|VAN||0||2||1||0||(0 - 0)||3|
|ANA||1||2||0||1||(0 - 0)||4|
ANAHEIM – In a game the Ducks absolutely had to have, Scott Niedermayer made sure this one didn’t get away.
For the second time in exactly a month, Niedermayer scored the game-winning overtime goal with the two teams skating 3-on-3 to clinch a gargantuan 4-3 victory over the Vancouver Canucks at Honda Center.
|Niedermayer's overtime game-winner was the 12th of his career, adding to his total as the NHL's all-time leader among defensemen.
The Ducks looked to have a golden opportunity in OT when Vancouver’s Pavol Demitra took a hooking call 2:13 into the period. But the power play was wiped out when Teemu Selanne was whistled for holding a little more than a minute later.
Not long after, Todd Marchant dove to muscle the puck out from the left wing boards in the Anaheim zone and it came to Chris Pronger, who hit Niedermayer streaking up the middle of the ice. With only Daniel Sedin chasing him on his way to the net, Niedermayer coasted between the circles before firing a wrist shot over goalie Roberto Luongo that popped the water bottle.
“I just tried to get it up on him,” Niedermayer said, “and I think it got under his arm. Fortunately, I kind of bobbled so I didn’t really have time to think too much, which probably good. I just went down and tried to get it up high. I was just worried about not getting caught or not picked from behind and making a good shot."
Ducks teammates poured off the bench and mobbed Niedermayer in the same exact corner where he scored a 3-on-3 game-winner to beat the visiting Calgary Flames on Feb. 11.
It was the 12th career overtime goal for Niedermayer, who remains the NHL’s all-time leader among defenseman in that category. More importantly, it sealed a vital home win for the Ducks, who are battling for their playoff lives in the season’s final month and were looking to avoid a fourth straight defeat.
“We needed it,” Niedermayer said. “We’re not where we want to be and this is a big extra point. We have a long way to go and we’ll take the two points. It’s nice to get back on the winning way at home."
Added Ducks coach Randy Carlyle, It’s important for our well-being and our sanity more than anything. We’ve worked hard in some games and had as many chances as we’ve had tonight and still came up empty. It’s always enjoyable when you can find a way to win. It was a special play by a special player that won it for us. That is as strong of a team effort and as emotional as we’ve been in awhile."
|Hiller had plenty of big stops among his 32 saves on the night.
The Ducks were clinging to a one-goal lead throughout the third period, and lost that grip when Ryan Kesler found the net with 4:58 left in regulation. Pavol Demitra made a feed from behind the net to Mats Sundin on the doorstep, and his one-timer flipped off goalie Jonas Hiller to Kesler, who batted it out of the air.
That was the only goal in a third period that was in direct contrast to a topsy-turvy second. In those 20 minutes, the Ducks went up 2-0 on a Ryan Getzlaf goal, lost the lead on two Vancouver strikes within a span of 50 seconds, retook the lead on a Petteri Nokelainen goal and were seemingly robbed of a fourth goal by a dubious goalie interference call.
Getzlaf gave the Ducks that two-goal cushion 6:26 into the period, when a Ryan Whitney point shot was knocked down in front of the net and Erik Christensen reached out to poke the puck to Getzlaf, who one-timed it home.
Vancouver sawed the lead in half halfway through the session when an Alex Burrows shot from the high slot ticked off the skate of Alex Burrows and snuck underneath Hiller.
Just 50 seconds later, the game was tied when Kyle Wellwood one-timed a Demitra feed that Hiller appeared to save initially, but it squirted underneath him and snuck over the stripe.
That was one of the hiccups on an otherwise-stellar night for Hiller, who made several big stops among his 32 on the evening.
Anaheim bounced back with 6:39 left in the second on Petteri Nokelainen’s first goal of the season, three games after the Ducks acquired him prior to last week's trade deadline. Fellow new Duck Christensen made the play happen just seconds after a Vancouver penalty expired, whipping a shot from the right wing that Luongo knocked away right to Nokelainen, who sent it back.
