By Adam Brady
ANAHEIM – Teemu Selanne has only two goals for the Ducks since coming out of semi-retirement, but both have come against the Colorado Avalanche. More importantly, both have led to victory.
Selanne’s power play strike 13:31 into the first period gave the Ducks their first lead, and Rob Niedermayer’s goal halfway into the third period knotted it up, giving the Ducks the opportunity to beat the Avs 3-2 in a shootout.
Corey Perry connected on a wrist shot in the first attempt of the shootout, and J.S. Giguere denied all three attempts, holding the puck aloft in his glove on the final stop against Colorado’s Milan Hejduk. That save didn’t count among the 26 Giguere had for the night, as he continued his rock-solid play in the month of February.
|The Ducks poured off the bench when Giguere's save sealed the shootout.
"Jiggy used to struggle quite a bit with shootouts, but he’s worked so hard in the last little while to be able to steal us one like tonight," said Ducks forward Ryan Getzlaf
. "I thought he did a great job. We worked on it the other day. He stood in and got it done for us.
It was the seventh win in eight games for Anaheim, and an unprecedented fifth straight over Colorado. The Avs haven’t beaten much of anybody lately, as the defeat tonight was their fifth in a row. With Dallas' loss in regulation tonight, the Ducks crawled to within four points of the Pacific Division lead. They are 6-1 since Selanne rejoined the lineup on Feb. 5.
"Our group worked pretty hard to get back to where we were," said Getzlaf. "Obviously, it wasn’t an easy game and it definitely wasn’t pretty, but we came back and were able to get the win."
After the Ducks trailed for almost half of the third period, Niedermayer tied it with 10:37 left, deflecting a Chris Pronger slap shot from the point that bounced off the ice and skipped past Colorado goalie Peter Budaj.
I just sort of tipped it and was lucky to get it by," Niedermayer said.
The Ducks and Avs skated scoreless for the first 13 1/2 minutes of the game before Selanne broke the ice. With the Ducks on the man advantage after a Scott Hannan hooking minor, Ryan Getzlaf did a nice job to deny a Colorado clearing attempt. He sent the puck to Chris Kunitz, who had his back to the net and made a pretty between-the-legs pass to a waiting Selanne, who one-timed it top shelf.
The Ducks only managed five shots in the opening 20 minutes, four of them by Selanne. Yet they still could have easily scored at least two more. Selanne put a puck behind Budaj that sat on the goal line before being swept away. Chris Kunitz had a deflection goal that was waved off because replays determined he played it out of the air with a high stick.
Nevertheless, Kunitz was clearly Anaheim's best player on the offensive end, setting up several opportunities and taking three shots of his own.
Anaheim also only got five off in a lackluster second in which they spent a good chunk of time in their own zone. But their 1-0 advantage remained for the first eight minutes, until a Jeff Finger marker at 8:12. T.J. Hensick took the puck away from Getzlaf, then skated behind the net before shuttling a pass to Finger, who punched it in from the slot.
|Pronger's heads-us play led to Rob Niedermayer's deflection goal to tie it in the third.
Colorado took its first lead with 2:30 left in the period, as a Marek Svatos slapper from the point hit Giguere and he couldn’t cover it before Andrew Brunette punched in the loose puck.
The Ducks finally tied it on Niedermayer’s goal, giving way to a scoreless overtime and the shootout decision.
"I thought for the first two periods they carried the play," said Rob Niedermayer. "Luckily Jiggy was playing huge in the net for us. We came out and seemed to get our skating legs underneath us in the third. We really pressured them and I thought that really got the game turned around for us."
Midway through the first, Ryan Carter took a hit from Finger against the boards, immediately left the ice and didn’t return. He was announced to have a bruised right shoulder and will be further evaluated. The Avs played again without leading scorer Paul Stastny and captain Joe Sakic, both of whom have had lengthy absences with groin injuries. Stastny hasn't played since Jan. 15, and Sakic has been out since Nov. 30.
