By Adam Brady (firstname.lastname@example.org)
ANAHEIM – A power play that was snoozing for the past five games finally sprang to life for the Ducks.
Anaheim scored three man advantage goals, the final one coming from Teemu Selanne in overtime, to seal a critical 4-3 victory over the visiting Nashville Predators at Honda Center.
"It was a huge 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."
The Ducks started that overtime on a 4-on-3 after a Vernon Fiddler tripping penalty carried over from the end of regulation. And they took quick advantage after the extra session started, as Chris Pronger slapped a pass from the point toward Selanne, who redirected it through for the game-winner just 34 seconds into OT.
|Three Ducks power play goals helped them win it in OT, 4-3.
“I just tried to keep my stick on the ice and hoped it would hit my stick,” said Selanne, who got his 15th power play goal of the year and 1,200th career point on the play. He also broke out of a tie with Wayne Gretzky to move to a tie for 12th on the all-time power play goals list (205 with Joe Sakic). “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. For sure, I wanted to do it at home if I could choose. It was a pretty happy ending.”
It also made up for a heartwrenching late loss of the lead for the Ducks on a Nashville goal by Joel Ward with 2:45 left in regulation. The Ducks had looked to be in command when they took a 3-2 advantage with 8:22 left in the third on a power play goal by Bobby Ryan. Scott Niedermayer’s chip of a loose puck glanced off goalie Pekka Rinne and Ryan picked it up, slid to the front of the net and shot it through a crowd for the goal. It gave Ryan his 45th point this season, tying a club rookie record.
That lead appeared safe until Shea Weber sent the puck on net from the wing and Ward reached up high to redirect it past Jean-Sebastien Giguere for his second goal of the game.
But the Ducks bounced back to take it in OT, thanks in great part to Selanne. "Teemu, obviously being our heart and soul and a veteran for us, goes and gets it done," Ryan said. "We got the two points and we needed it."
Although they allowed fellow challenger Nashville a standings point with that late goal, Anaheim continued to hang onto its chances of earning a postseason berth. The Ducks also increased their record at home against the Predators to 16-1-3 since Nashville entered the league in 1998.
The Ducks jumped in front 4:19 after the opening draw on a gorgeous play between Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. Getzlaf made a slick move in the slot to elude Weber before feeding the puck to Perry near the crease. Perry one-upped Getzlaf with a move of his own, faking toward the top of the painted area before reversing his field and sending the puck past a fooled Rinne.
Nashville got back into it after the first of two straight power play goals, as a J.P. Dumont shot from above the right wing circle nicked off the jersey of Ward and flew past Giguere.
|Ebbett's power play goal in the second tied the game, and broke an 0-for-23 slump for Anaheim.
The Preds went up 2-1 a third of the way through the middle session on the 5-on-3, with Dumont this time getting the goal. Seconds after the faceoff following Ryan Whitney and Todd Marchant penalties, Dumont tried to feed the puck in front of the net, but a sliding Chris Pronger blocked the pass. It came right back to Dumont with Giguere nudged out of position, and Dumont tossed it into the open net.
Anaheim got back into it with a power play strike of it own, from Andrew Ebbett at 11:13 of the second. James Wisniewski fired a shot from the point that kicked in front of the net, where Ebbett picked it up and send it netward. It was the first power play goal in the last 22 opportunities for the Ducks, who added those two others to make their man advantage woes a distant memory.
The Ducks have to turn around and do it again in Phoenix, where they play the Coyotes tomorrow night.
"We got two points," said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle. "Yeah, we’re not happy that we gave up one when we had a one-goal lead late in the hockey game in your building. We’ll take the two points and now we move on. We have to prepare ourselves for tomorrow night at Phoenix
Added Ryan, "We have 12 games left after tonight," Ryan said, "so to get started with a win at home was huge."
With his OT goal, Teemu Selanne scored his 1,200th career NHL point (574-626=1200). He became the 45th player in NHL history to reach the milestone and only the sixth player born outside North America to reach the mark. He has also tied Dino Ciccarelli for 44th place on the all-time points list with tonight’s goal. Selanne now has sole possession of 18th place on the NHL’s all-time goals list, passing Mike Bossy at 573. It was also the ninth OT goal of his career with the last taking place on Feb. 15, 2007 at Phoenix (5-4).
With 1-1=2 points tonight, Bobby Ryan tied the franchise rookie record for points in a season (24-21=45). He now shares the record with Dustin Penner, who collected 29-16=45 points in 2006-07.
With two assists tonight, Chris Pronger reached the 600 NHL point milestone (141-459=600).
Over the last five games, the Ducks have outshot their opponent 182-to-130. In addition, the club has out shot its opponent 288-to-222 over the last eight home games.
