ANAHEIM – The night will be remembered more for Teemu Selanne scoring his 600th career goal, but it was also one in which the Ducks continued to look like a team that belongs in this year’s playoffs.
Selanne’s 600th, which came early in the middle session, helped the Ducks to a 5-2 victory over the visiting Colorado Avalanche (seventh in the Western Conference), giving Anaheim its fourth straight victory in its quest to fight for a postseason slot.
I guess that was the easiest that I have had in awhile. It’s funny how it works. I’ve felt that I have had a lot of chances the last three or four games, but nothing was going in. Then, you get one of those on a great effort from Corey and Scotty. The way my teammates have been feeding me has been amazing. I think they wanted this more than I did. It’s a great feeling. Most importantly, we played well and won the game. This was just a good bonus. I was really nervous that if didn’t happen tonight then it would happen on the road. Happening at home is way more special. I’m very happy about that.
If you look, there are only 17 guys that have done it before. It’s a very, unique special group. You need a lot of luck, hard work and great players to play with. I have had all those things. That is why this is possible. It was a big night and we are still in the hunt for the playoffs. I remember the first one like it was yesterday. It was at the Cow Palace against the Sharks. Time is flying. It’s unbelievable how fast it goes.
Since the lockout, when I fixed my knee, I have been enjoying hockey more than ever. Playing when you’re healthy and with great players, I don’t know if you can ask more than that. Coming back here, where I have always been happy, I’m very lucky and thankful for that. It’s hard to describe. When you enjoy something so much, you just have to be thankful.
There was a little underlying feeling when you’re on the ice with him. You want to at least give him the opportunity. It shows what kind of teammate and person he is. He is a great guy and we were definitely pulling for him.
His teammates have been trying to feed him for a number of games here, specifically the last two. Most importantly, for our fans and for people in the building tonight, is Teemu scoring in front of his home crowd. He talks about this being his happy place. It’s always nice to see when an athlete is rewarded with his success in his own building. That is quite a milestone.
Selanne scored the milestone goal on the power play just 34 seconds into the second period, after Corey Perry was denied in front of the net by sprawling netminder Craig Anderson. The puck kicked outside the crease, where Scott Niedermayer was able to tip it to Selanne, who easily deposited it from the left side of the open net.
"I guess that was the easiest that I have had in awhile," Selanne said. "It’s funny how it works. I’ve felt that I have had a lot of chances the last three or four games, but nothing was going in. Then, you get one of those on a great effort from Corey and Scotty. The way my teammates have been feeding me has been amazing. I think they wanted this more than I did. It’s a great feeling. Most important, we played well and won the game."
Said Niedermayer about the goal, "Perrs tries to go with and I don’t know how it came to me. I saw Teemu behind me, so I knocked it to him. He did the rest. He knows how to score goals. It’s been a lot of fun being his teammate on the ice, as well as off the ice spending time with him. It’s a great accomplishment. Not many guys have done that."
Immediately after the goal, as Selanne and Niedermayer celebrated in the corner amid a frenzied standing ovation from the home crowd, the entire Ducks bench poured onto the ice to mob Selanne against the glass. It got even louder when Selanne skated almost to the bench and then back out to the ice to salute the home crowd.
"If you look, there are only 17 guys that have done it before," Selanne added. "It’s a very, unique special group. You need a lot of luck, hard work and great players to play with. I have had all those things. That is why this is possible. It was a big night and we are still in the hunt for the playoffs. I remember the first one like it was yesterday. It was at the Cow Palace against the Sharks. There have been a lot of goals between 1 and 600. Time is flying. It’s unbelievable how fast it goes."
Selanne's goal was part of a barrage over the first two periods that saw the Ducks score four times to take a 4-0 lead. Rookie Troy Bodie scored the first shorthanded goal of his young career, picking up a Chris Stewart giveaway and cashing in top shelf on the breakaway.
That gave Anaheim a seemingly comfortable cushion going into the third period, but the Avs made things a little uncomfortable with goals by Darcy Tucker and Ruslan Salei in the first 5:15.
But Anaheim got some welcome insurance with its third power play goal of the night, as Getzlaf redirected a Selanne pass at the top of the crease under goalie Peter Budaj to give Anaheim a 5-2 lead. The goal was redemption for Getzlaf, who previously had been robbed on a few occasions by Budaj, who entered the game for Anderson after Anaheim’s fourth goal.
The Ducks got their first power play strike of the night 4:43 into the game, as Jason Blake emerged from behind the net and slipped the puck under Anderson. The Ducks had gone on an 0 for 18 drought on the man advantage before getting one in Friday night’s win over the Islanders.
Rookie Matt Beleskey got his second goal in as many games with 8:17 left in the first, taking a drop pass from Getzlaf and finding the net from the slot. Beleskey filled in on the top forward line for Bobby Ryan, who was scratched with flu-like symptoms.
