ANAHEIM, Calif. – Jonathan Hedstrom's penalty shot goal at 3:22 of overtime lifted the Ducks to a 5-4 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night at the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim.
The Ducks rallied from 3-0 and 4-1 deficits in the game led by a two power play goals from captain Scott Niedermayer and a third period game-tying goal by Andy McDonald.
“You have to credit the players,” said Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle. “It’s just an exclamation point on the resiliency they’ve been able to prove throughout the course of the season.”
Coming off three straight road wins, the Ducks got behind early as a result of three first period goals by the Avs’ Joe Sakic (PPG 5:38 - 27, Liles, Blake), Brett McLean (9:36 – 8, Laaksonen, Blake) and Antti Laaksonen (10:39 – 16, McLean, Laperriere).
After Colorado’s third goal of the period, Ducks starting goaltender JS Giguere was pulled in favor of Ilya Bryzgalov.
Ryan Getzlaf (10, Kunitz, Perry) got some momentum back for Anaheim with a power play goal at 15:21 of the first period to cut Colorado lead to 3-1.
Pierre Turgeon (13, Blake) made it 4-1 at 3:54 of the second period. The veteran center got in alone and ripped a slap shot past Bryzgalov for his 13th goal of the year.
Scott Niedermayer (10, Selanne, Getzlaf) got his first of two power play goals at 12:24 of the second period to cut the Colorado lead in half to 4-2.
The Ducks started the third period with 30 seconds remaining on a man-advantage with Colorado’s Brad Richardson in the penalty box. Scott Niedermayer (11, Lupul, McDonald) shot a loose puck past Avs netminder Peter Budaj for his 11th goal of the season.
“It’s important that we came back in the second and third periods and played like we can,” said Scott Niedermayer. “It’s a long, hard stretch and we’re trying to get into the playoffs. You don’t want to let up for a second.
At 7:03 of the third, McDonald (26, Kunitz, Selanne) broke in 3-on-2 with linemates Chris Kunitz and Teemu Selanne and buried a shot into an open-net after three highlight-quality passes.
Tied 4-4 after regulation, the Ducks and Avs went to overtime where Hedstrom was hauled down in the clear and awarded a penalty shot.
“It was pretty nice to finish with a game-winner,” said Hedstrom. “Last year [in Sweden] I think I scored nine goals on penalty shots. Every goal, I shot it in the five-hole. I talked to Teemu a little bit and he said to shoot it where you feel most comfortable. So, that’s why I took the shot there.”
The young Swede gave Budaj a quick head fake and fired a low shot between the pads of the Colorado goaltender to win the game for Anaheim.
“This is huge,” said Hedstrom. “We came back from down 4-1. It gives the team a lot of confidence. Bryz played great when he came in. It was a big win for our team.
The Ducks face the Nashville Predators (BUY TICKETS) Friday at the Arrowhead Pond at 7:30 PM with another crucial two points on the line in the Western Conference playoff race.