With tonight’s OT win, the Ducks improved their home record vs. Nashville to 16-1-3. The club has won seven of the last eight contests vs. the Predators at Honda Center (7-0-1).
Scott Niedermayer has collected points in three of the last four games (1-3=4), including two assists tonight.
Corey Perry has collected points in five of the last seven contests (2-3=5).
Erik Christensen has earned 1-2=3 points in the last three games.
J.S. Giguere earned his 18th win of the season, stopping 21-of-24 shots on net.
Tonight’s attendance was 16,181.
0:34 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - TEEMU SELANNE - Pronger holds the puck above the right wing circle before slapping it toward Selanne, who redirects it through for the game-winner. A big win for the Ducks, who lose their lead in regulation and make it count in OT.
0:00 - Here we go with the Ducks on the PP.
20:00 - END OF REGULATION - The Ducks give the Preds at least a point by giving up a late goal, and we're headed to overtime. The Ducks have 1:11 of power play time to start it.
19:45 - Selanne leads Getzlaf in front of the net, who kicks the puck up to himself and tries to bat it in out of the air, too high.
19:11 - NSH Penalty - Vernon Fiddler, 2 min. tripping. During the delayed whistle, Perry gets clearly tripped by Ryan Suter and somehow there's no second penalty.
18:40 - Nokelainen nice feed in front to Marchant, but it's at an awkward angle for Marchant and he can't get a shot off.
17:15 - NASHVILLE GOAL - JOEL WARD - Ward gets his second of the game on another defclection, as Weber sends the puck to the net and Ward redirects it out of the air past Giguere. Wisniewski apparently hurt his hand on the play and Ryan lost his stick, putting the Ducks on their heels. It's 3-3.
16:30 - The puck hits two Predators as they're exchanging spots on the bench. Somehow, no too many men call.
15:40 - Nashville putting a lot of pucks in front of the Anaheim net since that goal.
Chants of "Bobby! Bobby!" Man, I love that.
11:38 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - BOBBY RYAN - Pronger throws the puck on net off Rinne's glove. Scott Niedermayer tries to chip it back through, but it bounces off the goalie again, where Ryan picks it up, slides in front of the net and fires it through a crowd into the net. It's the 24th of the year for Ryan, second power play goal of the game for the Ducks and it's 3-2 Anaheim.
10:58 - NSH Penalty - Joel Ward, 2 min. tripping. Ward upends Bobby Ryan
in the corner behind the Anaheim net. Opportunity for the Ducks? They're 1 for their last 23 on the power play, but they have one tonight. So, heck, why not be confident?
10:15 - Lots going on, but not much of it around the net.
7:45 - The Ducks are definitely the harder-working team right now. We'll see what that means for this game.
5:52 - Marchant makes a nice drop to Whitney, who drills a one-timer from the point that Rinne sprawls out to corral.
3:07 - Getzlaf steals another puck, right on the blue line, but the official determines it crosses and whistles offside. Getzalf doesn't agree and replays show ... actually, nothing.
1:08 - Getzlaf has a look from near the net, but Rinne saves.
0:00 - Here we go in the third, the Ducks 5-on-4.
During the intermission, Kent French was simultaneously on the TV monitors for FSN and the scoreboard video monitor, talking about the new Ducks wing at CHOC. I nearly had a seizure taking all that Frenchieness in at one time.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - The Ducks get one back courtesy of Ebbett to tie it 2-2. When we come back, fresh ice and 1:19 of power play time for the home team.
The deejay plays Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire," which reminds me that Adam Lambert on "American Idol" really sucks.
19:18 - NSH Penalty - Shea Weber, 2 min. cross checking. Weber gives it to Carter's back.
18:20 - Ryan completes a heck of a shift where he makes about a half dozen moves around the net but can't do much else with it. He's got to be pretty gassed.
16:01 - Christensen makes a great feed to a streaking Ebbett, who has no defenseman around him, but his one-timer try is not so good.
15:25 - Ryan looks to have a sure goal when he picks up a loose puck after a Rinne stops a point shot and is out of the net. But Ryan's shot misses the mark, ends up in Getzlaf's skates in the crease and kicks away.
Why is it that so many of the Predators' headshots look like they should have a headline underneath them that says, "LOCAL MAN KILLS 3"?
13:52 - Ryan forces his way to the net, but can't get it past Rinne on a couple of point-blank tries. A close-up shot of him on the bench a minute later clearly shows him yelling, "Fudge!" (Only he didn't say "Fudge.")
During Kiss Cam, one shot shows an older couple who refuse to smooch, and then when the PA guys says, "Kiss! Kiss!" the husband instead kisses the air. Yeah, I'm gonna get married real soon.