The Ducks play the fourth of seven games at home on Friday night against the St. Louis Blues, in Andy McDonald's first game back at Honda Center since being traded by the Ducks in December.
The Ducks are 9-2-1 in their last 12 games at Honda Center and have won seven of their last eight games overall.
In eight starts in the month of February, Giguere has posted a record of 6-1-1, with a 1.35 goals against average and a .948 save percentage.
Tonight marked Anaheim’s fifth shootout win of the season. The club ranks fourth in the NHL this season for most contests reaching a shootout. Corey Perry scored the game-deciding goal for the third time this season.
Tonight marks the 63rd straight sellout at Honda Center. It also marks the 51st consecutive sellout in the regular season, tying the club record (also Dec. 22, 1993-Oct. 20, 1995).
Ryan Getzlaf has extended his assist streak to five games (1-5=6). In addition, he is currently riding a 10-game point streak at HOME, earning 4-11=15 points during that span. The home point streak dates back to Jan. 2 vs. Columbus.
Chris Kunitz has a three-game point streak (2-1=3) and has also earned 3-5=8 points in the last seven games.
With an assist tonight, Chris Pronger has collected 1-3=4 points in the last four games.
COL Milan Hejkuk's attempt is NO GOOD. Hejduk moves the puck back and forth before trying a shot that Giguere gloves and holds up to the crowd for good measure. DUCKS WIN IT IN THE SHOOTOUT, 3-2.
ANA Ryan Getzlaf
's attempt is NO GOOD. Getzlaf fakes to the backhand, then comes back with a shot that hits the post.
COL Marek Svatos attempt is NO GOOD. Svatos tries a fake, then his shot misses the net.
ANA Teemu Selanne
's attempt is NO GOOD. Selanne tries a backhand that is saved.
COL Wojtek Wolski attempt is NO GOOD. Wolski never had control of the puck and could only manage a dribbler that Giguere easily pounced on.
ANA Corey Perry's attempt is a GOAL! Perry skates in from the right wing and shoots a quick wrister top shelf.
5:00 - END OF OVERTIME - And we're going to a shootout!
4:59 - The Ducks make one last desperation rush led by Kunitz, but go offside.
3:39 - Getzlaf rips a shot from the point that bounces loudly off Budaj's pad.
3:08 - Perry looks like he might have a chance, but his deke try is taken away from him.
0:50 - It's Kunitz again, who gets loose on the right wing before taking a shot that goes wide and then spills to the ice.
0:00 - We're underway in OT.
20:00 - END OF REGULATION - The puck spends a lot of time in the Ducks zone over the final minute, but the Vas can't get anything serious on net. We're going to overtime.
18:05 - With Perry on the ice, Cody McLeod takes a hard swing at the ice, but mostly gets Perry in the gut. With that, Brad May drills McLeod from behind and a scuffle ensues. No penalties.
16:40 - A great Getzlaf effort to keep the puck in the zone on a clearing attempt is negated when Mathieu Schneider can't handle it and forces the Ducks to take an offside call.
15:37 - COL Penalty - Kyle Cumiskey, 2 min. hooking. Cumiskey takes down Moen while digging for the puck.
15:04 - Giguere denies several bats at the loose puck, while it sits near the post for several seconds.
14:06 - ANA Penalty - Sean O'Donnell, 2 min. hooking.
13:08 - Todd Bertuzzi goes slamming into the board off Jordan Leopold. Not sure who took the worst of that.
During the timeout, out-of-town scores are flashed on the video board, and roars go up when the San Jose and Dallas losses are shown.
9:23 - ANAHEIM GOAL - ROB NIEDERMAYER - Chris Pronger reaches way high in the air to snag a Colorado clearing attempt with his glove. He quickly puts it down and launches a slap shot that is deflected in front by Niedermayer, and it bounces off the sheet through Budaj. Fifth goal of the year for Niedermayer, matching his total of last season, and it's 2-2.
