Continued timely production from 38-year-old Teemu Selanne combined with a resurgent power-play unit could be what ultimately gets the Anaheim Ducks back in the postseason.
After reaching a pair of milestones in a thrilling win, Selanne leads the Ducks on Thursday night when they visit the Phoenix Coyotes.
Selanne's power-play goal 34 seconds into overtime lifted Anaheim (33-31-6) to a 4-3 home victory over Nashville on Wednesday. It was his 1,200th point, making him only the sixth European-born player to reach that plateau along with Jaromir Jagr, Stan Mikita, Jari Kurri, Mats Sundin and Peter Stastny.
The Finnish-born Selanne's 574th goal also moved him past Mike Bossy into 18th place on the all-time list. Kurri is 17th with 601.
"When they scored the tying goal I said, 'You know it would be pretty nice to get the game-winner and get the 1,200th point at the same time,'" Selanne said. "For sure, I wanted to do it at home if I could choose. It was a pretty happy ending."
Rookies Andrew Ebbett and Bobby Ryan also scored with the man advantage, a welcome turnaround for an Anaheim unit that had been 0-for-22 on the power play.
"It was a huge (night) for our power play," Selanne said. "Our power play hasn't been very good and we know that we can win the games with a good power play. Tonight was a good example."
In three games against Phoenix, the Ducks are 3-for-9 on the power play.
Ryan's goal was his 24th, tops among all rookies this season despite playing in only 52 games. With an assist on Corey Perry's first-period goal, Ryan also has 45 points, tying Dustin Penner (2006-07) for the Ducks' single-season rookie record.
Ryan has two goals and two assists in two games versus the Coyotes in 2008-09. Selanne, who missed 17 games with a lacerated thigh earlier this season, didn't register a point in his only appearance against Phoenix, a 4-2 home loss on Oct. 12.
With 72 points, the Ducks are 12th in the Western Conference, but just three points out of the eighth and final playoff spot.
Phoenix (29-35-6) is tied with Los Angeles for the fewest wins in the West and with Colorado for fewest points. However, the Coyotes have recorded 18 victories at Jobing.com Arena, including an upset on Tuesday.
Shane Doan capped a four-point night by scoring with 26.9 seconds left and Phoenix snapped a five-game skid with a 4-3 win over Pacific Division-leading San Jose. Doan had three first-period assists with two coming on goals by Kyle Turris, who notched a career-high four points.
"I said we had to be better, and we were good enough to win," said Doan, who has five goals and four assists in an eight-game home points streak against Anaheim.
The All-Star and Coyotes captain has 26 goals - including 10 on the power play - to lead the team in both categories. Though Doan has posted a pair of two-goal games against the Ducks, Phoenix is 1-2-0 in the season series.
The Ducks and Coyotes will meet again on Sunday in Anaheim.
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