ANAHEIM – What could have been a goaltending disaster has instead turned into a nice little win streak for the Anaheim Ducks.
The Ducks, who have used two goalies in their last two games that weren’t on the roster a week ago, got a hat trick from Saku Koivu in rolling to a 5-2 victory over the Dallas Stars. The three-goal game was the second straight for Anaheim (as Corey Perry had one in a Sunday win over Columbus) and marked Anaheim’s first three-game winning streak since mid-October. It also marked the first time the Ducks have had hat tricks in consecutive games in franchise history.
Koivu scored the eventual game-winner midway through the third period, and added a late empty-netter for his second career hat trick (the last coming Nov. 18, 2002 when he was with Montreal).
"In my career, it hasn’t happened too often to get three in one game and get a hat trick," Koivu said. "So, I’ll take that."
Jeff Deslauriers, called up this morning from Syracuse to make up for injuries to Jonas Hiller and Dan Ellis, had 26 saves in earning the victory. It was his first NHL appearance since April 11, 2010, when he was with Edmonton and made 38 stops in a loss, ironically against the Ducks at Honda Center.
Two nights ago, rookie Iiro Tarkki replaced Hiller late in the first period and earned his first NHL win, a 7-4 rout of Columbus.
"He made the good saves, especially at the beginning of the first period," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said of Deslauriers. "I was a little nervous that he’d be a little nervous. He made a couple of saves early and that got him in the game."
Deslauriers helped Anaheim carry a 2-0 lead into the third, but Dallas quickly tied it with goals in the period’s first three minutes. Steve Ott rocketed a slap shot from the top of the left wing circle past Deslauriers, and just over a minute later Alex Goligoski wristed a shot over his glove.
"I was a little worried in the third period when the first one went by him," Boudreau said. "I was wondering how he was going to react. But he held his composure like the team held their composure and we ended up scoring three and winning."
Koivu gave the Ducks the lead back with 10:28 remaining in the game, as Teemu Selanne raced down the left wing and dropped the puck to Koivu, who backhanded it between the pads of goalie Kari Lehtonen.
"It was a character win," Selanne said. "We were up 2-0 and they came back, but today we felt like we were a good team. Nothing really bothered us. We knew that we were going to bounce back and find a way to win the game. That is what we’ve been waiting a long time for."
Matt Beleskey added insurance with 5:20 left, as an Andrew Cogliano shot from the rush kicked hard off Lehtonen to Beleskey, who punched it in out of midair for his first goal of the season.
Dallas emptied the net down two with a minute and a half left, and Anaheim made them pay, as Selanne again left the puck at center ice for Koivu, who poured it in from just behind the blue line.
"There’s no way I would take [that] shot myself," said Selanne, who assisted on two of Koivu's goals. "I knew Saku was going to have a chance to score a hat trick. So happy for him. You don’t see that very often. Usually, he’s the passer. It was good to see him get the hat trick. He has played really well lately."
Koivu gave the Ducks their first lead just 1:30 into the game, as Toni Lydman intercepted a Stephane Robidas clearing attempt and slapped the puck into the slot, where Koivu redirected it through.
It was the third time in the last four games the Ducks scored in the game’s first three minutes.
But Anaheim didn’t strike again until halfway through the second, when Luca Sbisa surprised nearly everyone in the building by jumping on the puck near the left wing wall and slinging it over the shoulder of a nearly frozen Lehtonen.
The victory nicely wrapped up a six-game homestand for the Ducks, who hit the road for three games in Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver.
"The first half (of the season) didn’t go the way we expected or wanted," Koivu said. "There is nothing we can do with the past. There have been a lot of positive things in the last little while, even though we haven’t won all the games in the last three weeks. We’re scoring goals now and not allowing a lot of goals against. These are the things you try to improve. Now, you take it to the road."
"I don't see any reason why we can't stay hot and make a run," Selanne said. "Anything is possible."
The Ducks have scored four-or-more goals in each of the last three games (16 goals in that span).
Corey Perry’s hat trick on Sunday evening vs. Columbus combined with Saku Koivu’s hat trick tonight mark the first time in franchise history that hat tricks have been scored in consecutive games.
