ANAHEIM – Just when everybody was talking about the play of Corey Perry, Teemu Selanne made sure they didn’t forget about him.
Selanne, listed at 40 years old but looking anything but, notched his 22nd career hat trick and his ninth career five-point night to lead the Ducks to an uneven 5-4 victory over the Colorado Avalanche.
Selanne scored twice in the second period help to pull the Ducks out of an early hole, and he added some insurance that became vital when Anaheim allowed a late Colorado goal and had to hold on for the one-goal decision. The win over the 14th-place Avs kept the Ducks in seventh place in the Western Conference with 91 points, one point out of fifth for the time being.
"I’ve been feeling great all year," said Selanne, who had fans chanting "one more year" during his postgame TV interview that was simulcast on the Honda Center video board. "It has been fun and that is the only reason why I am still around. Tonight, we had a terrible first period. We had a tough road trip and maybe that is why we were sluggish. We came back and found a way to win the game."
Selanne scored on a penalty shot, at even strength and on the power play, the latter goal coming with 4:49 left and the Ducks clinging to a 4-3 lead. A Ryan Getzlaf one-timer from the point rebounded to Selanne, who hesitated a half-second to move the puck to his backhand and lift it over goalie Brian Elliott’s stick. The hats came raining down from the stands as Selanne was mobbed by his teammates.
Paul Stastny’s rebound goal with 41.1 seconds left and the Colorado net empty cut the lead to 5-4 and put Anaheim’s celebration on hold. But the Ducks were able to hang on down the final stretch and earn their sixth win in the last seven. Goalie Ray Emery earned his fifth straight victory with 31 saves.
The Avs dropped their 14th road game in the last 16 as the Ducks polished off a four-game series sweep.
Selanne actually set up the goal that gave Anaheim the lead early in the third period, also on the power play. The veteran winger tried to thread a shot through a crowd, but the puck kicked off Avs defenseman Ryan O'Byrne to Cam Fowler, who banged it into the open right half of the net. It was the ninth goal of the season for Fowler, establishing a new club rookie record for defensemen.
"It was as a fortunate bounce there," Fowler said. "Those are the ones where your eyes light up and you see a lot of the net. I was lucky enough to put it home. It felt good. It was a crucial point in the game, so I was happy to get the opportunity."
The Ducks were able to overcome a sluggish opening 10 minutes that found them down 2-0 on goals by Ryan O’Reilly (power play) and Matt Duchene.
But Anaheim came roaring back in the second, starting just 47 seconds into it on Selanne's penalty shot, which was awarded when Avs defenseman John-Michael Liles covered a loose puck in the crease with his glove. Selanne picked up the puck at center ice, skated in on Elliott and calmly faked a shot before flipping it over the netminder's glove.
A few minutes later, Jason Blake got a lucky bounce goal, emerging from behind the net to send the puck in front, where it kicked off the back of Erik Johnson’s skate and skittered over the stripe.
Selanne got his second around the halfway point of the period, sending a shot from the high slot that rebounded to Johnson, who tried to clear it with the backhand. But the puck ended up on Selanne’s stick and he whipped it top shelf.
"If we come out with a little better start in our home building there, we don’t have to claw our way back," Fowler said. "It is tough when a team doesn’t really have as much to play for as you do. They can play some loose hockey and look more on the offensive side of the puck."
Colorado stopped the bleeding with 4:30 left in the session, as David Jones got behind Luca Sbisa on a give-and-go with Daniel Winnik and beat Emery from in close. But the Ducks' controlled play in the third to surge ahead, thanks in great part to Selanne.
"He’s a special athlete doing special things at a really remarkable age," said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle. "He doesn’t feel anywhere near the twilight of his career. He thinks he can continue to go out and score goals. He proves it night in and night out. The puck follows Teemu Selanne around. When he gets it, he has a knack for finding holes. He is scoring big goals for our hockey club at a critical time of the year."
The Ducks hit the road for games at Calgary on Wednesday and at San Jose on Saturday.
The Ducks have won six of their last seven games (6-1-0) and eight of 10 (8-2-0). The club currently ranks seventh in the Western Conference with six games remaining on its regular season schedule (three at home, three on the road). The Ducks have eclipsed the 90-point mark for the sixth time in franchise history (also 2002-03, 2005-06, 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2008-09).
Anaheim has won three straight games at HOME (3-0-0) and has gone 7-2-0 in its last nine at Honda Center.
The Ducks completed the season sweep of Colorado tonight (4-0-0) and have a six-game winning streak against the club dating back to Mar. 21, 2010. Overall, Anaheim is 14-2-0 against the Avalanche since the start of the 2007-08 season and have earned standings points in 17 of the last 20 (15-3-2) dating back to Nov. 22, 2006. At HOME, Anaheim is 12-2-2 vs. Colorado since start of the 2002-03 season.
