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Overtime Winner in Dallas Just the Latest Dramatic Goal in Bonino’s Career

Tuesday, 04.29.2014 / 5:42 PM / News
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Overtime Winner in Dallas Just the Latest Dramatic Goal in Bonino\u2019s Career
There were plenty of key moments in Anaheim\u2019s incredible comeback victory in the series-clinching Game 6 on Sunday night in Dallas, but Nick Bonino\u2019s game-winner in overtime is an image that endures from that magical night.
“It’s tough to describe. It’s almost like your mind goes blank. You’re just so happy. There’s euphoria, just pure happiness.”
By Adam Brady

There were plenty of key moments in Anaheim’s incredible comeback victory in the series-clinching Game 6 on Sunday night in Dallas, but Nick Bonino’s game-winner in overtime is an image that endures from that magical night.

Just under three minutes into overtime, Bonino snuck toward the net and wristed in an Andrew Cogliano feed to shock the Stars and trigger pandemonium for him and his teammates, who mobbed him against the glass.

“It’s tough to describe,” Bonino said today at Honda Center, two days after that astonishing win.

“It’s almost like your mind goes blank. You’re just so happy. There’s euphoria, just pure happiness.”



It was a feeling Bonino has been able to experience on a few occasions, including last year’s playoffs, when he scored an OT game-winner to down the Red Wings in Game 5 at Honda Center.

“I remember last year, when I scored, I skated away from everyone,” he says with a smile. “This year, I’m hugging everyone. Fowls [Cam Fowler] was the first one, then Patty [Patrick Maroon] and the rest of them. Everyone was yelling and hugging, facewashing me, grabbing me.”



You can go back another five years to another moment  Bonino will never forget, during his days as a Boston University Terrier. In the NCAA title game against Miami (OH) , Bonino scored the tying goal with just 17.4 seconds in regulation in a game BU would eventually capture in overtime.



“It’s tough to describe the emotion that’s in those celebrations, but it’s something we all love to experience,” Bonino says. “It’s when you’re at your most basic part of yourself. Just raw emotion.”

The fact that Bonino has been the centerpiece of those moments was not lost on Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau.

"He has a knack, no matter how he's playing, good or bad but you put him out at the end because there's something about him that he's in the right position at the right time to make the right play," Boudreau said after Game 6. "That's what he's all about, so we put him out at the end and in overtime. I couldn't have scripted it any better."

Bonino, a voracious reader, said he saw Boudreau’s quote and was grateful for the praise. “It’s really nice for him to say that, and it’s nice that at this point in my career, people are able to say that about me,” Bonino said. “I don’t know how to explain it. I think there are cases where I’m in the right place at the right time, and the puck finds me. Both of my OT goals up here, and that game in college…”

Just then, an eavesdropping Saku Koivu walks by and cracks, ““You guys are talking about college?!”

Bonino briefly loses his train of thought and simply says, “They were great passes and I’ve just had to finish them. It’s nice.”  

Overshadowed by the overtime strike is the goal Bonino scored with 2:10 left in regulation, without which the comeback may not have been possible. Left alone behind the Dallas net, Bonino received the puck and snuck out in front, somehow managing to flip it top shelf over frozen Dallas goalie Kari Lehtonen from point blank range.

“I just got a little space behind the net and walked out,” he tells it. “We had a good pre-scout on Lehtonen from Roli (goaltending coach Dwayne Roloson) and knew that he’s so solid and we’d have a little opportunity to go upstairs on him. It happened so fast, that it didn’t really register. I just saw that there was a little opening. Sometimes the puck does what you want it to do, and that time it did.”

Yet, that was no time for jubilation, as the Ducks still had work to do to get even in the game. “You can see all of us happy, but our heads snapped right up to the scoreboard to see how much time was left,” he says. “Once we got that one, we still had that five-on-four (with the goalie pulled), so we knew we had a shot.”

They were proven right when when Devante Smith-Pelly punched in a loose puck with 24.0 seconds left in regulation, setting the stage for the latest round of Bonino heroics.

Bonino, however, is reluctant to rank this one against the others. “They’re all so different,” he says. “I will say that being able to score the goal that ends a series means a lot to me.”


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STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 NSH 62 41 14 7 188 147 89
2 ANA 62 38 17 7 182 174 83
3 STL 61 39 18 4 190 152 82
4 CHI 62 37 20 5 183 146 79
5 WPG 63 31 20 12 174 170 74
6 VAN 61 35 23 3 174 162 73
7 MIN 61 32 22 7 173 160 71
8 LAK 60 29 19 12 162 153 70
9 CGY 61 33 24 4 174 158 70
10 SJS 62 30 24 8 173 177 68
11 DAL 61 27 25 9 191 202 63
12 COL 61 26 24 11 161 175 63
13 ARI 62 20 35 7 137 210 47
14 EDM 62 18 34 10 142 206 46

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 59 19 39 9 58
C. Perry 47 24 17 12 41
R. Kesler 62 15 22 -4 37
S. Vatanen 57 12 22 6 34
M. Beleskey 56 21 9 13 30
P. Maroon 54 7 21 -3 28
H. Lindholm 59 6 22 19 28
J. Silfverberg 61 9 17 7 26
C. Fowler 61 5 21 -5 26
K. Palmieri 37 12 11 -1 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 29 8 5 .916 2.37
J. Gibson 6 5 0 .915 2.69

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