7:08 - Kunitz whiffs on a bouncing puck, then spins and connects on a shot, but Budaj takes it in the chest.
6:12 - Niedermayer again takes a shot, from straightaway, and it's loose as Perry tries to bat at it, but Budaj covers.
5:42 - Perry makes a nice cross-ice pass to a wide-open Scott Niedermayer, who holds it a bit before taking a shot that hits between Budaj's pads and just misses wide.
5:17 - COL Penalty - Kurt Sauer, 2 min. roughing. During the delay, Perry skates hard down the right wing, and tries to make a centering pass, but it's knocked away.
4:54 - After Budaj covers a loose puck, Pahlsson is just kind of in the area when Finger decides to elbow him right in the face. Where's the penalty?
4:09 - Perry snekas in from behind the net, turns and takes a high shot that Budaj saves and holds.
3:04 - ANA Penalty - Scott Hannan, 2 min. tripping. Hannan has three of the four Colorado penalties.
2:58 - Kunitz makes a falling-down feed to Selanne near the left post, but Selanne whiffs on the one-time try. His subsequent shot is saved by Budaj easily.
0:24 - It's Kunitz again, who takes a pass from Selanne in the open, but his wrist shot flies over everything.
0:00 - We're at it in the third.
20:00 - END OP PERIOD - The Ducks look lackluster the whole period and they pay for it, with two Colorado goals. For the second straight period, Anaheim only manages five shots on goal. They have some work to do.
Ryan Carter is announced to have a bruised right forearm and will not return. That's probably the best we could have hoped for on that injury, the way it looked.
19:01 - Todd Marchant
takes the second of two hard hits and heads back to the bench like a drunk guy leaving a bar at 2 a.m.
17:30 - COLORADO GOAL - ANDREW BRUNETTE - After John-Michael Liles fights for the puck and gets it, he sends it back to Marek Svatos at the blueline. Svatos' shot hits Giguere in front, but he can't hold it, as Brunette chips at the loose puck and sends it in the net. It's 2-1 Colorado.
16:59 - Rob Niedermayer is tripped and tumbles to the ice with the puck. And you know what he gets for the effort? Yeah, you were offside.
The Ducks look a bit sluggish, spending a lot of time in their own zone.
12:09 - Fresh out of the box, Pronger gets a nice feed from Kunitz (again, everywhere) on the 3 on 1, but Pronger fans on the one-time try.
9:59 - ANA Penalty - Chris Pronger, 2 min. slashing.
9:45 - O'Donnell rips a slap shot that bounces off Budaj to a waiting Kunitz, who is everywhere tonight. Kunitz's try on net just barely deflects off Budaj too.
8:12 - COLORADO GOAL - JEFF FINGER - Ryan Getzlaf has trouble getting ahold of the puck near the corner in the Ducks zone and it's taken away by T.J. Hensick. He skates with it behind the net and shuttles it to a charging Finger, who one-times it from the slot past Giguere on the glove side. We're tied at 1.
It's time for tonight's Trivia Challenge. Contestant Chris is asked which player after Teemu Selanne and Paul Kariya is third in the Ducks scoring list. Is it Andy McDonald, Matt Cullen or Steve Rucchin? He quickly answers Rucchin and he wins chili cheese fries! And the bonus question? There is no bonus question. Huh?
5:37 - Giguere makes a nifty glove save on a puck that pops toward him from behind the net. Is that even a shot on goal?
3:25 - Perry makes a great feed to Kunitz in the slot, but his redirect try is blocked nicely by Budaj.
2:30 - Moen gets the puck with some room on the right wing after the penalty expires, but his shot misses by a country mile. Get it? Country mile? He's a farmer? Get it?
0:00 - We're underway in the second.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - The Ducks put one on the board, but could have had at least two more as Colorado escapes with just a 1-0 deficit. Selanne's goal, his second of the year, is the only one for Anaheim. Selanne had four of the five shots in the period. We'll be back.
