Teemu Selanne can’t remember being part of a team that pulled out as many late wins as this group of Ducks. And if it hasn’t happened to the 40-year-old right wing, then it probably hasn’t happened here before.
The Ducks’ 5-4 overtime win over the Calgary Flames was their second OT win in as many days and their fourth this month. Most importantly, it allowed the Ducks to reach eighth place in the Western Conference and dropped the Flames to 10th.
One night after Corey Perry scored off a clean snipe in overtime to beat the Kings, it was Perry again who got credit for deflecting Toni Lymdan’s slapshot at 2:38 of overtime to beat Calgary. Perry became the first player in franchise history to score overtime goals in consecutive games, and gave Anaheim overtime wins in back-to-back games for just the third time ever. Two have come in the last month.
What does it all mean?
“It just says that we have fight left in us at the end of the game, and we don’t just roll over,” Perry said. “There’s always a chance for us.”
The Ducks squandered an early 3-0 lead when Jarome Iginla’s power-play goal at 7:10 of the third period put Calgary ahead 4-3. But Selanne’s re-direction of a Ryan Getzlaf shot tied the game at 4 with 2:01 left in the third period.
“I’d like to see that we don’t put ourselves in that situation that many times,” Selanne said, “but it doesn’t really matter how you win the games, you need those two points. … Every point is so critical right now. It’s unbelievable how tight it is.”
And therein lies the value of the Ducks’ ability to bounce back. On Sunday the Predators needed overtime to beat Buffalo, while the Blackhawks got a goal in the final seven minutes to beat the Coyotes. On Saturday, seven of the 10 games were either decided by one goal, or two including empty-netters.
So unless your opponent is already looking to next year, it’s unreasonable to expect to win big in the NHL — or simply to believe that a 3-0 lead gained six minutes into a game will stand. Calmness under pressure is a virtue.
The Ducks remained calm even after Bobby Ryan couldn’t convert a penalty-shot attempt 2:34 into the overtime period, when he was tripped en route to the net by Calgary defenseman Steve Staios. It was Ryan’s second overtime penalty-shot attempt this month; he converted the first to beat Jimmy Howard and the Detroit Red Wings on March 2.
“Penalty shots are funny. Everybody thinks it’s either make or break, but it’s only one play in the game,” Getzlaf said. “It’s definitely an emotional play, but it’s one of those situations where we knew what we had to do.”
Getzlaf took the ensuing faceoff draw and won it by kicking the puck (literally, with his skate) out to Lydman for the game-winning slapshot.
Some more notes/observations:
Selanne climbed the charts in a couple major categories. He matched Pierre Turgeon for 30th in all-time points (1,327) and Dino Ciccarelli for eighth in all-time power-play goals (232). He also took sole possession of 49th on the all-time assists chart (699), passing Brendan Shanahan and Dave Andreychuk. This season, he’s tied with Dallas’ Brad Richards for 12th in points (67).
The Flames have not won in Anaheim since April 4, 2004 — a span of 13 straight games.
Perry’s 79 points this season are a new career high. He’s increased his point total in each of his first six NHL seasons, joining Henrik Sedin as the only NHL players since 2000-01 to accomplish that feat.
Dan Ellis made a couple critical saves on the breakaway and overall played better than his 3.81 goals-against average indicated. He might still be the “1b” to Ray Emery’s “1a” at the moment (to use Randy Carlyle’s preferred nomenclature), but he made the coach’s decision of who should start Wednesday in Dallas slightly tougher.
The Ducks went 38-41 in the faceoff circle overall, but were 19-14 on draws over the final period and overtime.
After being made a healthy scratch the last four games, Sheldon Brookbank played 13:48, all as a defenseman.