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Penalty hastens the Ducks' downfall against Atlanta

The Thrashers rally from a two-goal deficit as Corey Perry is whistled for slashing before eventually dropping a 5-4 shootout decision.

October 15, 2010|By Robyn Norwood

The boos were mostly meant for the officials, but the Ducks earned some of their own in a 5-4 shootout loss to the Atlanta Thrashers on Friday at the Honda Center.

Atlanta's Nigel Dawes ended the game when he beat Jonas Hiller in the fourth round of the shootout, the only player to put the puck in the net.

But in many ways, the Ducks lost the game earlier when they blew a two-goal third-period lead, giving up the tying goal on a power play created by a costly slashing penalty against Corey Perry.

"Corey Perry's penalty was an unacceptable penalty at a critical time," Ducks Coach Randy Carlyle said.

Shortly later, Atlanta tied the score, 4-4, with 5:22 left in the third on a disputed goal credited to Anthony Stewart, giving him his first career hat trick.

Dustin Byfuglien's shot on Atlanta's power play initially appeared to be deflected into the goal on a blatant high stick by Rich Peverley.

But on review, the goal stood, and was credited instead to Stewart, with the first assist to Byfuglien and none to Peverley.

"From the replay I saw on the Jumbotron, it was questionable whether the guy high-sticked the puck or not," Carlyle said. "Usually if the guy does touch the puck, the next player to touch it, if it is an opposition player, the play is dead.

"I guess the interpretation is that the guy didn't touch the puck — the first guy that swung at it."

The decision brought out boos from the crowd of 13,123. But the fact it came after the sort of unnecessary penalty the Ducks have been prone to made it rankle more.

Perry, who also had a goal and two assists, set up the power-play goal by Ryan Getzlaf at 6:35 of the third that made the lead two with a pretty pass across the crease.

But he wasn't alone in taking a bad penalty.

With the Ducks up by two, Atlanta went on a power play after a high-sticking penalty to Brendan Mikkelson, and Stewart made it 4-3 with his second goal of the game at the 10:35 mark.

Stewart started the game by scoring only 17 seconds after the opening faceoff.

The Ducks had their moments.

They got a boost from the Ducks' debut of veteran defenseman Toni Lydman, who missed the preseason and first four regular-season games after an unexplained episode of double vision.

He bolstered the young defense against Atlanta, and contributed a nice goal too, giving the Ducks a 2-1 lead in the second period after scoring only four goals all last season.

Teemu Selanne, the Ducks' seemingly ageless 40-year-old winger, had a goal and two assists and gave the Ducks a 3-2 lead with 52 seconds left in the second period when he set up in his familiar spot on the right side of the net on a power play and took a pass from fellow Finn Saku Koivu behind the net.

It was the 608th goal of Selanne's career, tying him with Dino Ciccarelli for 16th on the NHL career list.

It would all go downhill.

The Ducks momentarily thought they had a chance to win in overtime when they put the puck in the net with less than three minutes left in overtime, but a review confirmed the net was already off its mooring, and there was no goal.

Hiller stopped Stewart on a breakaway in the final moments of overtime.

"It was just not smart enough, how we played," Hiller said.

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