It figures to be an emotional night on the ice and in the stands as the Ducks close out the regular season against the Colorado Avalanche at Honda Center.
Tonight marks Teemu Selanne’s final regular season game in his illustrious 22-year NHL career. Selanne didn’t play last night in Los Angeles, staying true to the deal of resting in one of two games in back-to-back situations.
The 43-year-old, who will play regular-season game No. 1,451 tonight, says he’ll be living in the moment.
“I don’t really know what to expect, but let’s see how it goes,” he said. “The main focus is to play well. But, it’s always an opportunity to enjoy it, and that’s what it’s all about.
“It’s in many ways sad. But, on the same hand, there’s a lot of happiness and appreciation for everything,” he said. “At least we know this is going to be the last regular season game. Hopefully it’s going to end with a celebration, but you never know. When that happens, it goes quickly. I try to enjoy it, and it’s been a great road, and journey, so far. It’ll be a very special day for me.”
Fans have been using social media to encourage those in attendance to give Selanne a standing ovation every time he’s on the ice in the third period.
The NHL's oldest active player and oldest to ever compete in a Ducks uniform at 43 years and 92 days at the start of the season, Selanne ranks 11th among all-time leaders in goals, tied for 37th in all-time assists, 15th in all-time scoring, third in all-time power-play goals, tied for fourth with Brett Hull in all-time game-winning goals (110) and 22nd in all-time games.
Selanne is the club's all-time leader in scoring (988), goals (457), assists (531), games (963), plus/minus (+119), PPG (182), PPP (410), GWG (77), shots (2,961) and OT goals (6).
DUCKS CLINCH TOP SPOT IN THE WEST
After clinching the top record in the Western Conference last night for the first time in franchise history, courtesy of a 4-3 shootout victory over rival Los Angeles, the Ducks know who they’ll be facing in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Anaheim will play Dallas in the best-of-seven series that will begin at Honda Center next week (schedule TBD).
“We know we have a real worthy opponent,” said head coach Bruce Boudreau. “They’ve beaten us twice out of the three times this year, and they’ll be ready to play. They’ve got a lot of young guys that are just excited to be there. I’ve been in that situation. They’re a tough team to beat.”
With last night’s victory, the Ducks improved to 53-20-8, extending their franchise-record with 114 standings points (previous record was 110, 2006-07). The club's current .703 points percentage also guarantees a franchise record (regardless of tonight's result), besting last season’s .688 points percentage.
The Ducks have 25 comeback wins this season, the most in the NHL since 2010-11 (Washington, 25).
The Pacific Division champion Ducks finish division play with a 22-4-3 record (.804%) in the division, which is the best record of any team vs. any division. Anaheim also has the NHL’s best record in intra-conference games this season, going 34-12-3 (.724%).
The Ducks also conclude their road schedule setting franchise records for wins (25; previously 22, 2008-09 and 2006-07), points (54; previously 49, 2006-07), and goals (123; previously 115, 2008-09)
Anaheim extended the club record for goals in one season (260*), besting the previous mark of 254 (2006-07).
*does not include shootout goals
Anaheim and Colorado conclude a three-game season series tonight at Honda Center. The Ducks are 33-30-12 all-time vs. the Avalanche, including a 18-14-5 mark in Orange County. The first two games of the season series were played at Pepsi Center: a 6-1 Colorado win on Oct 2 and a 6-4 Anaheim victory on Mar. 14. In the March win, Anaheim set a club record for goals in a period with six tallies in the second frame. The Ducks-Avalanche combined for nine goals in the second period, a two-team record involving Anaheim. The six Ducks goals came in 16:03, the fastest six scored in club history. The first five Anaheim goals were also a club record for fastest five tallies, coming in 8:45.
Selanne leads Anaheim skaters in career scoring vs. the Avalanche, earning 77 points (36g/41a) in 69 games.