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Teemu Selanne's goal lifts Ducks to victory

He also reaches a personal milestone, becoming the Ducks' career leader in games played.

February 01, 2009|Associated Press

DENVER — The Ducks are counting on Teemu Selanne's return to rejuvenate them.

Selanne celebrated a personal milestone -- he became the Ducks' career leader in games played Saturday -- by scoring the winning goal in their 4-3 win over the struggling Colorado Avalanche.

"I think it's very important," Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller said. "First, he's a great player and second, in the dressing room, he's a great guy and the young kids can learn from him. He knows how to score. He showed it again there in the third and it was the game-winner."

In his second game back since missing six weeks because of a lacerated left thigh, Selanne scored the tiebreaker in the third period, the 90th winning goal of his career.

"I think we got a pretty good breakout and a couple of good bounces and I wound up with a puck in front of the goalie," said Selanne, who has appeared in 617 games with Anaheim, one more than Steve Rucchin. "I got off a pretty good shot. It was nothing special."

The Avalanche would sure take a humdrum winner about now.

Colorado has lost a season-high four in a row, seven of eight and is 1-5-0 on an eight-game homestand that it had hoped would serve as the catalyst for salvaging a season quickly turning sour.

Selanne's goal five minutes into the third period made a loser of Peter Budaj.

Budaj had gone 1-4-0 with a 3.88 goals-against average in his previous six starts, and he had been pulled early in the second period of his previous start, on Jan. 21 against the Kings, after he allowed four goals in 15 shots.

But Andrew Raycroft had lost five straight starts, with a 3.97 average during that span.

Meanwhile, the Ducks have had their own issues in goal.

Hiller started for the third straight game in place of Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who is 1-5-2 with a 3.68 average in his last nine starts. Hiller helped the Ducks win for just the second time in five games.

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