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Ducks Beat Flyers in Overtime, 3-2 : Hockey: Valk scores his second goal of the game after only 24 seconds of the extra period.

March 28, 1994|ROBYN NORWOOD | TIMES STAFF WRITER

PHILADELPHIA — The game was tense and tightly played, and after two periods, it was still scoreless.

And for most of the Mighty Ducks' 3-2 overtime victory over the Philadelphia Flyers at the Spectrum on Sunday night, Guy Hebert was facing the out-of-town scoreboard.

He saw the San Jose Sharks trailing St. Louis by two goals, then one, then tied. He saw waves of Flyers swooping in on him. Eric Lindros, Mark Recchi, Rod Brind'Amour. He saw the Ducks' leading scorer, Bob Corkum, leave the ice late in the third period, his season over after a skate blade cut a tendon on top of his right foot near the ankle.

And shortly before the Flyers forced overtime after rookie Mikael Renberg's 35th goal of the season at 17:16 of the third, Hebert saw that San Jose had won.

"I shouldn't have looked, but I did," Hebert said. "I saw it was a 4-3 final. That made the two points even bigger."

Hebert had already stopped 29 shots, and he got ready for overtime, hoping to keep the Ducks from falling another point or even two behind the Sharks in what could be the last gasps of a playoff race.

Turned out he didn't have to face another shot. Garry Valk ended it only 24 seconds into the extra period by jumping on a rebound and lifting the puck high on Philadelphia goalie Frederic Chabot for his second goal of the game.

"It was a great way to gut out a win," said Coach Ron Wilson, whose team would have fallen 10 points back with eight games left if it had lost, but instead trails San Jose by eight points for the final Western Conference playoff spot.

Valk scored the winner on a goal assisted by rookie John Lilley, a small but hard-hitting forward who signed with the Ducks after playing for the U.S. Olympic team at Lillehammer and was playing in only his fifth NHL game.

Valk had also scored the goal that gave the Ducks a 2-1 lead at 8:09 of the third, on a 50-foot slap shot that was partially deflected by goalie Dominic Roussel before it found its way into the net.

Corkum got his 51st and apparently final point of the season with the assist after angling a pass across the neutral zone to Valk, but Lilley helped make the play by preventing Philadelphia from holding the puck in the zone with a big hit and knocking the puck out. That assist was his first NHL point, but he would have another before the game was done.

Valk's first goal chased Roussel, who had held the Ducks scoreless through two periods, only to give up two weak goals in the third.

The Flyers--also trying to avoid elimination from the playoffs--scored the game's first goal at 1:55 of the third when Al Conroy picked up the rebound after Hebert's skate save on Rob DiMaio, then put it past Hebert.

But the Ducks tied the score at 6:04 when Peter Douris' harmless-looking shot from the right circle got past Roussel.

"He was definitely baffled," Douris said. "It was a bad angle, but I didn't have a lot on that shot."

Hebert had kept the Ducks in it that long, and in the third period, they finally got some goals for him. In the first, they had a mere two shots.

"Guy's right back on his game," said Wilson, who had benched his starter three games in a row, but now has played him three in a row--including back-to-back games Saturday and Sunday. He didn't make the decision to send Hebert out instead of Mikhail Shtalenkov until the team was flying from Hartford to Philadelphia after beating the Whalers on Saturday night.

"Guy's always talking to us about letting him go back-to-back, so we said on the flight, if you feel you're physically capable, OK."

He was capable, and he got some help from some big plays. Bobby Dollas stopped a 3-0 rush in the second with a desperation play, hitting Recchi's stick enough to poke away the puck.

"I looked back and saw Lindros, Recchi and Renberg, and said, 'Geez, I've got to get back,' " Dollas said. "Guy played good for us, and tonight we showed a lot of character."

Duck Notes

Center Bob Corkum is expected to undergo surgery on his right foot today to repair a tendon that is at least 75% severed. Center Anatoli Semenov, who has been sidelined because of a sore left elbow and left hamstring, might return to replace Corkum. Otherwise, Jarrod Skalde probably will be recalled from San Diego. . . . Left wing Stu Grimson sat out a second consecutive game because of a gash on his right hand.

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