Playing without an injured Corey Perry (right shoulder) and Luca Sbisa (back spasms), the Ducks still held their own against a feisty Colorado Avalanche team. Their efforts earned them a point, but Colorado took the extra point by defeating the Ducks 3-2 in overtime.
The Ducks got behind the eight ball once again by having the opposing team score first. Jamie McGinn sniped his shot behind Jonas Hiller at 10:48 of the first period. McGinn, acquired at the trade deadline from San Jose, has five goals in as many games.
In the middle frame, it was a goaltending showcase. Semyon Varlamov continued to make great saves at his end. Hiller, starting in his 29th straight game, was equally impressive.
Finally, with only 1.5 seconds left in the period, Francois Beauchemin put a puck behind Varlamov and tied up the game. The Ducks needed that boost to head into the third period.
The Avalanche took back the lead when Kevin Porter tipped in Jan Hejda’s shot at 13:13. With Varlamov’s play, it did not look good for Anaheim to get another shot past him.
Finally granted their first power play of the night late in the period, the Ducks took advantage.
Teemu Selanne scored at 16:08, moving him officially past Jari Kurri on the all time points list at 1,399.
“I couldn’t be more proud that Teemu is the all-time top NHL scorer from Finland,” Kurri said in a statement. “Congratulations to a great player, a great friend and an even better person.”
Selanne also tied Luc Robitaille for 4th place for power play goal with 247.
“Obviously it’s a big honor,” Selanne said after the game. “That doesn’t really make me much happier right now. The win was really the only goal we had. We couldn’t do it.
The Ducks held on to reach overtime, but they could not win because of Gabriel Landeskog. The 19 year old rookie is making a strong case for the Calder trophy this season. Despite having the flu, Landeskog still sucked it up to play in the game. His game winner at 1:52 of the extra session sealed things for the Avalanche, who are fighting for a final spot in the playoffs.
“That’s a huge point for our team right now,” said Landeskog. “We need all the points we can get. It was one of those games where I didn’t know if I was going to be able to contribute out there. I kind of hung in there. I was struggling most of the game, but those are the kind of games where you have to take it one shift at a time, take short shifts and kind of let my teammates do the job. To get an opportunity in OT, I just wanted to get it on net for it to go in.”
Taking advantage of a Ducks turnover certainly did not hurt.
So now the Ducks head home to face an injury laden Detroit Red Wings team in yet another “must win” for Anaheim.
IN OTHER NOTES: Saku Koivu played in his 1,000th game. An impressive milestone for any player, this one was especially meaningful for Koivu, a cancer survivor who msed nearly an entire season for treatment and recovery. Koivu is only the fifth Finn to reach that goal.
“Obviously with the cancer, and not knowing what the future will bring and if I will ever play again, it’s been 10 years and I’m still around,” Koivu said before the game. “So it’s a great accomplishment and I’m very proud of that. I’m going to enjoy it tonight.”
A win might have made it even more enjoyable.