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Ducks 3 Calgary 2 (ot)

Niedermayer gives Ducks big lift in overtime

February 12, 2009|Billy Witz

When the screaming puck hit Ryan Getzlaf in the leg, he crumpled like he'd been shot. When Andrew Ebbett took a shoulder from Dion Phaneuf to the chin, the first thing that hit the ice was the nameplate on the back of his uniform.

The Ducks played their only game in an eight-day span Wednesday, and if some of them need the rest, all of them were happy to walk away -- limping or not -- with a 3-2 overtime win over Calgary.

It may be routine to beat the Flames at the Honda Center, having now done so nine consecutive times, but there was nothing matter of fact about this victory.

The Ducks twice overcame deficits and had to work especially hard to overcome Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff, who made 37 saves, several of them sensational.

They finally did when Scott Niedermayer scored his second goal, a back-hander that finished off a rush with Todd Marchant 55 seconds into overtime. Each team had only three men on the ice after matching roughing calls at the end of regulation.

"There was a lot of room to skate and I tried to take advantage of that," said Niedermayer, whose shot deflected off Phaneuf's stick. "You put it on net and you never know."

The Ducks tied the score 2:05 into the third period when Getzlaf, who returned from getting hit, fended off Matthew Lombardi along the boards and fed the puck to Brendan Morrison, who fired a shot past Kiprusoff for his first goal in seven weeks.

The win assured that the Ducks' point total would not remain static for more than a week. They hadn't played since winning at Calgary Saturday and don't play again until Sunday against Atlanta. They've managed to maintain a grip on fifth place in the Western Conference standings but it's a precarious one. Dallas, Edmonton, Vancouver, Minnesota and Columbus are each within four points and have played at least three fewer games.

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billywitz@yahoo.com

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