The Ducks continued their winning ways at home with a 3-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday. They are now 13-0-2 at home, the only NHL team unbeaten in regulation, a franchise best for them.
Perhaps the most satisfying part of Sunday's victory was seeing Teemu Selanne end his scoring drought. After 19 long games and nearly two months (since October 20th) with plenty of close but no cigar chances, the puck went in the net and there was a huge sigh of relief.
Ducks fans should thank former Duck, Paul Kariya, for the goal. Kariya and Selanne, who were a powerful one-two punch back in the day for the Ducks, were like the modern day Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. They both know each other so well.
So Kariya texted Selanne, "Go to the net. Good things happen."
"He knows," said Selanne, who hated to admit his friend was right. "Maybe I haven't done that enough. When you're used to scoring those pretty goals, sometimes you don't go to those ugly areas. You have to remind yourself where the are….that blue paint."
Selanne got an assist on his second period goal from Mathieu Perreault, who came back into the line up after missing four games due to injury.
"Very good to see," said Perreault of Selanne's goal.
Selanne's goal gave the Ducks their first lead of the game. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins put the lowly Oilers on the board first at 6:18 of the first period, a period that was not the Ducks best.
Regardless, Anaheim got out of the first period with a tie, thanks to Nick Bonino's goal at 11:22.
The Ducks managed to get their act together, despite being outshot 14-8 in the first. Selanne's goal looked to be the game winner until midway through the third when Sam Gagner tied up the game once more at 10:26.
Anaheim is no stranger to overtime and shootout games this season, but there was no need for that.
Dustin Penner, whose line with Getzlaf and Perry was kept quiet all night, came alive when it mattered. On their first scoring chance, Penner made it 3-2 with just 3:17 remaining in the game.
Penner, who spent time as an Oiler, had his shot able to make it past former Ducks goaltender, Ilya Bryzgalov, who was in top form stopping 31 shots. It was the difference maker in the game.
"We played a lot more desperate after they tied it up," said Penner. "I think all four lines started going, especially our line. We weren’t very good all game. Getzy [Ryan Getzlaf] made a good pass out to the slot for me, and it got deflected on the way up. Sometimes you need those breaks."
Getzlaf was able to keep his points streak alive at 14 games with an assist on the goal.
"It wasn't the best game we played, but our character and our will took over," said Perry, who saw his goal scoring streak end at seven. "Those are the games you have to push through."
The Ducks now push their way to another road trip, with four games in Detroit, New Jersey, New York (Islanders) and Washington before the Christmas break.
In other notes: Defenseman Francois Beauchemin returned to the line up after missing 10 games with an undisclosed upper body injury. He played only 19:58, fewer than his usual minutes, but looked strong in his efforts.
Oilers defenseman, Corey Potter, was suspended two games for his hit on Bonino in the second period. The dangerous boarding penalty came with a five minute major and game misconduct and left Bonino in obvious pain when his back folded backwards. Bonino finished the game after leaving the ice briefly.