19:45 - ANA Penalty - Chris Pronger, 2 min. holding. Pronger is nabbed for holding down Brunette. Just a few seconds earlier, Pronger took several seconds trying to dislodge his stick froom Brunette's skate.
18:30 - Giguere makes a nice high save on a Colorado shot, and also denies the charging rebound try by Cody McLeod.
17:52 - The penalty expires, as the Avs dodge a bullet.
I got an email earlier in the week from one of the tennis balls. Apparently, they're skiing in Mammoth.
16:58 - Schneider flings the puck on net from the blueline and it's deflected at the top of the crease by Kunitz off the post, then off Budaj's skate and in. But the officials rule that Kunitz knocked it in with a high stick. After another review (a lengthy one during which Pronger looks like he's having an intimate, lean-on-the-shoulder conversation with Ian Laperriere), they confirm the ruling. Two replays, two waved off goals already tonight for Anaheim.
15:52 - COL Penalty - Scott Hannan, 2 min. tripping. Second penalty in four minutes for Hannan.
A "Will You Marry Me, Ryan Getzlaf?" sign is spotted in the crowd and shown on the video board. Only problem, it's held by an eight-year-old girl.
13:31 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - TEEMU SELANNE - As the Avalanche try to clear the puck, Ryan Getzlaf steps in front to stop it and push it to Kunitz near the net. With his back to the goal, Kunitz sends a pass to a waiting Selanne near the crease, and Selanne one-times it top shelf. Gorgeous goal by the team in black and they're up 1-0. I swear I typed that last entry before the goal. Selanne has two goals on the year, both against the Avs.
12:39 - Selanne tries again to come to the net with a deke, but he is denied by Budaj. I think No. 8 is getting one tonight.
11:50 - COL Penalty - Scott Hannan, 2 min. hooking. Hannan grabs onto Corey Perry
as Perry tries to escape from the corner.
11:13 - Selanne sneaks in from behind the cage and slips in a shot behind Budaj that slides tantalizingly along the goal line, but doesn't cross before it's cleared by Wojtek Wolski. They review it, but the no-goal ruling stands.
10:03 - COL Penalty - Jordan Leopold, 2 min. holding. The Ducks get their first power play. They had two PP goals last game against Calgary.
Ryan Carter took a hit from Jeff Finger and went straight to the locker room. Looks like it might be the shoulder.
9:18 - Andrew Brunette swings and misses hard at a one-timer in the slot, much to the crowd's delight.
7:42 - Bertuzzi makes a great pass from the blueline to a streaking Perry in the slot. He's all alone with only the goalie to beat, but his quick wrister hits the bottom of the crossbar and ricochets away.
7:25 - The puck is loose again as both Ben Guite and old Giguere nemesis Ryan Smyth jab at it, but Jiggy won't give it up.
5:19 - ANA Penalty - Chris Pronger, 2 min. roughing. A shot from the point is stopped by Giguere, and he just does pounce on the loose puck. Proner pushes Tyler Arnason from behind and he's right on top of Giguere and that leads to a scufflette.
3:20 - Schneider puts it on net and it's deflected in front by Carter, but it goes wide.
It's not looking like the biggest crowd of the year.
0:00 - And we're underway at Honda Center, the Ducks looking for their seventh win in eight games.
7:08 p.m.- A newcomer, Sarah Bennett, sings the anthem in an opera-like falsetto. I thought it was kind of pitchy, dude. Kidding. I'm kidding.
Starting Goaltenders - ANA Jean-Sebastien Giguere; COL Peter Budaj
Starting Skaters - ANA George Parros
, Brad May, Todd Marchant
, Sean O'Donnell, Chris Pronger; COL John-Michael Liles, Ian Laperriere, Scott Hannan, Ben Guite, Ryan Smyth
Scratches - ANA Brandon Bochenski, Brian Sutherby, Joe DiPenata; COL Karlis Skrastins, Jaroslav Hlinka