The 2013-14 season was filled with new franchise records, player milestones, incredible comeback victories, and of course, memories of Teemu Selanne. Anaheim concluded the season with a record of 54-20-8, the best mark in club history. The Ducks finished with the top record in the Western Conference for the first time in franchise history and set season records for standings points (116), wins (54) and win/points percentage (.707). In addition, the Ducks led the league in goals (263) for the first time in club history (excluding shootout tallies) and established season bests for goals (263), home wins (29) road wins (25), home points (62) and road points (54). Over the past couple weeks, AnaheimDucks.com counted down the top 25 moments from the season. Here is the final installment.
5. April 18, 2014
Busted Mouth Doesn’t Stop Getzlaf
In the closing moments of Game 1 vs. Dallas at Honda Center, Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf took a Tyler Seguin shot to the face. The injury, which was described as a “deep laceration,” required numerous stitches, but there was never really any doubt it would keep Getzlaf out of the lineup for Game 2. Getzlaf sported a clear protective shield, and his presence was immediately felt, as he dished out a thunderous hit on his first shift of the game that set the tone for the remainder of the contest.
Trailing 1-0 with under three minutes remaining in the first, Getzlaf knocked down an Erik Cole outlet pass in the offensive zone and chugged his way to the net. Uncontested, he roofed one short side over Kari Lehtonen. Tie game, 1-1. Getzlaf would also record an assist on Andrew Cogliano’s eventual game-winning shorthanded goal in the third period that gave the Ducks a 2-0 series lead. Getzlaf finished the contest with two points, three hits, a plus-3 rating and was named the First Star of the game.
4. May 3 – May 16, 2014
Ducks, Kings Take Rivalry to New Heights
For the first time in hockey history, the Ducks and Kings squared off in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The series was also a first for Southern California. Never before had two local major sports teams faced each other in the postseason. It was a series 20 years in the making, and though the outcome wasn’t what the Ducks – and their fans – hoped for, it was a series that will always be remembered.
The first-ever Battle for Southern California saw the Kings take a 2-0 series lead with both victories occurring at Honda Center. The Ducks roared back, winning three consecutive games, including John Gibson’s postseason debut (shutout) in Game 4 at Staples Center. But the Ducks couldn’t finish off the Kings in Game 6 at Staples Center, and LA took full advantage, controlling much of Game 7 en route to a series victory over Anaheim.
3. January 25, 2014
Ducks, Kings Play Historic Outdoor Game
The scene was unlike anything ever seen before. Nestled in the outfield at historic Dodger Stadium, an ice rink quietly rested, waiting for what was to become the first-ever outdoor hockey game in California. A beach volleyball court held serve in left field, while KISS rocked out on stage in right field. Kids played street hockey on a roller hockey rink in the infield. With the outside temperature reading a comfortable 62 degrees, fans packed the 56,000-seat stadium in shorts and flip flops – a stark contrast to the snowy conditions at the Winter Classic held at the Big House in Ann Arbor, Michigan. There, the thermometer registered 13 degrees with a wind chill of zero.
The Ducks and Kings made their way onto the ice from center field, walking side by side past palm trees. Following the two teams was “The Great One,” Wayne Gretzky, who waved to the fans as he made his way onto the ice for the ceremonial faceoff.
In the end, it was a game the Ducks would ultimately win 3-0 on goals from Corey Perry, Matt Beleskey and Andrew Cogliano. But in a broader sense, the game was a testament to the growth of hockey in Southern California. It started with Gretzky, and continues with players like Getzlaf, Perry, Kopitar and Doughty.
Legendary broadcaster Vin Scully summed it up prior to the game: “Welcome the boys of winter to the place where dreams come true.”
2. April 27, 2014
Ducks Complete Dramatic Comeback in Dallas, Win Series
The Ducks returned to Dallas holding a 3-2 series lead with an opportunity to close out their first round series against the Stars. The home team won every game of the series up to this point, and the Stars came out flying in front of a raucous American Airlines Center crowd. A 2-0 lead eventually led to a 4-2 cushion for the Stars, who entered the third period just 20 minutes away from forcing a Game 7 in Anaheim. But with less than three minutes remaining in regulation, the Ducks cut it to a one-goal deficit courtesy of Nick Bonino. What followed will forever be a part of Ducks history.
With the net empty and five attackers on the ice (the teams were skating four-on-four because of matching minors), a net-mouth scramble developed in front of Kari Lehtonen. Eventually, the puck found its way to Devante Smith-Pelly, who was patiently waiting at the far post. Smith-Pelly roofed it, tying the game with 24 seconds remaining.
The game went to overtime, but it didn’t last long. After a cycle down low, Andrew Cogliano emerged from behind the Dallas net, finding Bonino open in a soft area in the slot. In one motion, Bonino received the pass then fired it past Lehtonen, completing the comeback in dramatic fashion.
The game marked the latest multi-goal comeback in Ducks playoff franchise history. In addition, the Ducks became the fifth NHL team since 1977 to rally from a multiple-goal deficit in the final 2:10 of regulation to win a playoff game.
1. April 13, 2014
Selanne, Giguere Embrace, Salute Crowd
It was a moment of pure emotion, admiration and spontaneity. After the horn sounded, ending Anaheim’s final game of the regular season (a 3-2 Ducks OT win vs. Colorado), Teemu Selanne, the most beloved Duck of all time, took a victory lap, saluting the standing-room-only crowd of 17,528 – the largest of the season – at Honda Center. Selanne was met with a standing ovation every time he took a shift in the third period (an idea spawned on social media) and was named all three stars of the game.
The moment became even more special when he grabbed former teammate and longtime friend Jean-Sebastien Giguere for a victory lap around the ice. Selanne admitted he didn’t plan on that to happen, but knew the time was right to honor Giguere, who hinted at retirement this season. “When I saw him, I said ‘This is the time,'" Selanne said. "We’ve had a great journey together, and we’re good friends. It was an honor to share this night with him."
The moment perfectly encapsulated Selanne’s persona. “It just comes natural for him to do nice things to people,” said Giguere. “That's why everybody loves Teemu. I'll be forever grateful for what he did. I almost felt guilty, because this is his night.”
Previous Top Moments of 2013-14