Tonight marked Teemu Selanne's 22nd career hat trick and 13th in a Ducks uniform (last: Oct. 29, 2008 vs. DET). It was the 33rd hat trick in Ducks history. He has matched his career high (ninth time, last: Feb. 24, 2008 vs. CHI, 3-2=5) and tied the club record for points in a game (15th time, last Perry: Dec. 12 vs. MIN) with 3-2=5 points tonight.
Selanne scored his second career penalty shot goal tonight. He is now 2-for-6 all-time with his other PS goal taking place on his first career PS attempt: Mar. 9, 1993 with Winnipeg at Tampa Bay (Wendell Young). Prior to tonight, his last PS attempt took place on Mar. 18, 2007 vs. Los Angeles (Garon-no goal). He had been 0-for-3 in PS with the Ducks.
Selanne’s 75 points this season are the third-most in NHL history among players age 40+:
Player Team Year Points Age Gordie Howe Detroit 1968-69 103 40 years, 276 days
Johnny Bucyk Boston 1975-76 83 40 years, 234 days Teemu Selanne Anaheim 2010-11 75 40 years, 181 days Note: Age is determined based on Jan. 1 of given season
Selanne is now averaging 1.12 points-per-game, ranking seventh in the NHL. His 75 points on the season rank tied for eighth and his 15 power play goals rank third. Selanne has points in four of the last five games (7-4=11) and 7-8=15 in 10.
With 1-1=2 points tonight, Cam Fowler has established new club rookie records in both goals, assists and points (9-27=36). Among rookie defensemen, he now leads the NHL in points and is tied for first in assists. He also ranks second in goals among rookie blueliners. Fowler has earned 1-5=6 points in his last eight contests.
Lubomir Visnovsky continues to lead the NHL in defensemen scoring (15-48=63) with two assists tonight. Visnovsky has points in four of the last five games (1-5=6) and in eight of the last 10 (3-9=12).
Tonight’s attendance was 14,336.
20:00 - END OF GAME - Ducks hold on for 5-4 victory. Selanne a hat trick and five points.
19:55 - Ducks pin it in the corner with the clock winding down and finally clear it as it heads to triple-zero.
19:35 - Puck bounces to Getzlaf for the partial breakaway and he fires too high.
19:18 - Timeout Colorado.
19:18 - COLORADO GOAL - PAUL STASTNY - Colorado puts a hold on the celebration, as Hejduk's shot from the slot is kicked away by Emery and Stastny is there to punch in the rebound with 41.1 left. It's a one-goal game.
18:45 - Perry tries to slap it from the wall into the open net, and it goes wide. A little anticipation from the crowd.
18:00 - Avs empty the net.
Just got a text from a buddy: "I love hockey" it said.
15:11 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - TEEMU SELANNE - It's a hatty for the Flash! Getzlaf's shot on the power play rebounds to Selanne at the bottom of the left wing circle, but instead of shooting right away, he pulls it to the backhand and lifts it over Elliott's stick. Sick goal, his third of the game, as the ballcaps come raining down from the It's the 22nd career hat trick for Selanne and it's 5-3 Ducks.
15:00 - COL Penalty - 2 min. too many men on the ice. Selanne gets on the rush down the wing but the whistle for too many men blows the play dead, even though Colorado never touched the puck. Ducks not happy at all.
13:52 - Big big kill for Anaheim.
No Screamer here tonight. Conspicuous in his absence.
11:52 - ANA Penalty - Toni Lydman, 2 min. hooking. Lydman gets the penalty during a scramble around the Anaheim cage.
10:19 - Scary time as the puck is rattling around the Anaheim crease with Emery down, but he freezes it.
9:30 - Parros chases his own dumped puck and takes off Liles' helmet in the process. Liles slashes him, but no call.
8:55 - And as I say that, a McClement shot beats him, but he's saved by the crossbar.
8:44 - Emery having another solid night, despite the three Avs goals.
2:49 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - CAM FOWLER - Selanne, looking for his third goal, instead sets one up. He tries to thread a shot through a crowd, but hit deflects off a Colorado defender to a sneaking-down Fowler, who bangs it into the open right half of the net. It's 4-3 Ducks on Fowler's ninth of the year, a new rookie record for Ducks defensemen.
1:25 - COL Penalty - Cameron Gaunce, 2 min. tripping. Gaunce trips up Selanne sprinting down right wing. On the delay, with Emery scrambling to the bench, he actually plays the puck near the blue line. There's something you don't see every day.
0:00 - Here we go in the third. Pretty big one for Anaheim.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Ducks score three unanswered to go ahead, but give one back and it's 3-3. Ducks with 35 shots to 23 for Colorado.
