Life at the Honda Center may be a lot of things, but dull isn't one of them.
The Anaheim Ducks earned their second improbable OT victory in three days when Lubomir Visnovsky scored a power-play goal with 3.8 seconds left in the extra period, giving them a 4-3 victory against the Dallas Stars on Friday night.
Two nights after Bobby Ryan's OT penalty shot beat Detroit, Visnovsky completed the first hat trick by a defenseman in franchise history when Ryan Getzlaf won a draw back to him at the left point. He worked his way into the high slot and blasted a high slap shot past Kari Lehtonen for the win.
"Wow, it's awesome," Visnovsky said after his second career hat trick. "It was a lucky night for me. I'm so happy to score three goals tonight."
Not as happy as the Ducks, who went from looking at going home empty-handed to leaving with two points -- giving them 75, the same as the Stars.
The single point did move Dallas into eighth because the Ducks have played one more game.
"It's a big point for us, even though we gave up a point," Stars coach Marc Crawford said. "As of right now, we're in the playoffs. We just have to keep moving forward."
It's the second game in a row that the Stars have given up the tying goal after the opponent pulled its goaltender for an extra attacker. Dallas won 3-2 in Phoenix on Tuesday when Jamie Benn scored a power-play goal with 4.8 seconds left in regulation.
This time, the Stars weren't so fortunate.
"We made a couple of mistakes we have to correct," Crawford said. "That's twice now that we've gotten scored on with the goaltender pulled, and both have been errors on our part, as opposed to good plays by the opposition. That's something we're going to have to clear up."
Getting to overtime was an accomplishment for the Ducks, who trailed 3-1 with less than 15 minutes left in regulation following a lackluster second period. But Visnovsky got them to within one with his second of the game at 5:24 of the third, ripping a one-timer over Lehtonen's glove off a feed from Teemu Selanne.
Selanne forced overtime by scoring with 1:03 left in regulation and the Ducks skating with an extra attacker and Ellis on the bench. Ryan dug out the puck from behind the net and fed Visnovsky, who sent it across the ice to Getzlaf. He quickly touched it to Selanne, who scooped it past Lehtonen from between the circles to make it 3-3. It was his 400th goal with the Ducks.
"You have to believe," Selanne said, "and get the feeling as a team that you're going to come back. It doesn't matter what the score is. That is what happened tonight."
Visnovsky opened the scoring 9:22 into the game with a wrister that beat a screened Lehtonen while the teams were playing 4-on-4.
But Dallas completely dominated the second period, scoring three times.
Jamie Benn tied it at 2:23 by redirecting an Alex Goligoski pass behind Ellis. Adam Burish out Dallas ahead at 10:35 by beating Ellis to the stick side from the right wing circle.
Dallas got back-to-back power plays late in the period and cashed in the second one when Mike Ribeiro fired a shot from the point that Loui Eriksson tipped under Ellis from between the circles at 18:37.
"I don't know why, but the first two periods we were really flat emotionally," Selanne said. "I think everybody got really mad in the third and found a way to win the game. It was huge."
Both coaches can feel the intensity of the playoff race as the season heads into the final five weeks.
"They are intense games," Crawford said. "They're fun to play in. Unfortunately we gave up the two-goal lead in the third period."
Said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle, "There is a real hockey atmosphere being displayed out there and a lot of passion. It's a very entertaining brand of hockey. It was good for our fans. They rallied behind our guys. Any time you pull your goalie and score late in the hockey game, you have to feel fortunate. Again lady luck was on our side, but we worked for it."
Material from team media was used in this report
|Lubomir Visnovsky (10) ASST: Bobby Ryan (24), Dan Sexton (8)|
1 - 0 ANA
|Jamie Benn (15) ASST: Alex Goligoski (25), Brenden Morrow (19)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Adam Burish (8) ASST: Jason Williams (3), Trevor Daley (18)|
2 - 1 DAL
|PPG - Loui Eriksson (22) ASST: Stephane Robidas (23), Mike Ribeiro (41)|
3 - 1 DAL
|PPG - Lubomir Visnovsky (11) ASST: Teemu Selanne (39), Ryan Getzlaf (34)|
3 - 2 DAL
|Teemu Selanne (21) ASST: Ryan Getzlaf (35), Lubomir Visnovsky (39)|
3 - 3 Tie
|PPG - Lubomir Visnovsky (12) ASST: Ryan Getzlaf (36)|
4 - 3 ANA
|Steve Ott Hooking against Kyle Chipchura|
|Jamie Langenbrunner Roughing against Jarkko Ruutu|
|Jarkko Ruutu Roughing against Jamie Langenbrunner|
|Ryan Getzlaf Holding against Jamie Benn|
|Brandon McMillan Hooking against Loui Eriksson|
|Stephane Robidas Holding against Brad Winchester|
|Todd Marchant Hooking against Tomas Vincour|
|Jamie Benn Cross checking against Brad Winchester|
|Brad Winchester Cross checking against Jamie Benn|
|Tom Wandell Hooking against Ryan Getzlaf|