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HELENE ELLIOTT

Ducks win an up-and-down game against Calgary, 5-4, in overtime

Corey Perry gets his second overtime goal in two games, lifting Ducks to eighth in the West. Flames rallied after giving up three goals and Ducks went cold for a time before finding more energy.

March 20, 2011|Helene Elliott

Before this weekend, Ducks right wing Corey Perry had never scored an overtime goal in his six NHL seasons.

Perry's redirection of a blast by Toni Lydman on Sunday was his second overtime goal in two games, lifting the Ducks into eighth place in the West after sweeping the Kings and Calgary Flames on consecutive nights.

"I'd rather have won in regulation," Perry said after the Ducks squandered an early lead and rallied for a 5-4 victory 2:38 into sudden-death play at Honda Center. "But we'll take the win, for sure."

They have won three straight, five of six, and 13 straight at home against Calgary, the longest home win streak against any opponent in franchise history. But the Ducks almost gave it away after cruising to a 3-0 lead and chasing Calgary goalie Miikka Kiprusoff to the bench in favor of backup Henrik Karlsson.

Ryan Getzlaf scored off a pass from Perry at 1:18, Perry nudged the rebound of a backhander by Teemu Selanne over the goal line during a power play at 3:36, and Francois Beauchemin blasted a shot from the blue line that eluded Kiprusoff for a 3-0 Ducks lead at 5:49.

The Flames, who started the day even in points with the Ducks, settled down after switching goalies and took advantage of some mistakes by the Ducks. Tom Kostopoulos scored twice and Rene Bourque once to bring Calgary even, and Jarome Iginla put the Flames ahead on a masterful power-play wrist shot at 7:10 of the third.

What happened?

"Oh, God. I'd like to know," said Selanne, whose one-goal, two-assist performance tied him for 30th on the NHL scoring list, with 1,327 points.

Coach Randy Carlyle had his theories.

"We had a decent start to the hockey game and then it just seemed like our brain went dead, our legs went dead and everything else went dead for a period," he said.

The Ducks tied it at 4-4 on Selanne's power-play deflection with 2:01 left in the third and goalie Dan Ellis skating to the bench to be replaced by an extra skater. Although Bobby Ryan's penalty shot was stopped by Karlsson 2:34 into overtime, Getzlaf won the faceoff and kicked the puck to Lydman, who stepped into his shot with all he had. The puck glanced off Perry's leg, taking his career-high totals this season to 39 goals and 79 points.

Perry ranks second in the NHL in goals, behind Steven Stamkos' 43 for Tampa Bay, and fifth in points with 79, 14 behind leader Daniel Sedin of Vancouver.

"He's a guy that you can ask for more. He has more," Carlyle said. "And he feels that responsibility that he can provide more and that's really the sign of a true elite level player, that he's never satisfied with where he's at. He's always looking to push the bar and push it higher."

Perry raised it high this weekend.

"It just says that we have fight left in us at the end of the game and we don't just roll over. There's always a chance for us," Perry said. "We're going out there and fighting for every inch on the ice. It's not over until the buzzer hits zero."

Their fight is far from over. They have 10 games left, starting Wednesday with three in four days at Dallas, Nashville and Chicago. The Ducks are even with the Stars at 85 points but are ahead on the tiebreaker of having more wins in regulation and overtime; the Predators and Blackhawks each have 86 points and both won Sunday too.

Tough as that trip appears, it would have been infinitely more difficult for the Ducks had they lost Sunday.

"It was not as good as we wanted but it was a great feeling to find a way," Selanne said. "We needed these two points. How we got it, it's going to build a lot of confidence the rest of the way."

helene.elliott@latimes.com

twitter.com/helenenothelen

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