Pahlsson's overtime goal propels Ducks past BluesFeb 23, 2008 - 7:54 AM ANAHEIM, California (Ticker) -- Samuel Pahlsson is known mostly for his skills as a defensive forward. But it was his offense that lifted the Anaheim Ducks to their third consecutive victory.
Pahlsson scored 32 seconds into overtime, giving the Ducks a 2-1 triumph over the St. Louis Blues on Friday.
Teemu Selanne also tallied and Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 16 saves for Anaheim, which has won eight of its last nine contests.
Pahlsson netted his fifth goal of the season - and third game-winner - on the first shot of the extra session, as he received a pass from Rob Niedermayer at the edge of the crease and deposited the puck past All-Star goaltender Manny Legace.
"With (former Ducks Paul) Kariya and (Andy) McDonald out there, you have to keep your head up and be ready for them," said Pahlsson, who scored his first career overtime goal. "My first focus is to try and keep them from scoring, but it's always nice to chip one in. It's a big goal for the team.
"It was a really great pass, a backhander across the crease. It was almost perfect. Robby saw there were two guys going to me, and he saw me on the back post there."
Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle appreciated the unexpected bonus provided by Niedermayer and Pahlsson.
"We have an understanding that those players check the best players in the league. Tonight was another indication that they found a way to get the job done for us in scoring a goal," he said. "Offense isn't one of their fortes, but when the game is on the line, those players have been able to deliver for us before, and they delivered again tonight."
After two scoreless periods, Ryan Johnson gave the Blues a 1-0 lead at 2:17 of the third with his third goal of the season.
Using Anaheim defenseman Mathieu Schneider as a screen, Johnson unleashed a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle that beat Giguere high to the stick side.
"It was kind of a cycle by Danny Hinote and (Lee) Stempniak. I was able to find a little place in the high slot, and Stemper was able to get it to me," Johnson said. "I had about 10 feet (open) to stop it off my skate and take a step, so I had a little room."
Selanne evened the game at 1-1 just 1:58 later, when he deflected Schneider's shot past Legace. It was the 37-year-old Finn's third goal since putting off retirement and signing a one-year contract on January 28.
"It was a set play. I didn't see the puck coming," Selanne said. "I got my stick on it, and it changed direction a little bit."
"That was really a huge goal for us. After they scored, they kept coming at us," Schneider said. "It was important to get it back so quickly. We had to scratch and claw to get this win."
Legace turned aside 27 shots for the Blues, who are just 2-10 in games that go beyond regulation.
"We knew it was going to be a game where we would have to play well defensively, that Manny would have to be good for us, and he was," St. Louis coach Andy Murray said. "Giguere made some big saves. There was a 2-on-1 with 40 seconds left in the hockey game, and he makes a heck of save on us.
"We had some battle in us tonight. You need your goalie to be good when you're playing against very good teams, and our goalie was good tonight. They're a very good team, and anyone that's going to win the Stanley Cup is going to have to go through Anaheim."
The game marked the return to Honda Center of the popular McDonald, who was dealt to St. Louis as part of the deal involving Doug Weight on December 14.
About seven minutes into the contest, the Ducks showed a video tribute to McDonald on their main board. The crowd gave him a rousing ovation, which McDonald acknowledged with a wave.
"What a nice thing to do for a former player," McDonald said. "I certainly was treated well while I was here, and you saw it again tonight. To see that kind of reception from the fans is quite an honor.
"I'm kind of glad that it's over with. It was kind of a weird feeling stepping on the ice. It was a pretty warm reception. I saw a lot of signs during the warmup, and the fans treated me great while I was here and then again tonight. I'm going to have nothing but positive memories about being here and I will always cherish my time here in Anaheim."
Selanne praised the Ducks' treatment of his former linemate.
"I thought that was very classy what they did for him," he said.
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