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Recap: Miller Shines in Debut, Lifts Ducks to 4-3 Shootout Victory

by Kyle Shohara @kyleshohara /

You can officially call it Miller Time.

Making his Ducks debut, Ryan Miller put together a sensational effort to help give the Ducks a 4-3 shootout victory over the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena on Sunday afternoon. The 37-year-old netminder made 33 saves in the win, including nine in overtime (two of which on breakaways) and three more in the shootout to lift the Ducks to their fourth win in the past five games. Corey Perry scored the lone goal in the shootout for the Ducks, who took three of the four games on the road trip (3-1-0) and improved to 6-4-1 on the season.

Ondrej Kase, Derek Grant and Jakob Silfverberg scored in regulation for the Ducks, who have won three consecutive games against the Hurricanes and have gone 9-1-1 in their last 11 head-to-head matchups. In addition, the Ducks have won four in a row at PNC Arena (a franchise first) and have gone 8-2-1 in the last 11 in Raleigh.

"I felt good early," said Miller, who won his 359th career NHL game. "I felt like I was moving pretty well. I've been doing a lot of breakaways with the guys, so it certainly paid off. It was certainly a great feeling."

Jeff Skinner, Jordan Staal and Justin Faulk scored for the Hurricanes, who fell to 4-5-1 on the season. Scott Darling stopped 22 shots in the loss.

The Ducks were forced to play most of the game with one less forward when Ryan Getzlaf took a puck to facial area on his first shift. Though he would return for six more shifts in the first period, Getzlaf did not return once the second period began.

Kase opened the scoring at the 10:48 mark of the first period when he sent a deceptive wrist shot on net that beat Darling far side. It was a whirling-type shot for Kase, who quickly spun around to get in proper position for the shot. The 21-year-old winger continued his hot start to the season, as the goal served as his fourth of the season in just his eighth game. Kase had five goals in 53 games last year as a rookie.

Video: ANA@CAR: Kase turns, fires home quick shot

Grant pushed the Ducks to a 2-0 lead when he walked in all alone on Darling and had the presence of mind to tuck a shot five-hole with less than three minutes remaining in the opening frame. It represented Grant's third career NHL goal, all scored within the past five games, and set a career high for points in a season (five).

Video: ANA@CAR: Grant beats Darling five-hole after turnover

The Hurricanes cut the deficit in half with a power-play goal late in the first period. After the initial shot made its way through traffic, Skinner muscled the rebound past the goal line for his seventh goal of the season. The goal came with 6.6 seconds remaining in the period.

Staal evened the score at the 6:27 mark of the second period when he finished a nice feed from Sabastian Aho for his third goal of the season. The five-time 20-goal scorer was parked in the high slot and used a forehand shot to beat Miller over his right leg pad.

Riding a wave of momentum, the Hurricanes added another one, this time a go-ahead goal from Faulk, who unloaded a slap shot at the blueline to give the Hurricanes a 3-2 lead with 1:27 remaining in the second period.

Despite this being the second half of a back-to-back, the Ducks came out and controlled the third period. They were rewarded with under five minutes left on the clock when Silfverberg tied the game with his first goal of the season. The play started when Hampus Lindholm led the rush into the zone. From there, he sent a pass to Andrew Cogliano, who left a drop pass to Silfverberg. A quick one-timer that skidded across the ice beat Darling five hole, much to the relief of Silfverberg, who went nearly 11 games without a goal.

Video: ANA@CAR: Silfverberg cranks home a game-tying blast

Once the game went into overtime, Miller stole the show. He made nine stops in the five-minute frame, including two breakaway saves. The Ducks, meanwhile, generated little in terms of offense, instead relying on Miller's heroics to get them to the shootout.

Video: ANA@CAR: Miller denies Rask's OT breakaway try

"I tried to get good positioning and make them get around me," Miller said, on his mindset in the shootout. "It worked out tonight. I was right with the puck on those plays. It was nice."

After going two rounds without a goal from either side, Perry stepped up and beat Darling in the third round. With one shooter to go, Miller shut the door and sealed the victory for Anaheim.

Video: ANA@CAR: Perry finds the net on smooth shootout shot

Seconds later, Miller was swarmed by his teammates after earning his first victory as a member of the Ducks.

Video: ANA@CAR: Miller makes final save for shootout victory

The Ducks will return home for a two-game homestand that begins Wednesday against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Anaheim will also play nine of its first 11 games in the month of November at Honda Center.

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