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Selanne Has Something Extra

Hockey: After missing penalty shot in regulation, he comes up with overtime goal to lead Ducks over Penguins, 2-1, in a game dominated by backup goalies.

October 28, 1999|ELLIOTT TEAFORD | TIMES STAFF WRITER

One misfire on a breakaway was probably one more than the Pittsburgh Penguins and goaltender Jean-Sebastien Aubin had any right to expect Wednesday from Mighty Duck winger Teemu Selanne.

So, when Selanne broke in alone against Aubin in overtime, those who remained in the announced crowd of 13,683 at the Arrowhead Pond knew what to expect. They weren't disappointed.

Denied by Aubin on a second-period penalty shot, Selanne didn't miss on an overtime breakaway and the Ducks pulled out a 2-1 victory over the Penguins.

"I'll put my money on Teemu any time," Duck Coach Craig Hartsburg said. "He's not going miss two in a row. He's the most natural goal scorer we have and he finished."

Selanne pumped his fist after scoring the game-winner, the Ducks poured off the bench to mob him and the fans roared their approval.

The scene was what everyone figured would happen after Selanne was hauled down on a breakaway by Pittsburgh defenseman Brad Werenka at 7:13 of the second period.

But Aubin came up with a big save, stopping Selanne's penalty shot and preserving a scoreless tie. Selanne blamed himself at game's end for flubbing the penalty shot, his second career miss in three tries.

"I did two mistakes on the penalty shot," he said. "First, I didn't have enough speed. And I made my move too early."

Selanne faked a shot through Aubin's legs, then put the puck on his backhand, trying a flip over the goalie's right leg. Aubin smothered the shot.

In overtime, Selanne made no mistakes. Defenseman Oleg Tverdovsky sent Selanne ahead of the Pittsburgh defense with a long lead pass.

Selanne raced in alone on Aubin and fired a high shot into the top right corner of the net at the 3:38 mark of the five-minute extra period. It was his third overtime goal as a Duck, tying Paul Kariya and Steve Rucchin for the franchise lead.

"Oleg gave me a great pass and I was surprised no one was around," Selanne said after his team-leading fifth goal of the season. "I wasn't going to miss two in a row."

This was the Ducks' third experience with the NHL's new four-on-four overtime format. They lost, 3-2, Oct. 16 to the Florida Panthers and tied the Chicago Blackhawks, 5-5, Oct. 21.

"I'm more of a fan of [the four-on-four play in overtime] than I was a couple of nights ago," Hartsburg said, referring to the loss to the Panthers.

Even Pittsburgh Coach Kevin Constantine, whose team earned a point by forcing overtime, wasn't too disappointed.

"I love it," he said of the four-on-four format. "It's entertaining. There's lots of open ice and your skill guys get out there more."

Until overtime, Aubin and Duck goalie Dominic Roussel were the story, overshadowing Selanne, Kariya and Pittsburgh's Jaromir Jagr.

A goaltenders' duel with the league's top three scorers from last season in the same game? Go figure.

Kariya, third last season with 101 points, and Selanne, second with 107, got little accomplished against Aubin, who was in net only because Tom Barrasso and Peter Skudra were injured.

Jagr, who led the league with 127, managed only one goal against Roussel.

"Both goaltenders were awesome," Selanne said. "Both guys did a great job. Without the goalies [playing so well,] it would have been a 4-3 or 5-4 game."

Jagr struck first for Pittsburgh, intercepting Selanne's errant pass intended for the left point in the Duck zone. Jagr floating near the blue line swiped the pass and headed toward Roussel's net with only Kevin Haller back for the Ducks.

Jagr went right and Haller went with him. Jagr cut to the slot and Haller went with him. Jagr whipped a quick shot on net, using Haller as a screen and scored through Roussel's legs for a 1-0 Penguin lead at 11:45 of the second period.

Marty McInnis' power-play goal, on a slap shot that appeared to deflect off two Penguins, tied it for the Ducks at the 15:03 mark.

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