BOSTON – With one minute left and Anaheim’s first victory seemingly secure, Teemu Selanne turned to coach Randy Carlyle and asked: “Why is Corey Perry out there killing penalties?”
By the time Selanne looked back at the ice, Perry had scored. “That’s why he’s out there killing penalties,” Carlyle said after Perry’s short-handed goal with 53 seconds remaining left clinched the Ducks’ 6-1 victory over the Boston Bruins on Thursday night.
On the night that the Red Sox and Angels opened their baseball playoff series in Anaheim, this one went to the Californians. Selanne scored two goals 82 seconds apart in the second period to give the Ducks the lead, and Perry had two goals and an assist to help the Ducks pull away.
“It’s like when they got up a couple of goals, we never pushed back,” Bruins forward Marc Savard said. “That’s not our team.”
Bobby Ryan and Evgeny Artyukhin also scored for the Ducks, and Jonas Hiller stopped 33 shots. James Wisniewski and Scott Niedermayer had a pair of assists apiece for Anaheim, which lost its opener 4-1 and then blew a 3-0 lead against Minnesota on Tuesday before losing in overtime.
Tim Thomas, the reigning Vezina Trophy winner, made 24 saves for Boston, which outshot the Ducks 19-11 in the first period but mustered few scoring chances after that.
“(There are) too many skilled guys not going, and I’ll have to deal with the dirty laundry in the dressing room,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “When you need to keep talking about your fourth line being your best line, it doesn’t bode well for your hockey team.”
Marco Sturm gave Boston the lead with 3:27 left in the first when Savard slid him a backhander across the middle. But Matt Hunwick was called for interference early in the second, then Sturm went off for hooking 52 seconds later, giving Anaheim a two-man advantage.
On the Ducks’ only power plays of the game, Niedermayer dug the puck out of the corner and found Selanne alone in the slot for his first goal. Still up one man, Selanne gave Anaheim the lead 3:36 into the second when he picked up the rebound of Saku Koivu’s shot and took it around the left of the net before putting it in to make 2-1.
“Both goals changed the momentum and gave us life and energy,” said Selanne, who leads active NHL players with 581 goals and had never gone three games into the season without a point when healthy. “It’s very disappointing what happened in Minnesota the other night. We know how important the power play is, it can turn the whole game around.”
The Ducks, who lost their first four games last year, beat the top-seeded San Jose Sharks in the first round of the playoffs before losing to the eventual Western Conference champion Detroit Red Wings in the conference semifinals. The Sharks got a small amount of payback in this year’s season opener, winning 4-1, before the Ducks gave up four unanswered goals to Minnesota.
“We were embarrassed at home on opening night, and then let the 3-0 lead slip away our next game,” Carlyle said. “So we had a lot to prove.”
Notes: Ryan Getzlaf played in his 300th NHL game. … All three of Boston’s games this season have been decided by at least three goals. … The Bruins replaced player rep Andrew Ference with Mark Stuart. … Boston was 0-for-6 on the power play. Perry’s second goal was short-handed with 53 seconds left. … The Bruins beat Anaheim 6-0 in their previous meeting, on Feb. 26.