ST. LOUIS (AP) - Chris Kunitz was the surprise shooter in regulation, and that gave him a chance to score the game-winner.
Kunitz, who has only six goals and 11 points in 26 games, scored twice in the Anaheim Mighty Ducks' 5-4 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night.
Staying the hot hand, coach Randy Carlyle picked Kunitz in the shootout and he was the only scorer.
"Just having the chance to put it on the line at the end with the coach putting me out there was a lot of fun," Kunitz said. "We needed the two points anyway it came and it was a great way to get it."
Francois Beauchemin had three assists for the Ducks, who blew a two-goal, third-period lead.
"It wasn't pretty," Carlyle said. "I'm sure both coaches are not extremely happy with the way both teams played."
Anaheim scored an unusual goal in the second period when St. Louis' Dean McAmmond's pass to the point went into an empty net after sailing the length of the ice.
"I was fairly deflated," McAmmond said. "As for the rest of the guys, I'm sure they weren't excited. But you know what, they said 'Let's not let that beat us' and we battled back."
Kunitz scored in a two-goal, 10-second flurry in the first period.
"He was firing it from everywhere," Blues goalie Curtis Sanford said. "He got a couple of nice, high-shot goals and he buried the one in the shootout, so he had a pretty good game."
The Blues had three power-play goals, including scores by Doug Weight and Mike Sillinger in the third to tie it.
Kunitz, the second of three shooters in the shootout for the Mighty Ducks, beat Sanford with a backhander. Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped McAmmond, Weight and Sillinger.
Sanford played for the first time since Dec. 16, when he sustained a hip flexor after relieving Jason Bacashihua in the first period.
"The coach looked over at me and told me to get in there and the blood started pumping," Sanford said. "I felt real excited just to get in there and get back at it."
Weight had a goal and two assists for the Blues, who have lost three in a row at home and are 4-12-3 overall there.
The Ducks' third goal, McAmmond's gaffe, came after Sanford had left for the bench during a delayed hooking call on Petr Sykora at 7:27 of the second. Vitaly Vishnevski, the last Ducks' player to touch the puck, was credited with his first goal of the season, putting Anaheim ahead 3-1.
Sanford was on the bench getting a drink when the puck went into the net.
"It's funny how clean that one went in ... just right in the middle of the net," Sanford said.
McAmmond partially atoned with his 12th goal later in the period, when he scored on his own rebound.
The Blues scored on the game's opening salvo, with Jamal Mayers netting a rebound at the 23-second mark. Anaheim took the lead with two goals in a 10-second span by Andy McDonald and Kunitz, the latter chasing Bacashihua.
Notes: The Ducks won the season series 3-1. ... Blues F Simon Gamache was a healthy scratch for the third straight game and D Kevin Dallman for the eighth straight game. ... In four games, the Ducks outscored the Blues 10-4 in the first period. ... The Blues are 0-16-2 when trailing after two periods. ... Kunitz had one goal and one assist in his previous eight games.
|Jamal Mayers (10) ASST: Dennis Wideman (6)|
1 - 0 STL
|Andy McDonald (12) ASST: Teemu Selanne (13), Francois Beauchemin (10)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Chris Kunitz (5) ASST: Joffrey Lupul (14), Francois Beauchemin (11)|
2 - 1 ANA
|EN - Vitaly Vishnevski (1) ASST: NONE|
3 - 1 ANA
|PPG - Dean McAmmond (12) ASST: Scott Young (17), Doug Weight (23)|
3 - 2 ANA
|Chris Kunitz (6) ASST: Todd Marchant (11), Joffrey Lupul (15)|
4 - 2 ANA
|PPG - Doug Weight (7) ASST: Mike Sillinger (13), Scott Young (18)|
4 - 3 ANA
|PPG - Mike Sillinger (12) ASST: Doug Weight (24), Dennis Wideman (7)|
4 - 4 Tie
|1||J. Lupul||D. McAmmond|
|2||C. Kunitz||D. Weight|
|3||P. Sykora||M. Sillinger|
|Scott Niedermayer Hooking|
|Todd Fedoruk Boarding|
|Todd Fedoruk Fighting (maj)|
|Matt Walker Instigator|
|Matt Walker Fighting (maj)|
|Matt Walker Misconduct (10 min)|
|Doug Weight Slashing|
|Doug Weight Interference|
|Petr Sykora Hooking|
|Bryce Salvador Hooking|
|Chris Kunitz Hooking|
|Jonathan Hedstrom Holding|
|Todd Fedoruk Holding|
|Samuel Pahlsson Hooking|
|Ruslan Salei Hooking|