ANAHEIM, Calif. – Corey Perry finished off in a shootout what his teammates started in the third period.
Perry scored the deciding goal in the shootout as the Anaheim Ducks found a higher level in the third period to rally for a 3-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche.
“We came out and seemed to find our skating legs underneath us in the third,” said Rob Niedermayer. “We really pressured them and I thought that got the game turned around for us.”
After Perry opened the shootout by beating Colorado goalie Peter Budaj, Anaheim’s Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped all three Colorado shooters to secure the Ducks’ seventh victory in eight games.
Trailing 2-1, the Ducks tied the game when Niedermayer deflected a shot by Chris Pronger past Budaj with 10:37 to play.
“In the third it was a test of their will and we had a lot of will,” said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle. “That’s a huge positive for our group. I didn’t have to say much. They basically understood they could play to a higher level and win one-on-one battles, get inside and skate more.”
The loss was the fifth straight for Colorado. The Avalanche had not previously lost five consecutive games in nearly ten years since dropping six from March 30-April 11, 1998.
“We worked like dogs out there and battled,” Colorado coach Joel Quenneville said. “I think we battled a lot better than we showed in the last couple games.”
Teemu Selanne also scored his second goal of the season for the Ducks, who have won all three meetings between the teams this season.
Colorado got second-period goals from Jeff Finger and Andrew Brunette for a 2-1 lead before Niedermayer tied the game.
“I don’t feel like we played a bad game at all,” Avalanche forward Milan Hedjuk said. “We had a one-goal lead, but we couldn’t hold it.”
Giguere finished with 26 saves before he was perfect in the shootout.
“Jiggy used to struggle quite a bit with shootouts, he’s worked so hard in the last little while to be able to steal us one like tonight,” Ryan Getzlaf said. “He stood in and got it done for us.”
The Ducks took a 1-0 lead with when Chris Kunitz made a no-look pass between his legs from the edge of the crease to Selanne on the right post for a tap-in goal during the second of back-to-back power plays 13:31 into the first.
The Ducks are 6-1 since Selanne, who led Anaheim with 48 goals last season, finally returned Feb. 5 after considering retirement for the first four months of the season.
Notes: The Ducks lost C Ryan Carter with a bruised right forearm in the first period. He will be further evaluated Thursday. … Avalanche defenceman Kyle Cumiskey returned after missing 17 games with a groin injury. … Leading Colorado scorer Paul Stastny has also been out the lineup since January 15 with a groin injury, he could return shortly. … Center Joe Sakic practised with the team in Denver Tuesday and should return to the lineup during the road trip. Sakic has not played since suffering a groin injury on November 30. He underwent sports hernia surgery on December 28. … Ducks C Doug Weight remains sidelined with a shoulder strain.