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Ducks use patience and persistence to beat Carolina

Nokelainen breaks the tie and Selanne gets the game-winner, as Giguere wins his second game in a row. The Hurricanes extend road winless streak to 12 games.

November 26, 2009|By Robyn Norwood
  • The Ducks celebrate a third-period goal by Petteri Nokelainen as Carolina left wing Sergei Samsonov skates away. The goal broke a 1-1 tie and ended up being the game-winner in Anaheim's 3-1 victory Wednesday night.
The Ducks celebrate a third-period goal by Petteri Nokelainen as Carolina… (Mark J. Terrill / Associated…)

The Ducks refused to be a salve for a struggling team again.

They played that role against Toronto, the last winless team in the NHL before defeating the Ducks on Oct. 26.

The Carolina Hurricanes entered Wednesday's game at the Honda Center as the only NHL team that had yet to win on the road, going 0 for 11.

The suspense lingered into the third period, but the Ducks pulled out a 3-2 victory after third-line winger Petteri Nokelainen broke a 1-1 tie at 12:43 and Teemu Selanne scored his 12th goal for what turned out to be the game-winner with 1:32 left.

The Hurricanes made it a one-goal game when Brandon Sutter scored with an extra attacker on the ice with 53 seconds left, but the Ducks held them off the rest of the final minute.

"We did a good job of staying patient and not getting all wound up tonight," center Ryan Getzlaf said.

Goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who hadn't won since last March until Monday against Calgary, won his second game in a row and probably earned another start in Coach Randy Carlyle's "you win and you're in" goaltending rotation.

The victory improved the Ducks' record on a crucial seven-game homestand to 3-1. They have given up 2.50 goals a game since returning from an ugly trip.

"I think we played pretty well," Giguere said. "They were a desperate team and I thought they played a pretty good game, but we kept with it.

"There were stretches where it didn't necessarily go our way, but we didn't panic. We just kept with it and we ended up scoring some big goals."

Carolina, which endured a 14-game winless streak this season but had picked up at least a point in five of its previous six games, took a 1-0 lead only 1:23 into the game on a goal by Tom Kostopoulos.

The Ducks had buckets of scoring chances -- Bobby Ryan had several from close range and Todd Marchant lost the handle on the puck on a breakaway -- but they didn't break through until 49 seconds remained in the second period.

Defenseman Scott Niedermayer got the goal after Selanne slid the puck across the slot to him near the bottom of the right circle on a power play.

Niedermayer failed to strike the puck solidly but watched it go into the net past Manny Legace for a 1-1 tie.

"We're fortunate Scott Niedermayer whiffed on the puck and it went in the top corner of the net," Carlyle said.

Corey Perry picked up the second assist on the goal, extending his point streak to 16 games, the longest in the NHL this season.

The game was taut until the third, when Nokelainen redirected the puck from the left side of the net off a pass from Kyle Calder after Todd Marchant helped force a turnover.

"It was nice to get a goal. It turned out to be a big one," Nokelainen said.

The homestand continues with a matinee against Chicago on Friday. The Blackhawks' Marian Hossa -- the free agent who had shoulder surgery shortly after he was signed -- scored two goals Wednesday in his season debut at San Jose.

Carolina, which got center Eric Staal back after he missed 10 games because of an upper-body injury, is having a different sort of season than Chicago.

"Every loss stinks," said Legace, who was sharp in goal for Carolina. "We had a chance to win, and we couldn't get a goal."

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