It might have taken a while to win two in a row, but the Ducks wasted no time winning three in a row. An exciting 5-4 victory over the Nashville Predators, with just :1.7 seconds left in regulations continued to build the Ducks confidence level.
“It’s great,” beamed Lubomir Visnovsky, who had one of the five goals. “Everyone feel much better. Good for team. More confidence.”
The game went back and forth with the Predators matching every goal the Ducks scored.
Teemu Selanne wasted no time getting the Ducks on the board with an easy goal :52 seconds into the first period. With Anders Lindback dealing with the first shot at the side of the net, Selanne tapped in the easy rebound into a net that was nearly empty.
Nashville’s response? Patric Hornqvist redirected a shot behind Jonas Hiller at 2:34 to tie things up.
Saku Koivu put the Ducks ahead once more at 10:49, but another Ducks turnover gave the Predators their second goal at 17:16. This time it was Steve Sullivan who put them on the board.
The second period remained scoreless, but the tit for tat resumed in the third period.
Visnovsky broke the tie again just :49 seconds into the final period, with great work from the fourth line. Cody Franson tied things up after the Ducks could not clear the puck from their zone at 6:15.
Koivu got his second goal of the game and 700th career point at 10:05 on the power play, a goal that was almost Toni Lydman’s third goal of the year had Koivu not tipped it.
Could the Ducks hold on to the 4-3 lead? Of course not! Cal O’Reilly got the Predators fourth and final goal at 16:13 after a lackluster power play by the Ducks.
It appeared that things would be headed into overtime when the unlikely happened. With a mere 1.7 seconds remaining on the clock, defenseman Paul Mara finished off a great play by Bobby Ryan and Corey Perry. A heartbreaker for the Predators, but cause for joy and celebration for the Ducks. The Predators would not be able to tie things up again.
“It feels great,” said Mara, who earned his first point as a Duck. “It’s been a long time since I scored a goal.”
February 11, 2009, to be exact. Two seasons ago.
“The main thing is we got those two points,” said Koivu.
Those two points and the win moved the Ducks to the .500 mark, the first time since the season began. It also nudged them ever so slightly up the standings to 10th place in the Western Conference.
The Ducks now head to San Jose for a game on Tuesday before returning home to the Honda Center for two more tilts in front of the home crowd.