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Ducks beat Oilers on late Penner goal

by Curtis Zupke

ANAHEIM -- Even at 43 years old, Teemu Selanne will sometimes take a little advice from an old friend on how to get out of a slump. This time it happened to be former teammate Paul Kariya offering the advice.

The message?

"'Go to the net,'" Selanne recalled of the text he got from his former teammate. "'Good things happen.' He knows. But you need luck sometimes too. There's no secret. Sometimes you just can't buy the goal."

Selanne made Kariya look smart Sunday night when he ended his 19-game goal-scoring slump, which matched a career high, and Dustin Penner scored the game-winning goal with 3:17 left in the third period to lift the Anaheim Ducks to a 3-2 win against the Edmonton Oilers at Honda Center.

Penner took a pass from Ryan Getzlaf and snapped a shot that deflected past goalie Ilya Bryzgalov to help the Ducks remain the only team in the NHL without a regulation loss at home (13-0-2). It is the second-longest streak since the 2005-06 season; the San Jose Sharks started 20-0-2 at home in 2008-09.

The streak might have ended if not for offensive-zone work by the top line of Penner, Getzlaf and Corey Perry, who hadn't recorded a point until Penner's game-winner. Getzlaf extended his personal point streak to 16 games with the assist. Perry's NHL-leading seven-game goal-scoring streak ended.

"Maybe we weren't mentally sharp as we had been in the past," Penner said of his line. "We had a lot of days off. That's not an excuse, but maybe that's why. We still have to be better. The team depends on us."

Selanne's 679th career goal, his first since Oct. 20, also ended a streak of 16 games without a point, the second longest such streak of his career; he went 19 games without a point in 2003-04. The goal, which came on a tap-in off Mathieu Perreault's nifty pass from the goal line, put the Ducks ahead at 15:24 of the second period.

"It was like you took a pin to a balloon," Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said of the feeling on the bench. "A lot of air went out. We were watching Jamie Benn score (for the Dallas Stars on Saturday to end his 11-game goalless drought), and he pulled the monkey off his back, so I'm sure T would have done the same thing if he was that kind of guy.""

Boudreau has scratched Selanne five times this season in order to keep him fresh, and it appeared to pay off against the Oilers; Selanne was active around the net with Perreault, who had missed four games with a lower-body injury, back as his center.

"It's funny-- it doesn't go in, and then [I] just needed one," Selanne said. "Hopefully, it's going to be a good confidence boost for myself. It was good to see that go in …. I know how this game works. You just have to be patient and work hard and believe, and go from there. It has been way easier because we've been playing well and winning."

Sam Gagner pulled the Oilers even at 2-2 at 10:26 of the third when he got to a loose puck and backhanded it through Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller's five-hole. Gagner had been demoted to Edmonton's fourth line, but he was skating with Nail Yakupov and David Perron when he scored.

Edmonton got a solid game from Bryzgalov, who made 31 saves in his first appearance since he sustained a head and neck injury Dec.1. The former Ducks goalie kept Edmonton in it with a left-side save on Perreault during a second-period power play.

The Oilers fell to 1-6-2 against Pacific Division opponents with the loss. They visit the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday.

"We're not happy," Gagner said. "You've got to find a way to at least get it to overtime. We played a solid game, but at the end there, we just have to find a way to show up in our D zone. I know it's a good line and it goes off [Jeff] Petry, but we have to figure a way to keep it out of our net and at least force overtime."

A scary play in the second period seemed to tilt the game in Anaheim's favor. Edmonton defenseman Corey Potter sent Nick Bonino head first into the half wall, resulting in a brief visit to the dressing room for the Anaheim forward.

Potter was given a five-minute major and 10-minute game misconduct. Anaheim put only three shots on goal and failed to score on the five-minute power play.

Edmonton took advantage of another slow Anaheim start and got a goal from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on a no-look deflection of Taylor Hall's shot at 6:18 of the first.

"We were in the game pretty much the whole game," Bryzgalov said. "There were lots of good positive things. We killed a five-minute penalty. We played hard, and we just were unfortunate tonight."

Edmonton coach Dallas Eakins agreed.

"Listen, you're always disappointed when you lose, but I can't find a whole lot wrong with our game there," Eakins said. "I thought our guys played excellent. That's the League. It's a game of mistakes, but I thought our mistakes tonight were honest ones."

Hiller made 23 saves to improve to 13-4-4.

Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin returned from a hand injury that cost him 10 games. Edmonton right wing Ales Hemsky missed the game with a reported hip injury.

Anaheim is 15-2-0 in the past 17 meetings against Edmonton.

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