By Adam Brady
ANAHEIM – Falling behind early seems to do very little to deflate the Anaheim Ducks.
For a remarkable sixth game in a row, Anaheim gave up the game’s first goal and came roaring back to win, this time a 4-3 overtime victory over the Colorado Avalanche in front of a sellout crowd of 17,174 at Honda Center. Anaheim became the first team since the 2005-06 Columbus Blue Jackets to win six straight games when trailing in all six.
"We don’t want to be down two goals every game. I don’t think anybody wants that," said Francois Beauchemin, who had a career-high four points (all assists) tonight. "We have to focus on trying to be ready right off the bat and get a couple of goals ourselves right away."
Corey Perry had the Ducks’ first goal and he had the last one, redirecting a Ryan Getzlaf feed past former teammate J.S. Giguere with 45.4 left in OT to ignite the home crowd. That dramatic goal came on a 4-on-3 power play after Colorado’s Ryan O’Byrne was whistled for hooking while denying Cam Fowler a chance to win it seconds earlier in front of the net.
The Ducks not only gave up the game’s first goal tonight, they gave up the first two, as not playing a game in the last five days appeared to make them more rusty than rested. They endured a sluggish first period in which the Avs took a 2-0 lead.
Colorado’s Cody McLeod broke a scoreless tie with a broken stick just 2:28 into the game, as a Matt Hunwick slap shot hit the shaft of a screening McLeod and darted past Jonas Hiller. The Avs took advantage of one of the three Anaheim penalties in the period with 7:06 left in the first, as PA Parenteau punched in a rebound off a Tyson Barrie slap shot.
The Ducks, as they’ve done so often this season, came roaring back in the middle session. Perry (four goals in the last four games) cut the lead in half 6:59 into the period, as Getzlaf made a nice feed from the corner, and Perry slapped it through from the low slot.
"Our first period wasn’t great," Perry said. "We got behind the eight-ball again and Jonas made some big saves for us. But we knew it wasn’t going to be easy. To come back again, to find a way to win, to find the will... it’s a great feeling."
Said Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau, "We starting competing again. We were shooting the puck, getting it deep, and staying out of the penalty box. Those are four key ingredients if you want to be successful. After the first period, I think they only had 10 shots for the rest of the game. So that’s the way we’ve got to play."
Teemu Selanne tied it on the power play a few minutes later, just as a Colorado penalty was winding down. Saku Koivu sent the puck from the slot to Selanne just left of the net, and he one-timed it off Giguere’s shoulder and through. It was the 250th power play goal of Selanne’s career (third-best in NHL history), just the latest milestone he has notched against Colorado.
But the elation of the home crowd for that goal was short-lived when a half minute later Colorado’s Milan Hejduk dropped the puck to John Mitchell who fired the puck under Hiller’s armpit.
The Ducks tied the game near the halfway point of the third frame on the power play, as a Beauchemin shot was tipped by Perry and leaked out the back of Giguere into the crease. Getzlaf sprinted after the puck and reached out to tap it over the stripe.
And it was the Getzlaf-Perry pairing that did it yet again in overtime, helping give the Ducks a gaudy 8-2-1 record after giving up the game’s first goal.
"When they’re playing like that it makes everything easier for everybody else because the focus is on them two," said Boudreau of the longtime pair. "They definitely played a great game."
The Ducks will look to keep their winning streak going tomorrow night against the Kings in LA.
4:14 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - COREY PERRY - DUCKS WIN IT!!! Getzlaf takes the puck from Beauchemin in the left wing circle, and as he's done so many times, feeds in front to Perry, who redirects it past Giguere with 45.4 left. This place goes crazy as the Ducks win their sixth straight.
3:59 - COL Penalty - Ryan O'Byrne, 2 min. hooking. O'Byrne hooked Fowler on the play, which caused the kid to miss. Big opportunity for the Ducks with 1:01 left.
3:57 - Cogliano with a bouncing pass under the stick of a charging Fowler. That would have set this place ablaze.
3:50 - Hiller with a nice stop on a Hejduk try.
0:00 - Here we go.
20:00 - END OF REGULATION - We're going to OT.
19:50 - Beleskey again with a chance off a Perry drop pass, but it's too high.
17:55 - Beleskey almost blows the roof off the place as he takes in a Perry feed from behind the net and fires it into Giguere. Close.
10:50 - Perry with a sickly wrister, that's just wide.
8:49 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - RYAN GETZLAF - Seconds into the power play, Beauchemin's shot is tipped by Perry and the puck leaks out the back of Giguere and sits in the crease, as Getzlaf sprints up and taps it over the stripe. We're tied 3-3.
8:41 - COL Penalty - Gabriel Landeskog, 2 min. slashing. Just as their penalty expires, Landeskog slashes the stick out of Bonino's hands.
We just announced a sellout of 17, 174.
6:37 - ANA Penalty - Corey Perry, 2 min. hooking. Bit of a momentum killer as Perry hooks (I think ) Bordeleau.
