ANAHEIM – Say this about the Anaheim Ducks: They never make it easy. They do, quite often, manage to make it exhilarating.
After surrendering an early 3-0 lead and going down by a goal to the visiting Calgary Flames, Anaheim came back to tie it late in regulation, setting the table for Corey Perry to win it in overtime for the second straight night.
Perry’s goal came 2:38 into extra time after Ryan Getzlaf fought to win a draw in the Calgary zone. He kicked the puck back to Toni Lydman, who ripped a one-timer that Perry tried to leap out of the way of, but it hit his leg and bounced down and underneath goalie Henrik Karlsson.
That goal lit up the home crowd, and put the Ducks back in playoff position. Their 85 points ties them for the eighth spot with Dallas, but Anaheim wins the tiebreaker by virtue of having more non-shootout wins. The win was also the 13th straight by the Ducks over Calgary at Honda Center, a streak that dates back to April 4, 2004.
"It just says that we have fight left in us at the end of the game and we just don’t roll over," Perry said. "There is always a chance for us. We’re going out there and fighting for every inch on the ice. It’s not over until the buzzer hits zero. We don’t quit. If we’re down one or two, we just keep pushing."
Perry won it for the Ducks less than 24 hours earlier with a slap shot in LA that clinched a big overtime win over the Kings. Tonight his goal came seconds after Bobby Ryan was denied on a penalty shot that would have won the game. It was a déjà vu moment when Ryan was tripped up from behind on a breakaway 2:34 into the extra session and awarded a penalty shot, since earlier this month he beat Detroit with a penalty shot in OT. Ryan tried the same glove-side wrist shot that was successful that night, but this time Karlsson snatched it with the trapper.
The Ducks were able to dull the heartbreak of blowing a three-goal lead thanks to Teemu Selanne’s tying goal on the power play with 2:01 left in regulation. Getzlaf was also involved in that one, sending a pass into the slot, where Selanne redirected it under Karlsson.
"It was huge," said Selanne, who moved to tie for eighth on the NHL's all-time power play goals list. "I knew Getzy would see me if my stick was open. He made a great pass."
The Ducks looked anything but a team playing the second half of a back-to-back in the first period when they roared out to a 3-0 lead in less than six minutes on goals by Getzlaf, Perry and Francois Beauchemin.
Getzlaf whipped a shot over starter Miikka Kiprusoff’s glove off a Perry feed just 1:18 into the game to strike first. Two minutes later, with the Ducks on the power play, a Selanne backhand trickled behind Kiprusoff onto the goal stripe, and Perry lunged to punch it through. Beauchemin connected another two minutes after that, firing a slap shot from the point that beat Kiprusoff glove side.
Calgary pulled Kiprusoff for Karlsson, which appeared to spark the Flames. Karlsson saved all 13 shots he saw the rest of the first and all of the second, as his team came all the way back to briefly take a 4-3 lead.
That began on a Tom Kostopoulos goal with 1:08 left in the first, as he one-timed a Matt Stajan feed from the left wing circle. Calgary struck twice in a sluggish second period for Anaheim, the first coming at 8:04 after a Ducks turnover. Curtis Glencross made a nice feed from the corner into the crease, where the puck kicked off Rene Bourque’s skate into the net.
And with 2:16 left in the middle session, Steve Staios fired through a point shot that was deflected in the slot by Kostoupolos past a Bourque screen and Ducks goalie Dan Ellis to make it 3-3.
Flames captain Jarome Iginla gave his team a 4-3 lead 7:10 into the final period of regulation. With Calgary on the power play after Cam Fowler was whistled for a cross-checking minor, Iginla skated around the left wing circle and fired a wrist shot from just above the dot that got past Ellis.
"Maybe we thought it was going to be an easy game after we were up 3-0," Selanne said. "We stopped skating. The second period was terrible. We played a tough game last night and the recovery time was not too long. The bottom line is we found a way to win the game and that is only what really matters. It’s a good feeling when you have that team confidence. We had a bad period, were down and still had a feeling we could come back to win the game."
The Ducks nearly tied it with a little more than six minutes left in regulation, when a loose puck off a Lubomir Visnovsky shot bounced on the stripe and was swept off it by Cory Sarich. It was a close call that was long forgotten after Selanne came through in regulation and Perry was a hero yet again in OT.
"There was no panic on the bench," Perry said. "We knew we were making some mistakes that were uncharacteristic of ourselves. When you do you give up four goals, you don’t feel good about yourself. There was still a positive attitude on bench. We scored three quick ones in the first and we knew could come back."
Said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle, "With the amount of importance last night and tonight, I thought our guys showed a tremendous amount of resilience to reach back and get more. That is what you have to do at this time of the year. They deserve all the credit in the world."