11:13 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - ANDREW EBBETT - Wisniewski fakes a shot from the point to get Joel Ward out of position, than slaps the puck into traffic in front of the net. It kicks away from Rinne, where Ebbett picks it up and quickly deposits it netbound. First power play goal after an 0-for-22 drought for Anaheim and it's 2-2.
10:30 - Perry slings a shot from the slot that Rinne tries to glove and the puck quickly drops to his side. Perry picks it up and puts it in, but the official had already blown the puck dead. Horrible call, as replays showed Rinne never had control of it. Not even close, actually.
9:27 - NSH Penalty - Scott Nichol, 2 min. tripping. Nichol gets called for tripping Erik Christensen.
6:05 - NASHVILLE GOAL (POWER PLAY) - J.P. DUMONT - Seconds after the draw, Dumont tries to send the puck across the top of the crease to a waiting teammate, but Pronger slides onto his side to block it. Unfortunately for the Ducks, the puck bounces back to Dumont with Giguere out of position from the traffic in front. Dumont picks it back up and dumps it into the open net. It comes just before Whitney's penalty expires, so the Preds are still on the power play. It's 2-1 Nashville.
5:57 - ANA Penalty - Todd Marchant
, 2 min. boarding. Marchant shoves Erat's face into the glass from behind. Yeah, I think that's a penalty.
4:55 - You know who's absolutely killing it tonight? Rob Niedermayer. I'm serious.
4:18 - ANA Penalty - Ryan Whitney, 2 min. tripping. Whitney takes down Steve Sullivan.
0:00 - Off and running in the second.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - The Ducks get one early, but give up one on the power play. It's 1-1 in Anaheim.
18:55 - Perry is getting after it tonight. He makes another slick move on the wing to make some room before throwing a pass to a charging Ryan. Perry, Ryan and Getzlaf are on the top line tonight. At least so far.
The male tennis ball is wearing a Ducks road jersey over his flourescent sweatshirt. Trying to change things up, I assume.
16:30 - Ducks outshooting Preds, 9-3.
During the timeout, FSN reminds us that on Feb. 1, the Ducks were fifth and the Preds 14th. Now? Nashville is eighth and the Ducks are 12th.
13:29 - Todd Marchant
continues to be a workhorse, helping keep the puck pinned in the Nashville end before slinging a shot that's gloved by Rinne through traffic.
10:09 - NASHVILLE GOAL (POWER PLAY) - JOEL WARD - J.P. Dumont holds the puck above the right wing circle before throwing it toward the net, where it deflects off Ward's jersey and eludes Giguere. It's 1-1.
9:54 - ANA Penalty - Todd Marchant
, 2 min. tripping. Hopefully not a momentum swing.
8:10 - Getzlaf makes a great steal of the puck in the Nashville zone, makes a move to send Greg Zanon on his rear, then makes one too many moves to the net insteads of feeding a waiting Perry. The one time Getzlaf should have passed the puck but didn't.
6:25 - Ryan pounces on a loose puck in the corner behind the net and makes a great feed to Carter, whose one-timer hits the very inside of the post before springing out. Almost looked from here like it was in, but then again, I'm about 800 feet away.
6:06 - A little trouble away from the play near the Nashville bench as Mike Brown and Scott Nichol get into a heated argument that builds into a brief fistfight. Neither lands much before Brown falls on top of Nichol onto the ice. Not quite worth it, but they both get 5.
4:19 - ANAHEIM GOAL - COREY PERRY - Absolutely beautiful play to get the Ducks on the board, as Getzlaf gets the puck between the circles on a feed from Ryan and reverses direction to elude Shea Weber. He drops the puck to Perry near the top of the crease, and Perry does a little maneuver of his own, faking toward the middle before reversing back to fool Pekka Rinne and flip the puck into the open right half of the net. It's 1-0 Anaheim.
3:12 - Ducks 0 for their last 22 on the power play.
1:12 - NSH Penalty - Greg de Vries, 2 min. delay of game. De Vries (which incidentally is "french fries" in Italian; okay, not really), pitchforks the puck away from the boards and over the glass.
0:00 - And we're underway at Honda Center.
7:08 p.m. - Sgt. Juan Contreras with another fine rendition of the anthem after not having been here in quite awhile. Brings back nice memories of the Stanley Cup Final. Man, that was a long time ago.
Starting Goaltenders - ANA Jean-Sebastien Giguere; NSH Pekka Rinne
Starting Skaters - ANA Scott Niedermayer, James Wisniewski
, Todd Marchant
, Petteri Nokelainen, Rob Niedermayer; NSH Dan Hamhuis, Greg Zanon, Martin Erat, David Legwand, Steve Sullivan
Scratches - ANA Bret Hedican; NSH Wade Belak, Ville Koistinen, Radek Bonk, Jason Arnott