At the conclusion of a homestand that started with three losses but ended with four straight wins, the Ducks now hit the road for games at Calgary, Vancouver and Edmonton starting Tuesday night.
The Ducks are 15-3-2 in the last 20 at HOME.
Anaheim has won six straight contests at HOME vs. Colorado, dating back to Feb. 25, 2007. Overall, the club has won six of its last seven contests vs. Colorado (6-1-0) dating back to Nov. 24, 2008. The Ducks are 9-2-0 against the Avalanche since the start of the 2007-08 season and have earned standings points in 12 of the last 15 since Nov. 22, 2006.
In the last two contests, the Ducks have gone four-for-eight on the power play for a 50% success rate.
Teemu Selanne scored his 600th NHL goal tonight (see next page). In his last four contests, Selanne has 2-3=5 points and with tonight’s assist (648th of his career), he moved to within two assists of tying Brett Hull (650) for 56th in all-time assists.
Selanne also had his 500th career goal against Colorado, on November 22, 2006 at Pepsi Center.
With three assists tonight, Corey Perry has increased his career-high single-season assist total to 44. It was the third 3+ assist game of his career (last: Nov. 19, 2008 vs. WSH) and the 16th 3+ point game of his career (four this season). In the last four contests, Perry has scored 1-4=5 points. He’s also tallied 3-7=10 points in the last 10 and 5-12=17 points in the last 16. At HOME, Perry has scored 5-13=18 points in the last 16 contests, with points in 14 of the 16.
With two assists this evening, Scott Niedermayer reached his 200th assist as a Duck. With 58-200=258 points in five seasons with Anaheim, Niedermayer leads all franchise defensemen in goals, assists and points.
With an assist tonight, Lubomir Visnovsky extended his point streak to a season-high-tying four games (3-2=5). He also had a four-game point streak from Nov. 16-23, 2009 (1-6=7) with Edmonton. Visnovsky has 5-2=7 points in the last seven games.
Tonight marked the seventh team shorthanded goal of the season, ranking tied for sixth in the league.
With 1-1=2 points tonight, Ryan Getzlaf has scored 2-6=8 points in the last six games in which he’s appeared.
In the last five contests, Jonas Hiller has gone 3-1-0 with a .932 SV% (137-of-147) and 2.29 GAA (10 GA/262 MIN).
Tonight’s attendance was 15,528.
20:00 - END OF GAME - Selanne's 600th helps the Ducks to a 5-2 victory and their fourth straight win.
13:45 - Perry just has the puck slip off his stick with a chance in front.
12:33 - COL Penalty - Matt Duchene, 2 min. hooking. Newell Brown's newphew gets caught.
7:50 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - RYAN GETZLAF - Getzlaf gets last laugh on Budaj, taking a Selanne pass at the top of the crease and redirecting it under the Colorado netminder. Third power play goal of the game for the Ducks and things get a little more comfy at 5-2.
7:17 - COL Penalty - Ruslan Salei, 2 min. tripping. Just after Koivu takes a puck to the face, Salei takes down Selanne in the slot.
5:40 - It's Budaj again, as Getzlaf again gets robbed after picking up a rebound and trying a backhander that the Colorado goalie stacks the pads to stop.
5:15 - COLORADO GOAL - RUSLAN SALEI - Salei, the former Duck, fires a shot from a bad angle that somehow sneaks under Hiller. Definitely one he should have stopped and it's getting a little scary at 4-2.
4:25 - Getzlaf gets robbed twice by Budaj, the last one a ridiculous stop with Getzy firing from point blank.
2:06 - COLORADO GOAL - DARCY TUCKER - Tucker drops a pass to Kyle Quincey, who has it knocked away by Getzlaf, but right to Tucket in the high slot. He rifles a slap shot over Hiller's shoulder to make it 4-1 Ducks.
0:00 - Here we go in the third.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Another great one for Anaheim, which gets Selanne's 600 and a shorty from Bodie.
A couple of quick pictures taken after Teemu's 600th, here and here.
19:28 - ANA Penalty - Ryan Getzlaf, 2 min. tripping. Getzlaf takes down TJ Galliardi.
17:50 - Ducks all over the Colorado net.
16:12 - COL Penalty - Paul Stastny, 2 min. hooking. Stastny gets caught in a crowd around the cage.
15:34 - Selanne almost gets another one near the side of the net, but Budaj lays out for the save.
12:45 - Anderson out, Peter Budaj in.
12:45 - ANAHEIM GOAL (SHORTHANDED) - TROY BODIE - Chris Stewart goes back behind the blue line to retrieve the puck and fumbles it away to Bodie, who heads down on a breakaway, ignores a diving Stewart and places it top shelf for his first career shorthanded goal. It's 4-0 Anaheim.
