Ducks Rally To Beat Avalanche 4-3 In OT
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) – The Anaheim Ducks’ penchant for come-from-behind wins is putting quite a strain on the patience and nerves of coach Bruce Boudreau.
Ryan Getzlaf scored the tying goal in the third period and set up Corey Perry‘s second of the game at 4:14 of overtime as the Ducks beat the Colorado Avalanche 4-3 on Sunday night for their sixth straight victory and 10th in 11 games.
“Our first period wasn’t great. We got behind the 8-ball again and Jonas (Hiller) made some big saves for us,” Perry said. “We knew it wasn’t going to be easy. And to come back again, to find a way to win, to find the will, it’s a great feeling.”
The Ducks (13-2-1) have the NHL’s second-best record behind the Chicago Blackhawks. Teemu Selanne scored his 668th career goal, tying Luc Robitaille for 11th place on the NHL list. It also was his 250th power-play goal, breaking a tie with Phil Esposito for third place.
Defenseman Francois Beauchemin had a career-high four assists, helping Anaheim improve to 8-2-1 after allowing the first goal. Eight of the Ducks’ wins have been one-goal victories, including every game in this streak.
Boudreau dressed down his players during the first intermission, and they turned it on in the second. The Ducks tied it before Mitchell put Colorado back in front. Getzlaf pulled the Ducks even again during a power play.
“That’s not really the game plan, and it was not planned to make Bruce lose his voice after the first period,” Selanne said. “But it was another poor start. Obviously, we can make all kind of excuses that we had (five) days that we didn’t play. But the bottom line is we have to make sure everybody’s ready, and we haven’t been ready.
“A good sign is that we have been finding a way to win the games and come from behind that makes this team really strong. It’s a good feeling when you have that confidence, but we can make these games a little easier by having better starts and playing 60 minutes.”
The Ducks began a stretch of five games in seven days. They will play Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles on Monday. Anaheim won the first meeting between the clubs this season, 7-4 on Feb. 2.
“To me, that’s the ultimate test,” Boudreau said. “They’re playing like they did in the playoffs last year. I watch every one of their games, and they’re just flat-out good.
“They’re as good a test as you’re going to find.”
Hiller, who pushed Giguere out of the starting job in Anaheim during the 2009-10 season, stopped 20 shots. He made consecutive starts for the first time since going 2-1 in the first three games of the season.
Hiller missed three games because of a lower-body injury before returning Monday in a 3-2 win against Columbus.
Playing in front of their fourth sellout crowd of the season, the Ducks didn’t record a shot during the first 5 1-2 minutes and fell behind 2-0 against a team that lost to the Kings on Saturday.
“We played a much better game tonight, there’s no doubt about it,” Parenteau said. “(Saturday) was our worst game of the season and we responded. We came out swinging. We got a couple of bad bounces, but it was a good way to respond.”
The Avalanche got only one shot in the third period, however, and one more in overtime.
“In a perfect world, you’d like to jump out to a 2-0 or 3-0 lead, and by the end of the game snuff them right out and not give them anything,” Boudreau said. “But if you look at our third periods lately, when we’re tied or behind, we don’t allow the other team much in the third. The third period is the most important period, and tonight we allowed one shot.”
Giguere, the Ducks’ career leader in games (447), wins (207) and shutouts (32), kept the Ducks at bay during a 53-second, 5-on-3 power play early in the second period.
He stopped their first 12 shots before Perry converted Getzlaf’s centering pass at 6:59 of the second. Selanne then scored his fifth goal while Colorado’s Jan Hejda served a charging penalty.
“They have some players that can put the puck in the net,” Giguere said. “That power play is a golden opportunity for them, and that’s a lesson we can learn because a good team will find a way to win on those types of power plays.
“That’s the type of attitude and killer instinct we need to have.”
Mitchell halted Anaheim’s momentum 40 seconds later, using newly acquired defenseman Ben Lovejoy as a screen and beating Hiller from the slot to put the Avalanche back in front.
Colorado opened the scoring at 2:28. The Ducks, who came in with the second-worst penalty-killing percentage in the NHL (74.1), fell behind 2-0 after center Nick Bonino received a double minor for cutting Chuck Kobasewwith a high stick at 9:42 of the period.
Parenteau cashed in with 48 seconds left on Bonino’s penalty, converting a rebound of Tyson Barrie‘s slap shot. It was Parenteau’s eighth goal and first in eight games, after a three-game stretch in which he scored four times.
“There is a reason why (the Ducks) took a few penalties in the first period. We were quick to the puck, moving our feet and we were physical,” Colorado coach Joe Sacco said. “We got ourselves a good lead there, but then we got ourselves into a little penalty trouble.
“It was a hard-fought game, and it was disappointing that we couldn’t get the extra point.”
NOTES: The Ducks are the first NHL team to win six consecutive games when trailing in all six since Columbus did it from March 24-April. 3, 2006. … Selanne’s goal was his 35th against Colorado, the eighth team he has reached that figure against. He played one season for the Avalanche (2003-04) and scored 16 goals before returning to the Ducks. … The Ducks are 18-4-1 against Colorado since a 2-0 road loss on Feb. 13, 2007. … Anaheim D Cam Fowler returned to the lineup after missing eight games because of a head injury.
By JOE RESNICK, Associated Press
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