WINNIPEG – Teemu Selanne’s final regular-season appearance in Winnipeg headlined Sunday night’s meeting between the Anaheim Ducks and Winnipeg Jets, but a name of more recent vintage earned his team two points.
Ducks sniper Corey Perry pounced on a Zach Bogosian giveaway behind the Winnipeg net and roofed a shot over Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec with 5:31 left in the third period, leading Anaheim to a 3-2 win at MTS Centre.
Selanne, who starred for the original Winnipeg Jets and posted a 76-goal debut in his 1992-93 rookie season, received a standing ovation from the Winnipeg fans and earned first-star honors.
"It was a very special night," he said after the game. "I knew it was going to be my last one here. It was emotional, but i tried to keep my emotions [under control]. Great memories here. It was good to leave with a victory and keep going."
Selanne came close on several occasions to get on the board, but netminder Ondrej Pavelec thwarted all four of his chances.
"I was hoping I could get one, but the win was most important," he said. "But, it's always nice to score. Maybe those are coming."
The loss denied Winnipeg an opportunity to post its first 3-0-0 start in franchise history.
Jets captain Andrew Ladd scored two goals. Winnipeg’s first line featuring Ladd, Bryan Little and Blake Wheeler had combined for two goals – one an empty-netter from Little against the Kings – through the Jets’ first two games. But the trio awakened Sunday.
For the second consecutive game, Winnipeg faced an opponent playing the second half of a back-to-back set and arriving early in the morning from Minnesota. The Jets took a 5-3 win Friday night against the Los Angeles Kings, who had faced the Minnesota Wild a night earlier. The Ducks pulled out a 4-3 overtime win against the Wild before heading to Winnipeg to finish a three-game, season-opening trip.
Despite the schedule, Anaheim broke two Winnipeg leads over the opening 40 minutes. Mathieu Perreault scored his second goal in three games with the Ducks and Andrew Cogliano’s first goal of the season with 4.2 seconds left in the second period sent the teams into the intermission tied at 2-2.
Viktor Fasth returned in net for Anaheim after a 6-1 season-opening loss this past Wednesday against the Colorado Avalanche and responded with 15 saves. Pavelec made his third consecutive start for the Jets and provided 30 saves in a game in which the Ducks owned a 33-17 shots advantage.
After finishing 30th in the League on the man-advantage last season, Winnipeg reworked its power play this summer, and the early returns have shown promise. Ladd opened the game’s scoring 11 seconds after Kyle Palmieri was whistled for slashing. Wheeler unleashed a shot from along the right boards that sailed through a screen before Ladd tipped it high past Fasth at 9:06. Winnipeg now has converted on three of 13 power plays to start the season.
Anaheim answered 70 seconds later, however, when Perreault positioned himself at the edge of Pavelec’s crease and crammed a rebound over Pavelec.
Winnipeg rebuilt its lead with 3:43 to go in the first period when Wheeler’s hard shot from the slot ricocheted off the glass behind the Anaheim net. Ladd secured the bouncing puck inside the left circle and drilled a shot into the net before Fasth could scramble back into position.
Anaheim held a 25-12 shots advantage at the second intermission. After trailing by a goal for nearly 24 minutes, Cogliano finally tied the game at 2-2 when he deflected Daniel Winnik’s shot around Pavelec at 19:55.