6:30 - Ducks trying to make things happen with Cogliano skating with Getzlaf and Perry.
1:00 - Hiller gets away with a turnover behind the net, as Stastny's shot goes wide as Hiller is scrambling back in front. Not sure if Hiller made contact with the puck as he dove back.
0:00 - Crowd pumped as we start the third.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Better one for the Ducks as they get two back after outshooting Colorado 21-10. But the Avs get one back from Mitchell and lead it 3-2.
17:30 - Perry tries to backhand it around Giguere, but J.S. is having none of it.
17:16 - Fowler just misses on a tip try off a Winnik feed on the rush.
14:20 - Giguere stops Koivu, and Cogliano is just barely denied banging in the rebound.
10:04 - COLORADO GOAL - JOHN MITCHELL - On the rush, Hejduk drops the puck to Mitchell, who fires from the slot under Hiller's left armpit. It's 3-2 as the Avs retake the lead quickly.
9:24 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - TEEMU SELANNE - Just as the power play is running out, Koivu feeds from the slot to Selanne, who one-times it off the right shoulder of Giguere and into the net. It's the 250th career power play goal for Selanne to move into third place on the all-time list, as he gets yet another milestone against Colorado. We're tied.
8:30 - Jones sneaks behind Perry for the shorthanded breakaway, but Hiller saves the day on the shot and the rebound.
7:30 - COL Penalty - Jan Hejda, 2 min. charging. The man with a soft J and the silent J isn't so soft and silent as he leaps to take out Palmieri in the corner. Giguere with a huge save right after the penalty, as Maroon feeds Bonino from behind the net for a one-timer.
6:59 - ANAHEIM GOAL - COREY PERRY - The Anaheim comeback attempt starts with a pretty play as Getzlaf chases down the puck in the corner, and feeds Perry for the one-timer from the low slot. Perry gets his third in the last four and it's 2-1 Avs.
3:42 - Ducks miss a golden opportunity as the Zanon penalty dies.
Some dude climbs up the glass to get the puck out of the netting and doesn't give it to the kid he cuts in front of. Gets deservedly booed.
2:25 - Selanne hits the left post with a one-timer and the rebound is just barely knocked away from Koivu's stick. Giguere escapes again.
2:00 - Giguere is already down on his side when he snuffs out a puck in the crease. He got a little lucky there.
1:42 - Out of a Colorado timeout, Ducks sent out Selanne, Koivu, Perry, Getzlaf and Souray.
1:42 - COL Penalty - Greg Zanon, 2 min. holding. Zanon grabs ahold of Getzlaf and the Ducks get 53 seconds of 5-on-3 time.
0:35 - COL Penalty - PA Parenteau, 2 min. cross checking. Parenteau still agitated, and takes it out on Koivu. Ducks with a chance.
0:00 - Here we go in the second, but not before Cogliano and Parenteau tangle a bit around the faceoff.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Ducks kill the last of their three penalties in the period, but give up two Avs goals and trail it 2-0.
18:52 - Hiller snags an Elliott shot out of the air.
18:00 - ANA Penalty - Kyle Palmieri, 2 min. delay of game. Palmieri sends it over the glass. Rough first period for Anaheim.
15:55 - Violent collision between Ryan and Palushaj, but they're both okay.
15:27 - Ducks escape the Sbisa penalty.
13:27 - ANA Penalty - Luca Sbisa, 2 min. slashing. Easy call as Sbisa chops McGinn's stick in half. Two guys in front of us with the "Ref, you suck!" chant, but they're the only two in the building doing that.
12:54 - COLORADO GOAL (POWER PLAY) - PA PARENTEAU - Barrie fires a slap shot off Hiller's leg pad, and it comes right to Parenteau, who punches it in from outside the left post. Ducks trail it 2-0.
12:30 - Winnik manages to work the puck away from Barrie and get in front of him for a partial breakaway, but loses the puck at the last instant.
11:15 - Getzlaf does a nice job to take away the puck and kick it down the ice. Ducks hanging tough.
9:42 - ANA Penalty - Nick Bonino, 4 min. high sticking. Bonino gets the double minor when he draws blood on Kobasew's mug.
7:55 - Perry grabs a loose puck right in front, but the pressure from O'Byrne keeps him from putting a good attempt on net.
6:50 - Elliott loses an edge and turns it over, but the Ducks are just barely offside as Koivu goes the other way.
Ducks are 7-2-1 when giving up the first goal this season.
2:28 - COLORADO GOAL - CODY MCLEOD - In kind of a strange play, McLeod is screening Hiller as Hunwick rips a slap shot that breaks McLeod's stick as it nicks the shaft and it gets by Hiller. The Ducks give up the first goal again and trail 1-0.
1:45 - Beauchemin with a nice diving poke check to stop the momentum of Palushaj. Crowd likes it.
0:00 - And we're underway at Honda Center for the first time in six days
Hiller in net for the Ducks and Giguere in net for the Avs in a matchup of former teammates.