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Ducks defeat Dallas, 3-1

Nick Bonino gets his first NHL goal on an assist from Teemu Selanne.

March 29, 2010|By Robyn Norwood

Teemu Selanne didn't get his 601st NHL goal Monday with Jari Kurri in the stands to watch, but he helped Nick Bonino get his first.

Selanne received long ovations and chants of "one more year" during a ceremony before the game to commemorate his 600th goal, with his wife, Sirpa, their four children and Selanne's mother, Liisa, at center ice along with Kurri.

Selanne had plenty of chances, including an empty net he missed wide just before the final horn after Dallas pulled its goaltender in the Ducks' 3-1 victory at the Honda Center.

The best celebration during the game, though, was for Bonino, a 21-year-old rookie who was playing for Boston University only 10 days earlier.

Selanne set up Bonino for the goal and handed him the puck afterward, grinning with him on the bench.

"Yeah, he said he still remembers his first NHL goal," Bonino said. "I told him I'll probably remember this one as long as I play, as long as I live too."

Selanne's first goal, for the Winnipeg Jets in 1992, was shown on the scoreboard video before the game along with his 600th, on March 21 at the Honda Center.

But 601 — which would match Kurri, his good friend and fellow Finn, for 17th place on the NHL career list — has been crazily difficult to get.

"I really wanted to score," said Selanne, who had eight shots in the game and a near breakaway in the third period before Trevor Daley was called for holding. "I more wanted to score for Jari because he wanted to come here. He wanted to see this happen."

Kurri needs to return to Finland and won't follow Selanne to see him replace him as the leading scorer in their country's history.

"It's great to be part of this. Plus, he's a good friend," Kurri said before the game. "It's not just that he's a great hockey player. We go way back."

The scoring chances are coming in buckets for Selanne — he has 15 shots the last two games — but he was left shaking his head and one time lightly slapping the boards in frustration.

Bonino's goal came after Corey Perry, looking for Selanne on a power play in the second period, sent the puck to him on the left wing. Selanne couldn't control the bouncing puck and poked it toward Bonino in the slot and Bonino put it in the net at 8 minutes 11 seconds.

"A first NHL goal is always something," Selanne said. "You know you can see what kind of skills he has. He's so calm. What's amazing about rookies these days is rookies are so ready."

Bonino's goal started a three-goal second period for the Ducks, with Perry scoring his 27th at 12:41 and Kyle Chipchura scoring less than a minute later.

Dallas broke through to make the score 3-1 at 14:48 when Loui Eriksson scored his 28th, beating Curtis McElhinney, who started in goal for the Ducks because Jonas Hiller had back spasms during warmups.

Bonino, acquired by the Ducks from San Jose in a trade last season, signed a two-year contract this month, giving up his final year of college eligibility.

robynnorwood@verizon.net

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