Ducks Finish Season With Win Over Avs
Posted by Rudy Martinez on Apr 14, 2014 - 1:07:07 PM
ANAHEIM—The Ducks made a comeback to finish the season with a home win.
Colorado’s two goals set the Ducks for a pair of goals in the third period. Nick Bonino scored the game winner in overtime to beat the Avalanche 3-2 at Honda Center Sunday night. The game brought a conclusion to one of the finest careers spent with the Ducks with Teemu Selanne in his final regular season game.
Both teams are making the post season with
Colorado entering their first since the 2002-2003 season. Since both are not playing each other in the first round, the game was a possible precursor to a matchup in the future. With that in the minds of the
Colorado squad, they got off to a rush start in the first period taking shots to the net of John Gibson in his third start this year.
He held off nearly every shot the Avs could fire at him, but a play in front of the net did not go his way. In a fight to slap the puck into the Ducks net, Nick Holden sent a drive that went off Gibson for Brad Malone to give it another boost of energy only to be stopped by the whistle. In a complete turnaround, the referees went to the video where the puck crossed the line for a good goal. The Ducks charged on the offense taking every shot at former
Anaheim goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere, but found no vulnerability with the opposition getting prepared for post season play.
Former teammates Jean-Sebastien Giguere (left) and Teemu Selanne (right) hand in hand in Selanne's final regular season game.
The second period was frustrating for the Ducks, as they upped the ante on the
Colorado netminder with every line trying to break through the Avs net with no result. Kyle Palmieri attempted a wrap around shot that was caught by Giguere’s fast glove. The same could be said for Bonino’s open net drive that couldn’t leave the ice, sliding towards the glove pad and into safe hands.
Colorado handed the Ducks a pair of penalties spanning four minutes, but even the man advantage did not help their cause. The Avs decided to respond with an attack late in the period where a shot from Maxime Talbot stopped in front of the
Anaheim crease. Stefan Elliot sent a snap shot across the open stick side of Gibson to record his first goal of the season. Holding a 2-0 lead was not a great outlook for the Ducks, but had been known to comeback from a short deficit.
The idea took hold in the third where Patrick Maroon scored on a tip in from Mathieu Perreault’s drive that stopped short for Maroon to get his 11th of the year. The Ducks didn’t waste time as they took a play near the fifth minute for Saku Koivu to tie the game on a backhander. That gave Koivu his 11th and tied the game. The fight was alive in the heart of the Anaheim Ducks, but time on the clock, and the Avs will to win were still standing. With no penalties in the period, the game would need to be decided in overtime where the Ducks hold a 8-8 record after regulation.
The fight to end their OT record on a high note arrived 93 seconds after the faceoff where Bonino got a second chance to put his name on the score sheet. In an attempt to clear the puck from their zone, Saturday’s hero in Devante Smith-Pelly set up his teammate with a pass to score the winning goal. It sent the fans wild in
Anaheim’s finish, holding a four-game winning streak and finishing Gibson with a stellar 3-0-0 record for 2014.
The season can go into the sunset as the Ducks finish with 116 points, the most ever won by the franchise in their history. The work begins on setting up the right changes and strategies as they open the first of seven games against the Dallas Stars that begins Wednesday night.