SUNRISE, Fla. – The Anaheim Ducks are in full flight in an unlikely playoff push.
Teemu Selanne scored in the first period and Jonas Hiller made 31 saves in the Ducks’ 2-0 victory over the Florida Panthers on Sunday night.
Niklas Hagman added an empty-net goal with 14.3 seconds left and the Ducks earned at least a point for the ninth consecutive game. At 60 points, the Ducks are five points behind eighth-place Calgary in the Western Conference.
“It’s nice to get to the 60-point plateau because then you can at least see the guys in the distance,” Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. “We always believed that we’re there. We don’t really care what anybody else thinks about it. As long as we believe we’re there, we’re OK.”
Anaheim opened the scoring with 7:47 left in the first period on Selanne’s 20th goal of the season. Jose Theodore blocked Bobby Ryan’s shot from the left circle, but the 41-year-old Selanne scored off the rebound.
Selanne is the oldest player to score 20 goals in the NHL since Johnny Bucyk did it for Boston in 1976-77. Selanne moved past Brendan Shanahan into sole possession of 12th place on the career goals list with 657. Selanne has 17 20-goal seasons, tying the Finn for fifth on the career list.
“That’s almost overwhelming to hear your name in the same group as those guys,” Selanne said. “It’s unbelievable. I could never imagine that I could climb up with those guys and very thankful for that.”
Hiller has three shutouts this season.
“On the road, it’s all about winning. It doesn’t always have to be pretty,” Hiller said. “I thought it wasn’t our best game tonight. But still we found a way. We’re definitely happy with the two points.”
Theodore made 25 saves for Florida. The Panthers lost for the third consecutive game and has only scored three goals in those games.
“I thought tonight we really played hard and had some chances but Hiller made some good saves,” Theodore said. “Maybe we’re holding our sticks a little tight right now.”
The Panthers couldn’t produce much offence and failed to get off a single shot during a four-minute power play in the first period and only one during a power play in the second.
“We need to find ways to score goals right now,” Panthers coach Kevin Dineen said. “We’re not creating enough on offence to get us two points at the end of the night.”
NOTES: Florida C Stephen Weiss tied Radek Dvorak for most games played in Panthers franchise history at 613. … Florida RW Matt Bradley left the game with an upper-body injury in the second period. He didn’t return.