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McMillan's third-period goal lifts Ducks over Avs

Feb 28, 2011 - 5:58 AM
Anaheim, CA (Sports Network) - Brandon McMillan scored the game-winner near the midway mark of the third period, as the Anaheim Ducks snapped a five-game skid with a 3-2 victory over the struggling Colorado Avalanche.

Ryan Getzlaf and Todd Marchant also lit the lamp for the Ducks, who won for the first time since a 4-0 victory over Edmonton on February 13. Dan Ellis, who the Ducks acquired from Tampa Bay on Thursday, made 22 saves to pick up his first win in an Anaheim uniform.

Kevin Porter and David Jones scored for the Avalanche, who have lost three in a row and 13 of 14 overall. Peter Budaj made 29 saves in defeat.

"I think tonight was a much better effort than yesterday," Budaj said. "I thought we played with passion. We worked hard and we were in the game tonight. Obviously it wasn't good enough because this game is played for wins and losses, but I think it's a good step towards where we want to be."

With the score tied at 2-2 in the third, Colorado's Brandon Yip received a double minor for a high stick. The Ducks took full advantage of the four- minute power play.

Bobby Ryan one-timed a shot on net from the left circle. McMillan was right there to jam home the rebound at the 11:23 mark for a 3-2 lead.

The Avalanche pulled Budaj late for the extra attacker, and it almost worked. Following a scramble for the puck behind the net, Milan Hejduk hit the post as time expired.

"The last shot I didn't see at all," Ellis said. "I was down trying to cover everything low and on that post. All of a sudden the puck came out of nowhere and hit me on the side of the head. I heard it hit a post. I was just praying that it hit the right post. Thank God it stayed out."

Colorado opened the scoring at the 12:07 mark of the first period. Jonas Holos dumped the puck into the Anaheim zone from center ice, and it hit the backboards before trickling in front of the net. Matt Duchene gathered the puck and slid a pass to a charging Porter, who chipped the disc into the net.

The Ducks made it a 1-1 game at the 1:43 mark of the second. The Avs turned the puck over right in front of their own net, and Getzlaf fired a wrister past Budaj.

Marchant then put Anaheim ahead with 2:09 remaining in the middle stanza. Marchant led a 3-on-2 rush up the middle of the ice and slid a pass to his right for Luca Sbisa, who passed back to Marchant. The puck deflected off Marchant's stick into the net.

Jones' shot from the top of the right circle at the 1:43 mark of the third made it a 2-2 game.

Game Notes

Anaheim has won four in a row against Colorado...Marchant's goal was his first since March 17, 2010...The Ducks went 1-for-5 on the power play, while the Avalanche went 0-for-1 on the man advantage...The Avalanche were short-handed a season-high nine times during Saturday's loss to the Kings.