The two points were necessary, but not sufficient, to tide the Ducks over until the end of the regular season.
The confidence they gained by winning in overtime for the second straight game might be.
“We want to use this as a confidence boost for us – and the Detroit game,” Teemu Selanne said after the latest OT thriller. “It was a good sign. Hopefully we can keep rolling. This is what we need now because everyone’s playing well.”
None were better Friday than Lubomir Visnovsky, who recorded the first hat trick by a defenseman in franchise history. He capped the trick (pun intended) with the game-winning goal on a booming slapshot past Kari Lehtonen with 3.6 seconds left in overtime. Visnovsky also had an assist on Selanne’s game-tying goal with 1:03 left in regulation.
Visnovsky’s 51 points rank third among all NHL defensemen and his 12 goals now rank fifth among league blueliners, but he had been slumping — just one goal in his last 18 games prior to Friday. And he knew it.
“Last month was not very well for me,” he said. “After the All-Star break, it was a couple tough games. I needed to wake up. This is the best wake-up for me.”
Visnovsky’s second career hat trick came against the same Dallas Stars team he torched for his first, back on Nov. 2, 2005 as a member of the Kings.
The rest of the game had its share of ups and downs for the Ducks. In short, the second period was down, and the other 45 minutes were up. Dan Ellis hung tough to make 23 saves, including a biggie on the breakaway against Trevor Daley with 1:29 left in overtime.
More in tomorrow’s editions. Here are a few notes that won’t make the paper:
The Ducks are ninth, and the Stars are eighth, in the latest incarnation of the Western Conference standings. Here’s guessing it will change again this weekend.
Jason Blake missed the game with a lacerated right hand, an injury that Randy Carlyle said took place in the final minutes of the Ducks’ overtime win Wednesday against Detroit. “He injured his hand through a … sharp edge on the knob of his stick. It ripped his glove then ripped him here (in the palm of his hand).”
Selanne’s game-tying goal gave him 400 as a Duck, extending his franchise record. Only Calgary’s Jarome Iginla (469) has more goals than Selanne with one team among active NHL players.
Getzlaf had three assists, giving him 15 points in 10 games since returning from injured reserve. He also had the faceoff win that led directly to Visnovsky’s game-winning goal.
Two of Visnovsky’s goals were helped by screens in front that likely prevented Lehtonen from making the save -Dan Sexton on the first goal and Corey Perry on the last.
Over his last eight appearances (four with Tampa Bay, four with the Ducks), Ellis has stopped 198-of-214 shots for a .925 save percentage, 1.95 goals-against average (16 GA/492 min.) and 5-0-2 record. He has won three straight appearances (1.91 GAA/.924 SV%) and with Anaheim overall, has gone 3-0-1 with a .918 SV% (101-of-110) and 2.13 GAA (9 GA/253 MIN).
Saku Koivu (groin) missed his fifth straight game, and both center Brandon McMillan and left wing Brad Winchester moved up to the second line to replace Koivu and Blake, respectively. In the third period, Winchester moved up to left wing with Getzlaf and Perry, and Bobby Ryan switched places with Winchester.
Winchester had the hit of the night in the third period, leveling Jamie Langenbrunner with a clean, shoulder-to-head hit that sent Langenbrunner flailing backwards and nearly set off a fight.
Sheldon Brookbank, Kyle Chipchura and George Parros formed the fourth line for the second straight game and turned in a quality effort, playing a total of nine shifts — including some early in the third period with the Ducks still trailing 3-1.