15:30 - COLORADO GOAL - DAVID JONES - Jones plays give-and-go with Winnik and Sbisa loses Jones on the "go" part, as he gets behind the defense and flips it past Emery. We're tied 3-3.
14:29 - Puck goes flying off a deflection into the crowd. Fan gets hit but he's okay. Real tragedy is he spilled his beer.
13:00 - Getzlaf back out there.
12:57 - Jones comes out of the pack with a bouncing puck at his feet, and
Emery does a nice job to stop him from in close.
12:10 - Getzlaf back in the bench area, but not sitting.
10:30 - Getzlaf gets drilled in the leg by an O'Byrne slap shot, but heads off on his own power. He stays on the bench for a bit, then limps off to the room.
9:01 - ANAHEIM GOAL - TEEMU SELANNE - Selanne hesitates, then charges off the wall into the high slot for a try on net. It rebounds to Johnson, who clears it backhand right onto Selanne's stick, and he sends it top shelf. Second goal of the game for 8 and it's 3-2 Ducks.
9:00 - Ducks with 29 shots already.
8:05 - Ryan's got a hat trick's worth of misses chances tonight.
6:50 - Sbisa gets robbed trying to punch in a bouncing puck in the low slot. May have hit Hunwick standing in front of his goalie.
5:05 - COL Penalty - Paul Stastny, 2 min. hooking. Stastny got into Perry on that rush.
5:04 - Perry takes the puck away and taps it to himself for the mini breakaway, but he O'Byrne deflects the puck into the netting.
4:06 - ANAHEIM GOAL - JASON BLAKE - Selanne lets the puck go behind him to Blake in back of the net. He cuts in front and sends the puck into the crease, where it kicks off the heel of Johnson's skate and skitters over the stripe. Lucky one for the Ducks and we're tied.
0:47 - ANAHEIM GOAL (PENALTY SHOT) - TEEMU SELANNE - Selanne skates in calm as can be, faking a shot from between the circles and flipping it over Elliott's glove. It's 2-1 Avs.
0:47 - A scramble in front of the net leads to Liles covering it with his hand in the crease, resulting in a penalty shot.
0:00 - Off and running in the second.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Rough start for the Ducks, who give up two to Colorado and miss out on a couple of big chances.
16:50 - Ryan is robbed on a one-timer from the low slot off a Perry feed. Seconds earlier, he was denied on a partial breakaway down the left wing.
16:28 - Colorado thinks it scored as the puck goes down Emery's back, but replay review shows it hit the underside of the crossbar and landed on the happy side of the stripe. Happy for the Ducks, that is. Still, kind of nervewracking because they looked at it for awhile.
16:00 - ANA Penalties - George Parros and Jarkko Ruutu and COL Penalties - David Koci and Cody McLeod, 2 min. each roughing. A bit of scrapping in front of the net after Elliott freezes the puck, including some pushing and shoving between Ruutu and Koci and Parros and McLeod. If anything, Parros looks amused by the challenge. Ruutu doing some barking with Koci from the box.
14:10 - O'Byrne shot through traffic loudly rings the post. Emery never had it.
13:15 - Perry tries to sneak in front and send it under Elliott, who didn't see it but still stopped it.
10:01 - COL Penalty - Matt Duchene, 2 min. hooking. Duchene hooks in the offensive zone.
5:17 - COLORADO GOAL - MATT DUCHENE - It feels like a two-goal swing as seconds after the missed opportunity, Colorado gets on the move. Hejduk's shot from the right wing rebounds off Emery right Duchene, who puts it away. It's 2-0 Avs.
4:45 - Ducks get on a 2-on-1 with Perry and Ryan. Perry passes up the shot to read Ryan, who goes wide on the one-timer. Missed chance for Anaheim.
4:09 - Parros flattens Holos with a hit near the wall and Koci wants retribution. Each of the heavyweights lands a couple of shots in a fierce bout, until then spin each other to the canvas.
3:34 - COLORADO GOAL (POWER PLAY) - RYAN O'REILLY - Both Anaheim defensemen go toward Hejduk in the left wing circle, leaving O'Reilly unchecked. He's wide open to take in Hejduk's pass across the slot and send it into the open right side. It's 1-0 Avs.
2:03 - ANA Penalty - Brad Winchester, 2 min. elbowing. Tough call as Winchester kind of makes contact up high on Porter.
Chicago just beat Detroit in overtime, so Ducks fall out of seventh for the time being.
0:40 - Little cheer from the crowd as soon as Perry gets it on the wing. They just think something is gonna happen these days.
0:00 - And we're underway at Honda Center.
7:07 p.m. - Fantastic job on the anthem by redheaded Wicked castmember ... shoot, I forgot her name and it's not on the game sheet. Something McKinnell. Emery with his routine of ducking under the crossbar on "freeeee...." Starters in bold/italics.