but have confidence.