Ducks 7, Oilers 2.

Ryan Carter scored twice, five other players scored one goal – including the 606th of Teemu Selanne’s career – turning Fan Appreciation Night into a one-sided rout in the Ducks’ final game of the season.

Selanne stayed on the ice when the final horn sounded, then led a lap around the ice as the Ducks saluted the fans. Afterwards, he was asked on the ice about his future plans.

“I was always hoping that I wasn’t playing so well, and the decision (to retire) would be easier,” said Selanne, who scored on a second-period power play goal. “I just feel great still. There’s a lot of time to rest now. We have a great team here. Let’s see what happens.”

Selanne, 39, finished his 17th season with 27 goals in 54 games – a ratio of 0.5 goals per game that ranks eighth in the NHL. His 14 power-play goals tied for third in the league. In 1,186 career
Selanne ranks 17th in all-time goals (606), 56th in all-time assists (654)
35th in all-time points (1,260).

Continue reading “Ducks 7, Oilers 2.” »

Ducks 3, Dallas 1.

Nick Bonino scored his first NHL goal, and Curtis McElhinney made the most of an emergency start, stopping 30 shots for his second straight victory as a Duck.

After Bonino’s power-play goal – off an assist from Teemu Selanne at 8:11 of the second period – the Ducks padded their lead to 3-0 with a pair of quick-strike goals by Corey Perry and Kyle Chipchura. Loui Eriksson broke the shutout at 14:48 of the third period on a great pass from behind the net by Mike Richards. After that six-minute, 37-second span of the second period, the scoring in the game was complete.

McElhinney was called upon after scheduled starter Jonas Hiller came down with back spasms in the pregame skate. The 26-year-old McElhinney, who had never before won back-to-back games in his three-year career as a backup in Calgary, is now 2-0 with a 2.44 goals-against average as a Duck.

Selanne was honored prior to the game at center ice for scoring his 600th career goal. After receiving an engraved plate from Ducks owners Henry and Susan Samueli, he received a framed poster from Jari Kurri commemorating his first goal and his 600th.

More on Kurri, Selanne and Bonino to come.

Some more notes:

Corey Perry equaled his single-season high in points (72).
Selanne has points in six of his last eight games (two goals, nine points), including the last three straight.
Lubomir Visnovsky has three goals and seven points in his last eight games.
McElhinney has a .955 save percentage and 1.50 GAA in his last two starts (both wins)
Anaheim matched Dallas in the standings with 80 points, nine behind eighth-place Colorado with seven games to play.

Ducks 3, Edmonton 2.

The Ducks’ lineup looked different, and younger, in Edmonton than it has all season. In the end, a few familiar faces helped salvage a win at the end of a make-or-break road trip that has mostly served to break the Ducks’ playoff hopes.
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Hiller beginning to take ownership?

Jonas Hiller signed a four-year, $18 million contract extension on Saturday, smack-dab in the middle of a shutout streak that ended Wednesday night at 1:55:03. That’s the longest of his brief NHL career, and about two periods shy of Jean-Sebastien Giguere’s team record (2:37:07).

Is Hiller’s recent success directly tied to his new contract, and the expectations that come with it? Is it a result of being named the team’s undisputed, number-one goalie? Or is the team just playing better in front of him?

Maybe it’s all of the above.
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Ducks 3, Detroit 1.

The Ducks gained a critical two points in the standings against a tired Red Wings squad before 15,180 at Honda Center. Their 61 points in the standings matches 10th-place Dallas, and trails the three eighth-place teams (Detroit, Nashville and Calgary) by three.

Ryan Whitney, Kyle Chipchura and Bobby Ryan scored for Anaheim and Jonas Hiller made some spectacular saves among his 46.

Whitney deflected a point shot off a skate to score the game’s first goal, and Steve Eminger shot the puck off Chipchura’s hand to give the Ducks a 2-0 lead after one period.

Bobby Ryan scored cleanly to make it 3-0 before Pavel Datsyuk capped the scoring with a breakaway power-play goal late in the second period.

Anaheim improved to 11-4-0 in its last 15 games, and its nine-game winning streak at home is one shy of tying a team record (Feb-March 2008).

