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Selanne scores twice, Giguere stops 34 shots as Ducks down Thrashers 2-1

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Selanne scored two goals, including the tiebreaker in the third period, as the Anaheim Ducks beat the Atlanta Thrashers 2-1 and set the NHL mark for best road record through 15 games. About one minute after the Thrashers pulled even at 1-1 in the third period, Selanne skated alone into the slot and scored on a pass from Andy McDonald to restore the Ducks' lead.

"I was shocked," Selanne said of the defensive breakdown by the Thrashers. "It was like junior hockey."

The mistake spoiled Atlanta's hopes for a comeback victory.

"We tied, we got the momentum back, then a minute later a bad read and we leave one of the best scorers in the NHL wide open," Thrashers coach Bob Hartley said. "That's not acceptable."

The Ducks extended their club-record road winning streak to seven and improved to 12-1-2 for 26 points away from home, the most for 15 games in NHL history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The 1951-52 Detroit Red Wings had 25 points (10-0-5).

"I know what we are capable of," Selanne said. "We raised the bar higher."

Anaheim has won 10 of 11 overall.

Atlanta has lost three straight after a five-game winning streak.

"Right now, it seems like every break goes against us," Hartley said.

Selanne, who recorded his fifth two-goal game of the season, has 19 goals and 43 points. He nudged ahead of Atlanta's Marian Hossa for second in the NHL scoring race.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped 34 shots to win his ninth straight start for the Ducks, who have won five in a row and have the league's best record (25-3-6).

Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle was unimpressed with his team's play in a 5-4 win at Florida on Tuesday night. He says his players responded to his challenge.

"We had enough energy to start because we weren't very good last night in Florida," Carlyle said. "We weren't happy with our game and they took that responsibility on themselves and committed to much more of a simplified game in the first period."

The Ducks set the pace for a physical game with their aggressive attacks and hard checks while outshooting the Thrashers 14-4 in the opening period.

Niko Kapanen scored Atlanta's only goal and Kari Lehtonen stopped 30 shots to keep the Thrashers close.

"Both goalies were outstanding," Selanne said. "They really kept the score down. (Giguere) was there when we needed him."

Selanne's power-play wrist shot over Lehtonen's glove broke a scoreless tie 15:41 into the second period.

The Ducks have scored at least one power-play goal in 15 of 17 games and began the night first in the NHL in power-play percentage (22.7).

The Thrashers' growing frustration peaked at the end of the second period. Giguere stopped a shot as time expired, but Ilya Kovalchuk knocked the deflection into the net to draw a brief angry response from the Ducks. Kovalchuk was escorted off the ice by the officials.

Atlanta avoided the shutout midway through the third period when Kapanen, charging straight at the net, scored on a pass from Kovalchuk in the right circle to tie it at 1.

"The Thrashers are a very good team, very much a force offensively in this league," Giguere said. "To be able to hold them to one goal in a back-to-back is huge for us."

Notes: Thrashers captain and fourth-leading scorer Scott Mellanby was held out with flu symptoms. LW Brad Larsen didn't play due to an upper-body injury. ... Atlanta's Jon Sim and Anaheim's Shane O'Brien were given misconducts 13:57 into the second period. ... Lehtonen was credited with an assist on Kapanen's goal.


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