Rakell, Ducks rally to top Jets on Selanne's big night
Ryan Dittrick (@ryandittrick)
/ Winnipeg Jets
ANAHEIM, California – On the night when Teemu Selanne’s illustrious No. 8 was raised to the rafters at Honda Center, the Anaheim Ducks and Winnipeg Jets put on a fiery offensive display – a fitting homage to one of the game’s all-time greats.
Unfortunately for the Jets, by night’s end the Ducks had rallied back from a 4-2 deficit to defeat the visiting squad 5-4 in a shootout.
Ducks rookie Rickard Rakell had two goals and two assists to lead the way.
Evander Kane, Zach Bogosian, Mark Scheifele and Andrew Ladd scored for the Jets, while Ondrej Pavelec made 39 saves on Sunday night in Southern California.
The Jets, who return home with a .500 record on this three-game road trip, earned three of a possible four points on back-to-back nights against the Ducks and Los Angeles Kings.
“It’s a real positive,” Head Coach Paul Maurice said. “It doesn’t very happen very often in this league.
“I’m disappointed with the loss, but not in the team. The fight was good.”
The Jets got off to the start they wanted, opening the scoring at 7:47 of the opening frame.
Hurtling down the wing and evading the check of Francois Beauchemin in the process, Kane delivered a quick shot through the wickets of Frederik Andersen after Adam Lowry’s initial attempt was kicked out into the slot.
The Ducks got it right back, however, scoring a power-play goal less than a minute after the icebreaker. With Jay Harrison off serving a boarding penalty, Rakell was the beneficiary of a bounce amid a frenetic goalmouth scramble, chipping a shot up and over the goaltender 11 seconds into the advantage.
Pavelec was otherwise exceptional, stopping 12 of the Ducks’ 13 first-period shots, and 39 of 43 overall; none better than his robbery of the ever-dangerous Corey Perry, who leered to the heavens after having an early opportunity fall by the wayside.
Leaving his post at the far point, Bogosian restored the lead at 9:49 as he one-touched a beautiful Michael Frolik centering pass into the yawning cage.
And the Jets weren’t done, potting a third in the opening 20 for the second straight game. Navigating in tight after his initial deflection caught pad, Scheifele buried his own rebound with a quick flick on the forehand, extending the lead to two at 14:36.
“Real good start to our game,” Maurice said. “I thought we competed pretty darn hard, right through. I thought the compete was good.”
Tim Jackman made a game of it with six-and-a-half left in the second, but the Jets were quick to respond. On an odd-man rush with Blake Wheeler, Ladd accepted the pass before rifling a sharp-angle shot past Andersen at 17:42.
Ladd is now tied with Bryan Little for the team lead in goals with 16 on the year.
“We played a pretty solid hockey game,” Ladd said. “In that third period we need to play with more confidence to handle the puck and want it more. We were doing it in the first two periods. You’ve got to have the confidence to keep that going and play the same way.
“It’s in this room and we’ll figure it out.”
Late-period penalties to Matt Beleskey and Sami Vatanen put the Jets on an extended two-man advantage. Early on in the power-play, Dustin Byfuglien annihilated Beauchemin with a devastating (but clean) hit along the half wall, igniting a response from the home side. Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf picked up the extra penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct, extending the already lengthy 5-on-3.
Unfortunately for the Jets, little became of the extended opportunity.
“They came out strong [in the third] and when they killed that 5-on-3, they got the momentum,” Scheifele said. “We got away from our game and held back a little bit.”
“We have to be able to weather that storm,” Bogosian added. “We did get a point out of it, but we should have gotten two.”
That proved costly, as the Ducks made it a one-goal game with 13:35 left in regulation. With Kane off for goaltender interference, Palmieri sailed a backhand shot past Pavelec for the all-important third-period tally.
Rakell recorded his second of the night late to even things up before Vatanen ended it in the shootout.
“You don’t blow leads against LA and Anaheim. You don’t,” Maurice said. “The stats will tell me I’m crazy, but I don’t feel we blew leads in these games. We got three (out of four) points – time to go.”