Saku Koivu scored his second career hat trick tonight (also Nov. 18, 2002 w/MTL vs. PIT). It was the 36th hat trick in Ducks history and Koivu became the 12th different player to score a hat trick in a Ducks uniform. It was Koivu’s first multi-goal game since Feb. 11, 2011 at Calgary (2-1=3). He is riding a three-game point streak (4-3=7) and has earned 4-5=9 points in his five games since returning from injury (missed eight games with a groin strain).
Tonight, Teemu Selanne became the 52nd player all-time to appear in his 1,300th NHL game. He is also the ninth European-born player, second Finnish-born player (Teppo Numminen), 36th forward and ninth right wing to reach the milestone. He is the fourth active player to reach 1,300 games, following Detroit’s Lidstrom (1,536), Washington’s Hamrlik (1,347) and Philadelphia’s Jagr (1,308). With two assists tonight (0-2=2), Selanne has scored 651-730=1,381 career points. He is riding a three-game point streak (3-2=5) and leads the team with 14-27=41 points this season, averaging exactly one point-per-game. He has also scored 6-13=19 points over the last 18 games, 7-15=22 over the last 21 and 9-17=26 points in the last 25.
In his Anaheim Ducks debut, Jeff Deslauriers stopped 26-of-28 shots for his 21st career NHL win and first since Apr. 7, 2010 with Edmonton vs. Colorado (5-4 OT win).
With an assist tonight, Niklas Hagman has a three-game assist streak (0-3=3).
Matt Beleskey scored his first goal of the season and first since Jan. 15, 2011 at Phoenix.
Andrew Cogliano has scored 1-2=3 points over the last four games (assist tonight).
20:00 - END OF GAME - The Ducks roll to a 5-2 victory.
19:06 - ANAHEIM GOAL (EMPTY NET) - SAKU KOIVU - Selanne picks the puck up at the red line and knows exactly where Koivu is, as he drops it to his linemate and fellow Finn, and Koivu pours it into the empty net from just behind the blue line for the hat trick. This game is oooooooverrrrrr.
18:30 - Dallas empties the net.
16:00 - A dump-in ends up trickling in front of Lehtonen and Hagman nearly punches it in.
15:45 - Perry nearly makes it 5-2 with a wrist shot off Lehtonen's shoulder.
14:40 - ANAHEIM GOAL - MATT BELESKEY - Cogliano races down right wing and fires a shot that kicks hard off Lehtonen toward Beleskey, who punches it out of mid-air for the goal. It's his first of the year and it's a big one. It's 4-2 Ducks.
13:15 - Visnovsky is trying to back up with the puck and nearly puts it into his own net.
12:09 - Perry bulls his way to the front of the net and tries to jam in through. Benn gives him a shot in the back and he bowls over Lehtonen.
10:15 - Hagman nicely weaves his way toward the net, but backhands off the mark. Looked nice though.
9:32 - ANAHEIM GOAL - SAKU KOIVU - Selanne leaves a trail of flames behind him as he flies down left wing, then drops to Koivu, who cuts to the backhand and slips it under Lehtonen. Second of the game for him (he almost had his second in the second period) and it's 3-2 Ducks.
8:19 - Getzlaf moves into the Dallas end and fires between two defenseman, but Lehtonen makes a nice save.
8:10 - Sbisa's shot from the point is tipped just wide.
2:43 - DALLAS GOAL - ALEX GOLIGOSKI - Just like that it's tied, as Goligoski takes a pass from Ott in the right wing circle and wrists a shot over Deslaurier's glove.
1:39 - DALLAS GOAL - STEVE OTT - Not long after the Ducks power play runs out without a threat, Ott takes a pass from Ryder at the top of the left wing circle and rifles a slap shot past Deslauriers. We've got ourselves a hockey game at 2-1 Anaheim.
0:00 - Ducks on the power play for the first 1:16 of the third.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Ducks can't convert on the 5-on-3, but they'll have 1:16 in the third to add to their 2-0 lead.
19:15 - DAL Penalty - Adam Pardy, 2 min. hooking. Fowler with a nice feed to Selanne, who cuts in on Lehtonen and is denied, but he draws the hook. Ducks with a two-man advantage.