The Ducks have eclipsed the 40-win mark for the sixth time in franchise history (also 2002-03, 2005-06, 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2008-09). The club has won three straight games and five of the last six contests (5-1-0). The club is also 8-2-1 in their last 11, earning 17 of a possible 22 standings points.
Anaheim extended its HOME winning streak vs. Calgary to 13 straight games. It’s the longest win streak vs. one opponent at Honda Center in franchise history, a record that dates back to April 4, 2004. The club has also earned points in 21 of the last 22 games at HOME vs. the Flames (18-1-3). Overall, the Ducks have won three straight contests vs. Calgary (also Dec. 10 at Honda Center and Feb. 11 at the Scotiabank Saddledome).
Corey Perry scored 25 points in his NHL debut season of 2005-06. He has subsequently increased his point total each of the next five seasons (six NHL campaigns including his rookie season). Perry and Henrik Sedin are the only NHL players since the 2000-2001 season to accomplish the feat.
Perry scored 25, 44, 54, 72, 76, and currently has 39-40=79 points this season (2-1=3 tonight). He has scored back-to-back overtime goals (also in last night’s 2-1 OT decision over LA), the first two of his career. Beginning with his rookie season in 2000-2001, Sedin scored 29, 36, 39, 42, 75, and 81 points (minimum 25 games played). Perry has eight goals over the last six games (8-3=11).
With 1-2=3 points tonight, Teemu Selanne (628-699=1,327) has matched Pierre Turgeon for 30th in all-time points and Dino Ciccarelli for eighth in all-time power play goals (232). He has also surpassed Brendan Shanahan and Dave Andreychuk (698) for 49th in all-time assists. Selanne has 2-8=10 points in the last nine contests and his 1.06 points-per-game rank ninth in the NHL. He is on pace for a 78-point season, which would account for his highest point total since 2006-07 (94).
Ryan Getzlaf has scored 5-19=24 points in his last 17 contests, including four points tonight (1-3=4). It marked his fourth 4+ point game this season
With an assist tonight, Saku Koivu has 1-4=5 points in the last six games.
Tonight marked Bobby Ryan’s second career penalty shot attempt (unsuccessful vs. Henrik Karlsson). He scored a goal on his first PS attempt (Jimmy Howard) on Mar. 2, 2011 vs. Detroit to win the game for the Ducks in OT.
Tonight’s attendance was 15,177.
2:38 - ANAHEIM GOAL - COREY PERRY - DUCKS WIN IT!!! Getzlaf battles to win the draw, kicking it back to Lydman, who rifles a one-time that deflects off the leg of a leaping Perry and gets knocked down under Karlsson. Crowd goes absolutely bonkers as the Ducks in it in OT for the second straight night.
2:34 - This time Ryan is denied on the wrist shot by Karlsson's glove. WOW.
2:34 - It's deja vu all over again as Ryan gets tripped up from behind on the breakaway by Staios and is given the penalty shot.
1:13 - Karlsson changes out his helmet to an all-white one. That's got to be a good thing.
I am honestly sick to my stomach with nerves.
1:26 - Ellis makes a game-saving save on Iglina on the breakaway after he was hit with a great long Tanquay pass. Phew.
0:30 - Karlsson makes two big stops on Lubo.
0:00 - Here we go.
3rd Period 20:00 - END OF REGULATION - Ducks can't do anything with the draw with 5.0 left and we're going to OT for the second straight night.
18:59 - This is what a stomach in knots feels like.
17:59 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - TEEMU SELANNE - Just as Ellis had left the net to head to the bench, Getzlaf sends the puck into the slot, where it's tipped by Selanne and gets under Karlsson, thanks in part to a Perry screen. We're tied and this crowd goes nutso.
17:23 - Koivu wins his third straight draw of the PP, then fires off Karlsson.
17:58 - Selanne from the slot, saved by Karlsson, who's played well.
16:58 - Timeout with 3:02 left. Nervous time.
16:58 - CGY Penalty - Rene Borque, 2 min. interference. Borque gets tangled up with McMillan behind the net away from the puck. Now the Ducks REALLY need to capitalize.
14:39 - We finally get a stoppage, so they can review whether it went over the stripe, and they quickly rule it did not.
13:15 - Visnovsky shot rattles around behind Karlsson and gets swept right off the stripe by Sarich. Ducks thought they had a goal.
12:12 - CGY Penalty - Matt Stajan, 2 min. hooking. Stajan takes down Blake in the corner. Ducks need to capitalize.
11:25 - Ellis splays out to deny an Iginla feed to Jokinen on the doorstep. Or maybe it was the porch.
7:10 - CALGARY GOAL (POWER PLAY) - JAROME IGINLA - Iginla has no one challenge him as he skates around the left wing circle, so he fires a wrist shot from just above the dot that gets past Ellis. It's 4-3 Flames.
6:55 - Either Ellis or the post saves a point blank try by Jackman.
5:45 - ANA Penalty - Cam Fowler, 2 min. cross checking. Fowler hits Hagman after a pass.
