ANAHEIM, Calif. – Although Jean-Sebastien Giguere’s career has changed drastically since he lost his starting job in Anaheim, the veteran goalie is eager to remind the Ducks – or any potential suitors – that he can still make stops when they matter.
Giguere made 41 saves in his first victory of the season despite allowing Jarome Iginla’s tying goal with 18 seconds left in regulation, and Teemu Selanne scored the only shootout goal in the Ducks’ 3-2 victory over the Calgary Flames on Monday night.
Ryan Getzlaf and Bobby Ryan scored goals, and Corey Perry extended his scoring streak to a career-best 15 games in the Ducks’ 10th straight home victory over Calgary. The win was just Anaheim’s fifth in 16 games, but the Ducks moved out of last place in the Western Conference with a strong game from their young scoring line and their backup goalie.
“It’s been a long time, but it feels good to win,” said Giguere, who was 0-3-2 with unimpressive statistics this season. “I’ll soak it in here for the next 10 minutes. I’m really excited we got the win, and everybody in the dressing room is. If it would have gone the other way around, it would have been a pretty big blow to our team.”
When Curtis Glencross missed the net after Selanne’s goal in the shootout’s third round, Giguere thrust his stick high in the air in celebration. The Ducks’ longtime starter and former playoff MVP lost his job to Jonas Hiller last season and struggled with a strained groin this fall, prompting widespread trade rumours linked to the Ducks’ poor start.
“The one thing about Jiggy is he’s serious about getting better,” Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said. “He comes and he works every day. He was rewarded for all the work he’s put in.”
Giguere had turned away 17 shots in a busy third period until Iginla and Olli Jokinen teamed up on a long rush in the waning seconds. Anaheim’s poor defensive coverage left Iginla to skate in alone, and the Calgary captain buried a quick shot for his 16th goal of the season, and his 12th in 10 games.
“We were under siege pretty much for the whole third period,” Carlyle said. “We basically let them come back at us. Our goaltender made a bunch of big league stops to keep the score 2-1.”
The shootout began inauspiciously for Anaheim when Perry fumbled the puck at mid-ice and had to go back for it before Miikka Kiprusoff stopped his weak shot. Getzlaf also failed, but Nigel Dawes and Jokinen couldn’t score for Calgary before Selanne connected with a stutter-step move against his fellow Finnish star.
Kiprusoff made 29 saves.
“Aside from the goals that they got (early), I think that we played a really good game,” Iginla said. “We had a great third period, a lot of quality scoring chances. I really thought we were going to get the win in the third.”
The Ducks’ win gave them 19 points, pushing them one ahead of Minnesota at the bottom of the conference standings after reaching the conference playoff semifinals last spring.
Glencross scored in the first period for the Flames, who were 5-0-1 on the road since mid-October.
“Except for a couple of shifts, we played a pretty solid game,” Calgary coach Brent Sutter said. “It was just one of those games where you had to be in the trenches, and we did a good job.”
Glencross opened the scoring late in the first period when he blew past Anaheim defenceman Nick Boynton at the blue line and broke in alone on Giguere, roofing his fifth goal of the season.
But the Ducks tied it just more than two minutes later when Getzlaf’s forechecking forced Jamie Lundmark to fumble the puck into the slot, where Perry fired a shot and Ryan knocked it home.
Getzlaf then knocked in a rebound of his own, adroitly backhanding the loose puck resulting from Ryan Whitney’s slap shot 1:08 later for his fourth goal.
NOTES: Glencross’ goal was his first in 10 games since Oct. 20. … Ducks RW Joffrey Lupul missed his second straight game with back spasms. … Perry’s points streak is the longest in the NHL this season and the second-longest in franchise history, trailing only Teemu Selanne’s 17-game run in 1999. … Anaheim won its 299th game at the Honda Center.