for this game

Selanne unstoppable as Ducks edge Thrashers

Dec 14, 2006 - 2:47 AM
ATLANTA (Ticker) -- A successful defense does not leave a player like Teemu Selanne alone in front of the net. The Atlanta Thrashers learned that lesson the hard way.

Selanne scored his second goal of the game with 7:15 remaining in the third period, snapping a tie and giving the Anaheim Ducks their seventh straight road win, a 2-1 triumph over the Thrashers.

Entering with a dozen goals in his last 12 games, Selanne broke a scoreless tie late in the second period during a power play. Atlanta pulled even during a man advantage of its own with just under 12 minutes to go in the third, but a defensive breakdown less than a minute later proved crucial.

From along the left wing boards, Andy McDonald looked up and spotted Selanne, who was by himself on the doorstep. After receiving the pass, the "Finnish Flash" gathered the puck and lifted it into the top right corner of the net for his 19th goal and a 2-1 lead.

"I was shocked," Selanne said. "It was like junior hockey almost - four or five guys in the one corner, one pass and a 1-on-1 (with the goalie). I didn't get full control right away, so it wasn't very easy, but I was lucky enough to beat Kari (Lehtonen). I was shocked Mac saw me there. It was a great pass."

"Their guy got the puck and was able to pass in front, and Teemu was pretty open over there," Lehtonen said. "He was just parked there, and when a guy like that has so much time, usually something bad happens. ... He is my childhood idol, so it was great to play my first game against him, but he showed me he is still pretty good."

It was the league-leading sixth game-winning goal for Selanne, who is one tally shy of tying Hall of Famer Gilbert Perreault for 31st place on the all-time list.

"We tied, got the momentum back, then a minute later, a bad read and we leave one of the best scorers in the NHL wide open," Atlanta coach Bob Hartley said. "That's not acceptable. It just goes to show you, it's a game of mistakes. Right now, it seems like every break goes against us."

Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 34 saves en route to winning his ninth consecutive start and NHL-best 21st game for Anaheim, which improved to 4-0-0 on its five-game road trip and 12-1-2 overall away from home this season.

"It's our longest trip of the season," said Giguere, whose team concludes its trek Saturday at San Jose. "It takes a toll on you mentally and physically. But to be able to go back to the West Coast with eight points out of eight, what else can you ask for?"

Lehtonen stopped 30 shots for the Thrashers, who have dropped three straight and fell to 11-1-1 when allowing two goals or less.

"If we can put together a 60-minute game, we're going to start winning again," Atlanta's Bobby Holik said. "Playing well in parts of the game, that might have worked in the early part of the season, but now we seem to come up short time after time."

Entering three points behind Jaromir Jagr (44) of the New York Rangers for the league lead, Selanne opened the scoring with 4:19 remaining in the second period. After receiving a pass from the left point by Ryan Getzlaf, Selanne walked to the net from below the left faceoff circle and lifted the puck over Lehtonen for a power-play tally.

"I know Kari very well, I've practiced with him a lot," Selanne said. "I know that down low, there's nothing. He's unbelievable. You have to make almost perfect shots to beat him. I know that upstairs is the only place where there was room."

Ilya Kovalchuk nearly knotted the contest just over three minutes into the third, but his shot rang off the goalpost. The former Maurice Richard Trophy winner managed to set up the tying goal, however, carrying down the right wing and dishing to Niko Kapanen, who beat Giguere from the slot at 11:49.

"They're a strong skating team and it was a matter of time before they got their game going," Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said. "They did a lot of the things that have made them successful, but we were fortunate to have our goalie make some big stops."

"To be able to hold them to one goal is huge," Giguere added. "We should really be happy with the effort. It wasn't perfect, but we got the two points."

Lehtonen picked up an assist on the goal, which helped Atlanta avoid being shut out for the second time in three games.

With the victory, the Ducks climbed within seven road wins of matching the franchise record set in 1993-94, when the club went 19-20-3 away from home in its inaugural season.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ANAHEIM 0 1 1 2
    ATLANTA 0 0 1 1 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: ANA - (PP) TEEMU SELANNE 18 (RYAN GETZLAF, CHRIS PRONGER)
    15:41
    3RD PRD: ATL - (PP) NIKO KAPANEN 3 (ILYA KOVALCHUK, KARI LEHTONEN)
    11:49
    ANA - TEEMU SELANNE 19 (ANDY MCDONALD, CHRIS KUNITZ) 12:45
    POWER

    Dec 13 9:33 PM


  • NHL
    ANAHEIM 2
    ATLANTA 1
    3RD PRD: ANA - TEEMU SELANNE 19 (ANDY MCDONALD, CHRIS KUNITZ) 12:45

    Ducks vs. ThrashersDec 13 9:17 PM


  • NHL
    ANAHEIM 1
    ATLANTA 1
    3RD PRD: ATL - (PP) NIKO KAPANEN 3 (ILYA KOVALCHUK, KARI LEHTONEN)
    11:49

    Ducks vs. ThrashersDec 13 9:15 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ANAHEIM 0 1 1
    ATLANTA 0 0 0 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: ANA - (PP) TEEMU SELANNE 18 (RYAN GETZLAF, CHRIS PRONGER)
    15:41
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ANA 14 9 23
    ATL 3 13 16
    GOALIES:

    Dec 13 8:38 PM


  • NHL
    ANAHEIM 1
    ATLANTA 0 3:19 LEFT, 2ND PRD

    Ducks vs. ThrashersDec 13 8:32 PM


  • NHL
    ANAHEIM 0
    ATLANTA 0 0:00 LEFT, 1ST PRD

    Dec 13 7:46 PM