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Selanne Can Smile as Ducks Win, 4-3

He scores two goals to reach 1,000 points in his career as Anaheim defeats the slumping Kings in overtime.

January 31, 2006|Eric Stephens | Times Staff Writer

Teemu Selanne had a moment that will last a lifetime. Scott Niedermayer made sure it had meaning in the present.

Selanne scored two goals to reach 1,000 points for his illustrious career and Niedermayer put the finishing touches on a momentous Monday night when he scored at 1:48 of overtime to give the Mighty Ducks a 4-3 victory over the Kings.

In a game played in a playoff-like atmosphere in front of a sellout crowd of 17,174 at the Arrowhead Pond, the Ducks handed the Kings their ninth loss in 12 games.

They also handed the Kings their third loss in four January meetings between the Southland rivals.

But the night was about Selanne, who's enjoying a career revival in his second stint with the Ducks.

The moment came on a signature play when he jumped behind the King defense at the blue line to take a feed from Andy McDonald and steamed in on Mathieu Garon before putting a backhanded shot over the fallen goaltender for a 3-2 lead.

Soon, the nine-time All-Star was mobbed by his teammates and greeted with a standing ovation.

"I knew right away what I was going to do," said Selanne, who has a team-leading 24 goals. "I just hoped it would go in.

"Usually when I get a breakaway, I have a good chance to score. This time, I knew it was going in."

The goal made him the 70th player in NHL history to reach the 1,000-point mark and just the seventh not born in North America to accomplish the feat. The others are Jaromir Jagr, Mats Sundin, Sergei Fedorov and Alexander Mogilny along with Hall of Famers Jari Kurri and Peter Stastny.

"Quite a few guys come in and have one or two good seasons," forward Rob Niedermayer said. "Guys that do it consistently like he has are few and far between. It's a testament to him."

Selanne joined Kurri as the only players born in Finland to reach 1,000 points.

"I had posters of Jari Kurri in my room and I liked the Edmonton Oilers because of him and Wayne Gretzky," Selanne said. "He's the Gordie Howe of Finland."

The Kings, having to sit through the on-ice celebration, did their best to ruin the festivities. Joe Corvo ripped a shot past Ilya Bryzgalov for a power-play goal to tie the score with 2:03 remaining in regulation.

Scott Niedermayer ended it when he went high on Garon with a wicked wrist shot after the Ducks gained possession when defenseman Francois Beauchemin knocked Derek Armstrong off the puck. It was Niedermayer's ninth career overtime winner.

"It was a big hit," Niedermayer said. "We had good pressure on them in overtime. I think we were sick of losing points in overtime."

Selanne closed to within one point of 1,000 in the second period when he used the Kings' Mattias Norstrom as a screen to put a wrist shot between Garon's pads to tie the score, 1-1.

Armstrong put the Kings back up with his first goal in 14 games when he jumped on a loose puck and scored.

But the lead didn't last long as the Kings hurt themselves with penalties, much like Saturday's one-sided 6-2 loss to the Ducks.

Sean Avery and Aaron Miller took penalties four seconds apart to create a two-man disadvantage for the remaining 1:09 of the second period.

Rookie Ryan Getzlaf, then proceeded to do physical and psychological damage with his blistering slap shot. Getzlaf's first shot struck Norstrom in the face, knocking out a tooth as the King captain needed stitches to close a gash and didn't return.

His second shot whistled by Garon's right shoulder with less than five seconds remaining to tie the score, 2-2. But the Kings were much more competitive Monday than two days prior when they were thoroughly outworked, leaving them feeling somewhat optimistic.

"The first question I asked the team after the game was, 'Was there a comparison between this game and the game we last played against the Ducks?' " King Coach Andy Murray said. "Obviously, there was no comparison in terms of intensity level.

"They played an intense game but we certainly had a high intensity level too."

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