ANAHEIM—On the verge of absorbing one of the most disappointing losses of the season, the Ducks reached back to that faraway place again Sunday evening against the Calgary Flames and pulled out another memorable victory.
Once again, it was Corey Perry scoring with 2 minutes 22 seconds remaining in overtime to lift the Ducks to a 5-4 victory at Honda Center and back into eighth in the Western Conference standings.
“It was another big, emotional game and we had to have that tonight,” said Perry, who surpassed his career-high point total (79) while adding to his career-high goal total (39).
Perry also tallied the overtime winner in a 2-1 victory Saturday night against the Kings. He’s the first player in Anaheim history to score skate-off overtime goals in back-to-back games.
The Ducks were just thankful to reach overtime after allowing four consecutive goals to fall behind, 4-3, with 12:50 left in the game. They managed to tie the score on Teemu Selanne's deflected power-play goal with 2:01 remaining, moving him into a tie for eighth for most power-play goals in NHL history and a tie for 30th for most points.
After Ducks goalkeeper Dan Ellis snuffed out a breakaway by leading scorer Jarome Iginla early in overtime, the Ducks were in a good position to win in a most unusual way—again.
Ducks winger Bobby Ryan was awarded a penalty shot with 2:26 left, just 18 days after he scored on an overtime penalty shot to beat the visiting Red Wings, 2-1.
There would be no repeat performance in this situation, however. Calgary goalkeeper Henrik Karlsson, who relieved starter Mikka Kiprusoff in the first period after he allowed three goals in the first six minutes, closed his pads and stopped Ryan’s five-hole attempt.
The Ducks then set up for a face-off in their offensive zone. Ryan Getzlaf won the puck, then kicked it back toward Toni Lydman who was camped just inside the blue line. As the puck slowly drifted toward him, Lydman got off a hard slap shot, which got a piece of Perry and was re-directed behind Karlsson.
“I just hit it to the net,” Lydman said. “Corey was there, in his office, right in front of the goal.”
Perry said he had no idea where the puck hit him. On his winning goal the night before, he claimed to have shot the puck with his eyes closed. Once thing Perry does see bright and clear, the Ducks are difficult to finish off lately.
“We don’t just roll over,” Perry said. “There’s always a chance for us. We’re going out there, we’re fighting for every inch on the ice. It’s not over until the buzzer hits zero.”
Now it’s a day off Monday to refresh and relax after back-to-back overtime victories, only the third time that’s happened in franchise history but the second time this month. Then it’s off on a key three-game road trip beginning Wednesday in Dallas, The Ducks will need to ramp back up for the playoff run that figures to last until the final day of the regular season.
And if that means additional overtime, the Ducks will be more than prepared to earn their money.