11:43 - ANA Penalty - Saku Koivu, 2 min. high sticking. Koivu takes umbrage to a hit near the Colorado net by Kyle Quincey, and the two do some jawing and shoving before the officials intervene.
8:29 - ANA Penalty - Steve Eminger, 2 min. interference. Eminger gets in the way on a chase for the disc.
7:50 - Sexton gets on the run with Selanne, but takes the shot instead of making the feed. If Selanne were still on 599, we'd have to seriously question that. Eminger's follow up one-timer is just kicked away.
7:26 - Play stops so that Sheldon Brookbank and Cody McLeod can fight in front of the Colorado bench. It's a lot of jersey grabbing and squirming and teeth gnashing, but nothing big lands.
5:59 - Selanne almosts gets 601, sending a relatively innocent backhand on net that Anderson nearly lets through.
5:05 - Hiller a nice stop on a snap shot from Stastny.
0:34 - ANAHEIM GOAL(POWER PLAY) - TEEMU SELANNE - IT'S 600! On the power play, Perry goes hard to the net, but has the puck kicked away by a sprawling Anderson into the middle of the ice. Niedermayer just gets a stick blade on it to tap it to Selanne, who easily deposits it into the open net. The crowd goes absolutely berserk as the entire Anaheim bench pours onto the ice to mob Selanne in the corner. More noise as Selanne heads to the bench but doesn't quite get there as he shoved back onto the ice by Marchant so he can do a quick skate and wave to the crowd as the 600 graphic goes up on the scoreboard. Goosebumps on top of goosebumps. And oh by the way, it's 3-0 Anaheim.
My dad is sitting in the section where the little girl got hit in the head with the puck, and he thinks it's just a cut on top of her head. Also, the guy who got the puck? Wouldn't give it up for her. Classy.
0:00 - Here we go in the second.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - A good one for Anaheim, which gets goals from vet (Blake) and rookie (Beleskey) to take a 2-0 lead.
19:37 - Selanne slings it from the circle, saved. Think they're looking for him right now?
19:19 - COL Penalty - John-Michael Liles, 2 min. hooking. It's PP time, meaning it's 8 time.
18:20 - Getzlaf tries to set up Mike Brown in the slot. You don't see the Getzlaf-to-Brown pass all that often.
16:09 - Puck goes into the crowd and looks like it hits a little girl in the head. Hopefully she's alright, as she's led up the aisle. Selanne comes over and does his part, tossing a towel into the crowd.
15:44 - Right off the draw, Bodie and Chris Stewart drop the gloves with Bodie taking a number of shots to the head before it comes to a merciful end. They both head to their respective locker rooms.
It's trivia time and Brendan, a kid with an absolutely brutal mohawk, is asked which team Colorado coach Joe Sacco was playing for when he had a career high number of goals in 1993-94. Is it Toronto, Anaheim or the Islanders? He guesses Toronto and he's wrong! Of course it's Anaheim! Sadly enough, he misses out on a PS3, which instead goes to another random young boy picked out of section 412. Something tells me he'll find use for it.
11:43 - ANAHEIM GOAL - MATT BELESKEY - Beautifully done by the temporarily revamped (minus BR) top line, as Perry slips the puck over the blue line to Getzlaf, who drops to Beleskey in the slot, and the rookie beats Anderson on the glove side. Eighth of the year for the kid and the Ducks lead it 2-0.
10:47 - Koivu tries to set up 600 on the rush, but Selanne can't get enough on the one-timer.
6:20 - COL Penalty - Bench minor, 2 min. too many men on the ice. Cheaters.
5:42 - Ducks dodge a major bullet when Chris Stewart has a wide open net while snuggling with the post and his shot somehow hits nothing but the other post before Niedermayer sweeps it away.
5:20 - Hiller snatches a Duchene shot out of the sky with the mitt.
4:43 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - JASON BLAKE - Blake battles along the wall behind the Colorado net with Scott Hannan, then steps in front and backhands it under Anderson and just inside the post. After going 0 for 18 on the power play, the Ducks have two PP goals in the last two games, both by Blake. It's 1-0 Anaheim.
4:31 - Selanne is wide open to fire from the right wing circle, but right into Anderson. Grrrr.
I don't know about you, but I'm dying for 600 tonight.
3:58 - Selanne swings away at Anderson, looking for a rebound that didn't come.
3:48 - COL Penalty - Peter Mueller, 2 min. holding. The former Coyote pins Beleskey against the glass.
Nice dance remix of "Wonderwall" by Oasis. Haven't heard that one in here before.
0:42 - Ducks get a break when Hiller leaves a fat rebound, but Stastny fires wide.
0:00 - And we're underway at Honda Center.
5:07 p.m. - Another great job on the anthem from little Jenny Swoish, who appears to be growing up right before our eyes.
Ryan out with flu-like symptoms. He showed up to the rink today and turned around and headed home feeling very ill. Starters in bold/italics. Scratches crossed out.