18:55 - Sbisa catches up with Eriksson on a partial breakaway, and Eriksson spins and fires into Deslauriers.
17:51 - DAL Penalty - Sheldon Souray, 2 min. slashing. Souray chops Perry's stick in half. After the whistle, Ott trying to start something up with Sbisa, but it's not happening.
17:10 - ANA Penalty - Francois Beauchemin, 2 min. tripping. Beauchemin slams into Eriksson's thigh near the wall and takes him down. Beauchemin not in love with that call.
16:50 - Bonino flips a shot from the top of the circle into Lehtonen. He's active tonight, Bonino that is.
15:05 - Perry tries to spin on Robidas and gets taken down, almost kicking the puck in as he slides (big surprise) into the net. Crowd definitely wanted a penalty.
9:22 - ANAHEIM GOAL - LUCA SBISA - Sbisa surprises the whole building, most importantly Lehtonen, when he runs down the puck outside the left wing circle and immediately flings it on net. It flies past an almost-frozen Lehtonen for the goal. It's 2-0 Ducks.
8:40 - Koivu looks to have a certain goal off a Selanne feed right in front, and even looked ready to raise his arms as Lehtonen made a huge move to deflect it away.
5:08 - One shot on the power play for Dallas, by Benn. He also had one off the outside of the post.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Solid one for the Ducks, who get an early goal from Koivu and Deslauriers saves all 12.
19:40 - Tough guy Ott appears to be hurt as he goes to the Ducks bench. Happened when he got tangled with Pelley in the corner behind the Anaheim net.
18:55 - Lydman with a hard hip check in pretty much the same spot Sbisa did it earlier.
16:03 - Bonino with the wraparound try and Hagman with the rebound try, both stopped.
14:44 - Ducks don't get much going on that power play.
12:44 - DAL Penalty - Jake Dowell, 2 min. hooking Dowell wraps the stick around Lydman in the corner.
By the way, our goalie's name is actually Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers, but he shortened it for some reason. I'll have to research that.
10:54 - Ryan looks like he might dipsy-doodle in open ice against Robidas, but instead whips a wrist shot into Lehtonen's glove.
10:20 - Deslauriers slightly out of position, but recovers with a kick save on Nystrom.
8:25 - Grossman with a shot off traffic off the top half of the crossbar. That's two posts and seven saves for Deslauriers.
8:04 - Nice hip check into the wall by Sbisa on Pardy.
7:20 - Ryder gets in deep and backhands off Deslauriers, then fires the rebound off him too.
6:15 - Deslauriers with another glove save on a point shot.
5:50 - The Finnish Line of Selanne, Koivu and Hagman in there.
Pete Peeters has left his normal spot next to me in the press box to sit next to Randy Carlyle (up here for the second straight game). Thanks, Pete.
4:10 - Benn with a one-timer from the high slot that rings the crossbar. That's the second big scoring chance in which he has missed the target.
2:27 - Deslauriers with a nice glove save on a slap shot by Daley, and the Superman theme plays in the arena. Okay.
2:58 - ANA Penalty - Sheldon Brookbank, 2 min. delay of game. Brookbank provides a souvenir.
2:00 - Deslauriers with two fairly easy saves early.
1:30 - ANAHEIM GOAL - SAKU KOIVU - Ducks get up early off a Robidas turnover, as Lydman tags a slap shot from the left point that Koivu redirects with his back to the net past Lehtonen on the glove side.
0:00 - And we're underway at Honda Center.
Pregame 7:07 p.m. - Dawn Wright belts out the anthem as Deslauriers takes the unorthodox approach of standing on the blue line with the rest of the Ducks, instead of in front of his own net.
Deslauriers in net for the Ducks after being called up last night. Kari Lehtonen in there for the Stars after recovering from the flu. Going to be using a lot of copy and paste or the initials JD instead of typing Deslauriers tonight.
1 - 0 ANA
2 - 0 ANA
2 - 1 ANA
2 - 2 Tie
3 - 2 ANA
4 - 2 ANA
5 - 2 ANA
Delaying Game-Puck over glass