Christensen appeared to give the Ducks another two-goal advantage when he made a beautiful deke move around Luongo and flipped the puck over his outreached stick. But the goal was waved off when the official determined that Getzlaf interfered with the goaltender. Replays clearly indicated that Getzlaf never touched him.
For the first time in a seemingly long time, Anaheim came out of the first period with the lead, thanks to a Teemu Selanne goal with 2:25 on the clock. Trying to backhand the puck out of his own corner, Henrik Sedin turned it over to Selanne between the circles, and the 38-year-old skated toward Luongo before sending a quick shot between his skates.
That goal came a little more than five minutes after Ryan Whitney appeared to backhand the puck between Luongo’s skate and the post. But that goal was disallowed since the puck actually went under the post when Luongo inadvertently ran into the net and lifted it slightly off its supports.
While that goal didn’t count Anaheim’s four against Luongo marked the first time he’s let through more than three in any of his last 11 starts. His record all-time against the Ducks fell to an uncharacteristic 7-7-0.
Over the last six HOME games, the Ducks have out shot their opponent 223-to-168. Tonight marked the club’s fourth, 40-plus shot game of the season. They have also recorded 35-or-more shots on net in four of the last six games (33.0 per game).
Teemu Selanne moved to just one point shy of 1,200 in his NHL career (573-626=1199). His goal accounted for the 573rd in his career and moved him into a share of 18th place on the NHL’s all-time goals list (also Mike Bossy). He is also one point shy of sharing 44th place on the NHL’s all-time points list (also Dino Ciccarelli, 608-592=1200).
With two assists tonight, Ryan Whitney recorded his third multi-assist game of the season (last: Jan. 28 w/PIT vs. NYR).
Erik Christensen picked up his first and second assists as a Duck tonight. It is his first multi-assist game since Nov. 2 vs. Florida (with Atlanta).
Jonas Hiller recorded his 15th win of the season.
Tonight’s attendance was 16,967.
|Teemu Selanne (21) Wrist shot - ASST: NONE|
1 - 0 ANA
|Ryan Getzlaf (21) Wrist shot - ASST: Erik Christensen (15), Ryan Whitney (13)|
2 - 0 ANA
|Alexandre Burrows (20) Deflected shot - ASST: Kevin Bieksa (25), Daniel Sedin (39)|
2 - 1 ANA
|Kyle Wellwood (15) Snap shot - ASST: Pavol Demitra (24), Willie Mitchell (17)|
2 - 2 Tie
|Petteri Nokelainen (1) Slapshot - ASST: Erik Christensen (16), Ryan Whitney (14)|
3 - 2 ANA
|Ryan Kesler (20) Backhand shot - ASST: Mats Sundin (10), Pavol Demitra (25)|
3 - 3 Tie
|Scott Niedermayer (11) Wrist shot - ASST: Chris Pronger (30), Todd Marchant (9)|
4 - 3 ANA
|Scott Niedermayer Tripping against Alexandre Burrows|
|Taylor Pyatt Hooking against Sheldon Brookbank|
|James Wisniewski Tripping against Alexandre Burrows|
|Corey Perry Charging against Henrik Sedin|
|Todd Marchant Roughing against Alexandre Burrows|
|Alexandre Burrows Roughing against Todd Marchant|
|Brett Festerling Hooking against Taylor Pyatt|
|Kevin Bieksa Tripping against Ryan Carter|
|Mattias Ohlund Interference against Todd Marchant|
|Ryan Getzlaf Interference on goalkeeper against Kevin Bieksa|
|Henrik Sedin Tripping against Corey Perry|
|Daniel Sedin Holding the stick against Scott Niedermayer|
|Pavol Demitra Hooking against Ryan Getzlaf|
|Teemu Selanne Holding against Mattias Ohlund|
|SA: 41||TOI: 63:31|
|Saves: 37||EV: 25 - 29|
|PIM: 0||PP: 11 - 11|
|SV%: .902||SH: 1 - 1|
|SA: 35||TOI: 63:19|
|Saves: 32||EV: 18 - 21|
|PIM: 0||PP: 14 - 14|
|SV%: .914||SH: 0 - 0|
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