4:20 - Ellis denies Kostoupolos on a partial breakaway. Would have been a hatty.
Scoring change on the last Flames goal, like it matters (see below).
0:00 - Here we go in what may be the most important third period of the season to date. Seatbelts fastened?
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Horrible period for the Ducks comes to an end, as their three-goal lead disappears. It's 3-3.
17:44 - CALGARY GOAL - TOM KOSTOUPOLOS - Glencross passes from out of the corner to Staios, who lets go of a slap shot that deflects off Kostoupolos and flies past Ellis' glove, as Borque practically had his stick inside it. Ducks, who once owned a 3-0 lead, are now tied.
14:50 - Visnovsky shot goes off Karlsson and into the crease, but chipped away at the last instant.
13:20 - Shot by Jokinen through a crowd gets by Ellis but goes off the far post.
12:08 - ANA Penalty - Jason Blake, 2 min. high sticking. As Blake banks it off the wall to himself while going past Kostoupolos, he clips him high.
11:37 - Ellis slides over the top a Hagman attempt, then dives to freeze it.
9:39 - Sarich loses an edge and falls right on his face after touching up the puck for icing. Crowd likes this.
8:04 - CALGARY GOAL - RENE BOURQUE - Beauchemin tries to clear the puck, but it ends up on Kostopoulos' stick, who sends it to Glencross in the corner. He makes a nice pass into the crease to Bourque, who gets in front of Sbisa to knock it through off his skate. Quick review to see if he kicked it in, but he did not. It's now 3-2 Ducks.
5:40 - Ruutu punches at a rebound that gets behind Karlsson but somehow stays out of the net as it bounces into the blue paint and gets swept away.
2:10 - Nice kick save by Ellis on a Babchuk point try.
0:00 - Off and running in the second.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - A late Calgary goal does little to spoil a hot start by the Ducks and it's 3-1.
19:49 - Ellis bails out Ryan after a bad turnover at the Calgary blue line by gloving a Tanguay shot in the partial breakaway.
18:52 - CALGARY GOAL - TOM KOSTOPOULOS - Ellis makes a big stop on Jackman from point blank, but can't keep it going as Kostopoulos one-times a Stajan feed from the circle past Ellis' glove. It's 3-1 Ducks.
18:18 - Ryan slings the puck from the back of his own circle and short-hops it into Karlsson's glove as the penalty gets close to expiring. Crowd likes it.
16:23 - ANA Penalty - Corey Perry, 2 min. boarding. Perry gets nailed for putting Backlund into the wall.
16:15 - Ryan drills Backlund in the corner, then takes payback from Giordano, but it's Giordano that falls to the ice while Ryan stays upright.
15:09 - Ellis skates over to the bench for an equipment adjustment after stopping the clock with a save. That's a new Ducks-style mask he's using.
Not only are the tennis balls in their usual spots, but one section to their left and sitting against the glass is a guy in a Where's Waldo getup. This just has the feel of a big game.
10:30 - Backlund has Ellis diving to get back into position on a wraparound, but thankfully Lubo knocks it away at the last instant.
The timeout promotion where the fans sing involves a dude in a heavy red beard singing Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody against a tween girl. Beard guy gets the larger applause (probably because he appeared to get into the beer early tonight) and he takes the seat upgrade.
5:49 - Kipper out, Henrik Karlsson in.
5:49 - ANAHEIM GOAL - FRANCOIS BEAUCHEMIN - With the Ducks skating with six because of a delayed penalty, Beauch catches a pass from out of the corner by Koivu and surveys the scene from the point before launches a lefty slap shot that gets past Kiprusoff's glove despite little traffic in front of him. It's 3-0 Ducks.
Those goals felt kind of good, didn't they?
3:36 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - COREY PERRY - Ducks do it again as Getzlaf sends the puck down to Selanne just outside the right post. His backhander is stopped initially by Kiprosoff, but it trickles behind him and it laying on the stripe as Perry lunges for it and punches it the rest of the way. Yet another goal by Perry (his 38th) and it's 2-0 Ducks. Perry hits his career high in points with 77. He's increased his total every year he's been in the league.
2:44 - CGY Penalty - Robyn Regehr, 2 min. hooking. A headman pass to Parros leads to Regehr hooking him from the side to take the puck away.
1:18 - ANAHEIM GOAL - RYAN GETZLAF - Ducks get the crowd on its feet early, as Perry sends the puck from behind the net to Getzlaf in the slot. He fumbles it at first, then gains control and unleashes a wrist shot over Kiprusoff's glove and just under the crossbar. It's 1-0 home team.
0:00 - And we're underway at Honda Center. Huge one for the Ducks.
5:07 p.m. - Another powerful job on both anthems by Dawn Wright and we're ready to go.
Dan Ellis gets the start after Emery got the win in LA last night. Starters in bold/italics.