There's no place like home. There's no place like home.
That had to be going through Jersey native Kyle Palmieri's head when the Ducks faced the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on Friday night.
Palmieri's overtime game winner at 2:37 of the extra period gave Anaheim their seventh win in a row (the second time they have done that this season). The goal was highlight reel ready, with Palmieri swooping around the net, falling to his knees and deflecting it in the net, up and over Cory Schneider's glove and pads.
"It felt pretty good," said Palmieri, who had to have had at least 100 friends and family in attendance. "It was a combination of being at home and being overtime, and the fact that I’ve haven’t scored in over a month. It put a lot of excitement into one goal. It was a pretty cool night and an exciting game for everybody. It added a little bit more excitement for the family and friends."
The Ducks are keep getting it done, and are now a single point behind Chicago, for second overall in the NHL. There seem to be no signs of slowing down, either.
At home? No problem. Undefeated in regulation at 13-0-2. On the road? Okie dokie. They are 12-7-3, more than halfway through their road schedule for the season.
Goaltender Jonas Hiller made 19 saves in his 300th NHL game. It was Hiller's sixth win in as many starts and Hiller had to be good early on when the Devils had quality scoring chance after quality scoring chance.
"They got a lot of character and we knew the first period was going to be a struggle," said coach Bruce Boudreau. "Any time you’re two days in one town, or this being the third day, you’re sitting around and you’re sitting in your hotel. No matter how hard you practice, you’re lethargic. When we got out of the first period [scoreless], I thought we had a good chance as long as they didn’t get a two-goal lead."
The scoreless tie was broken by Michael Ryder at 4:15 of the second period, finally capitalizing on yet another chance. Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler kept things even by tying up the game at 14:06 for his 100th career point.
Mathieu Perreault, in his second game back from injury, gave the Ducks their first lead at 10:47 of the third period. Andy Greene, set up by another ageless wonder, Jaromir Jagr, made it a ballerina (2-2) at 14:58 on the power play and the score remained tied through the rest of regulation.
Both teams had their chances in the overtime period until Palmieri, who also had an assist on Perrault's goal, finished things off.
"I don't really know what happened, to be honest," said Schneider. "He carried it around the net and I stretched and I tried to get my pad to the post. I don't know if it hit a stick or popped up or what. It was a bit of a bad break."
Sometimes the bounces go your way. Sometimes they don't.
The Ducks will take their luck (which is really the result of hard work) to the New York Islanders on Saturday to see if they can make it eight in a row.
In other notes:
Teemu Selanne, on a line with Perreault and Palmieri, had two assists on the night and now has four points in his three game scoring streak. Pointless in the previous 16 games, the ketchup bottle has opened up again.