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Giguere steps up to help Ducks snatch back win

The goaltender makes big saves for first win since March. Flames tie it with 18 seconds left in regulation but Selanne scores in shootout.

November 24, 2009|By Robyn Norwood
  • Ducks goalkeeper Jean-Sebastien Giguere deflects a shot by Calgary's Jamie Lundmark in the first period Monday night.
Ducks goalkeeper Jean-Sebastien Giguere deflects a shot by Calgary's… (Francis Specker / Associated…)

There are easier ways to win, but at this point they all feel good to the Ducks. And it must have felt like a sweet flood of relief for goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who won for the first time this season.

The Ducks were less than a minute from a victory over the Calgary Flames on Monday night at the Honda Center before Jarome Iginla's game-tying goal with 18 seconds left in regulation went into the net off the skate of the Ducks' Ryan Getzlaf.

But they came back to take the two points with a 3-2 shootout victory when Teemu Selanne slowed to a near stop and roofed the puck past Mikka Kiprusoff for the only goal of the shootout.

"Just very excited to get a win. It's been a long time," said Giguere, a star of the Stanley Cup championship team in 2007. This season, he has largely been relegated to backup duty, trade talk and nursing a groin strain.

"I don't remember the last time I won, so it felt good," said Giguere, who made 41 saves. (It was March 24 of last season, against Nashville.) "It felt good to have a good effort and be able to come out with something positive."

The shootout victory was a disaster averted for the Ducks, who could have seen a near-certain victory turn into a wrenching loss.

"It would have been tough mentally on everybody," Coach Randy Carlyle said.

"We were under siege pretty much for the whole third period, letting them come back at us. Our goaltender made a bunch of big league stops with the score 2-1."

When Iginla, the Flames' captain, scored after skating through the neutral zone in the final seconds, it felt like more of the same for the Ducks, who have been mired in last place in the Western Conference.

"The bench was pretty quiet, to tell you the truth," Carlyle said. "We got it to overtime and he made the big stops in overtime.

"When you're going through stretches, you need people to step to the forefront. Tonight was Giguere's night to step to the forefront."

Carlyle's mantra on the goaltending situation has been "you win and you're in," but neither Jonas Hiller nor Giguere has put together much of a run for a team that hasn't won more than two games in a row all season.

Giguere, 0-3-2 with a 3.38 goals-against average before Monday, spent part of the last two days working with goaltending consultant Pete Peeters, and it seemed to pay off.

"Any professional athlete, this is his job. He takes it very seriously," Carlyle said. "One thing about Jiggy, he's serious about getting better. He comes and he works every day. . . . He's worked extremely hard, and it showed."

Calgary led early after Curtis Glencross scored on a first-period breakaway off a pass from Olli Jokinen as he went off for a line change.

But the Ducks took a 2-1 lead into the second after scoring two goals just 1:08 apart later in the first.

Bobby Ryan scored his 10th of the season when he put a rebound of Corey Perry's shot back in the net after a Calgary turnover.

Perry's assist extended his point streak to 15 games, the longest in the NHL this season and two games shy of the club record streak of 17 games set by Selanne in 1999.

The Ducks' second goal came on a rebound too, when Getzlaf scored his fourth of the season by scoring off the rebound a shot by Ryan Whitney.

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