More to follow …

San Jose 3, Ducks 1.

The Ducks played the San Jose Sharks as tough as anyone has recently — and still lost to kick off their six-game road trip at HP Pavilion. Matt Beleskey scored the Ducks’ lone goal, and Jonas Hiller stopped 22 of 24 in the loss.

With the game still scoreless entering the second period, a longMarc-Eduoard Vlasicslapshot created by a faceoff win, and a deflection in the slot by a fast-breaking Rob Blake, gave the Sharks a 2-0 lead.

Beleskey notched his fifth goal of the season at 1:15 of the third period to bring the Ducks within 2-1, taking a slick backhand pass from Kyle Chipchura and blasting a shot past Evgeni Nabokov in the slot. All of Beleskey’s goals have come in the month of January, and his five goals this month lead NHL rookies.

But the Ducks could not convert a pair of late power plays, including a tripping penalty that put Joe Thornton in the box for two minutes with 3:10 left in the game. Hiller was pulled for an extra attacker late in the 5-on-4, giving the Ducks six men on the ice for nearly 90 seconds to end the game.

Though they were able to create shots, none fooled Nabokov, and longtime Duck killer Patrick Marleau sealed the Sharks’ win by scoring into an empty net with 5.5 seconds left.

More details in tomorrow’s editions.

Minutes from Tuesday’s meeting.

On a night when Ryan Getzlaf missed his first game of the season — along with injured forwards Teemu Selanne and Joffrey Lupul — Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle had his work cut out for him Tuesday against the Minnesota Wild. Divvying up the time on ice was a challenge, but the end result was a 4-2 victory.

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Sharks 5, Ducks 2.

The gap between first and last in the Pacific Division isn’t getting any smaller, literally or figuratively.

The Ducks are now a full 16 points behind the first-place San Jose Sharks after losing 5-2 on Saturday, their second loss in San Jose in the last nine days. Unlike in their 4-1 loss at HP Pavilion on Dec. 17, in which they kept it close early then fell behind late, the Ducks were outworked early and often, falling behind 5-0 with six minutes still to play in the middle period.

Goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere stuck this one out after getting hit hard, allowing goals to Patrick Marleau (twice), Dany Heatley, Ryane Clowe and Jamie McGinn. Kyle Chipchura and Bobby Ryan scored in the second and third periods, respectively, to turn a blowout into a mere downer.

Chipchura scored his second goal of the season, and second as a Duck, by checking former Duck Kent Huskins to the ice, stealing the puck, and skating in unobstructed with 1:04 left in the second period.

Ryan had to work a little harder for his 17th goal of the season, crashing the net for the rebound of a Corey Perry shot, then whacking it in between the legs of Evgeni Nabokov (32 saves) at 4:39 of the third period.

Ryan Getzlaf left the game in the second period after sustaining a cut on his leg in traffic, but color analyst Brian Hayward said after the game that the injury isn’t serious.

Duck killer Joe Thornton had three assists and Sharks captain Rob Blake added two. George Parros, Chipchura, and Matt Beleskey all dropped the gloves for the Ducks, fighting Frazer McLaren, Scott Nichol and Jed Ortmeyer, respectively.

The Ducks (15-16-7) return home to face the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night at Honda Center.

Suddenly, Ducks looking like a fastbreak team.

It could have been a product of the Phoenix Coyotes’ defense. It could have been a product of the Ducks’ team speed. It could have been an aberration, or it could be a turning point.

Whatever the case, the Ducks had not scored four goals in regulation for more than a month — and only six times all season –before Saturday’s 4-2 victory over Phoenix. Two came on the power play which, considering the Ducks were up a man for more than 11 minutes, is to be expected.

The other two came not from the dump-and-grind style that became the Ducks’ trademark under Randy Carlyle, one that had other teams bulking up to push and prod their way to the net after the Ducks won the Stanley Cup in 2007. Both were breakaway plays, dependent upon up-and-down speed by Kyle Chipchura and Matt Brown as much as their persistence.

Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov did well to turn away many more breakout scoring chances by the Ducks, who scarcely held the territorial advantage.They were outshot 30-15 through two periods before several third-period penalties to Phoenix allowed Anaheim to settle into the offensive zone.
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