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Ducks move within five points of playoffs with 4-2 win

by Curtis Zupke
ANAHEIM, Calif. – The Anaheim Ducks turned in one of their ugliest periods this season. Then Bobby Ryan turned in a thing of beauty and Corey Perry finished it off.

Ryan scored on a breakaway in the third period and Corey Perry added career goals No.200 and 201 as Anaheim revived its distant postseason chances with a 4-2 victory against the Edmonton Oilers on Monday night.

Ryan took a pass from Teemu Selanne, swooped down the right side and backhanded the puck past Nikolai Khabibulin for his 25th goal at 8:09. Perry scored on a one-timer at 16:40 of the third and sealed it with an empty netter for his 32nd and 33rd goals this season.

The Ducks won on a night when they were completely dominated in a second period in which they were outshot, 22-8. They pulled to five points behind eighth-place San Jose, although they remain in 12th place with 68 points.

"We gave up 22 shots -- it was probably our worst period of the year," Perry said. "We put it behind us and battled back in the third period and got the job done."

Selanne not only provided the assist but also the sentimental note when he tied boyhood idol Jari Kurri for 19th on the all-time points list at 1,398. Selanne's next point will make him the highest-scoring Finnish player in NHL history.

"Jari was my idol when I was growing up," Selanne said. "His picture was on my wall. I learned a lot of different things (on) and off the ice from him. Later we became very good friends. It's very special. Obviously, I would never imagine I would have as many points as Jari Kurri. It's a big honor."

Selanne said Kurri recently teased him.

"He texted me a couple of weeks ago (and said), 'Hurry up,'" Selanne said. "He's coming here in a couple of weeks, so hopefully I can pass him before that."

Despite their recent skid the Ducks are 11-2-1 in their last 14 at home.

Edmonton owns the League's worst road record at 9-21-2, but it had won their previous three away from home and gave itself a great chance despite not getting its top-ranked power play an attempt until late in the third, when Jordan Eberle connected to pull the Oilers to 3-2 with 1:46 remaining.

But the Oilers couldn't sustain enough for a comeback in another sign of their growing pains.

"It's a tough game to play," coach Tom Renney said. "You have to have courage to play this game. You have to have courage to take responsibility of the puck. You have to have courage to give it up in order to get it back the hard way. You have to have the courage to lose a little bit of your identity to fall into the team game and lots of people do that.

"On the nights where we have one guy at the wrong time that does that, it's a problem for us. We don't deal with it very well. You can say we're growing up, but sooner or later, you have to arrive."

Edmonton thoroughly outplayed Anaheim in the second. It finally broke through on the 22nd shot when Shawn Horcoff deflected Nick Schultz's shot with 30.7 seconds remaining to tie it at 1.

Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf made a lazy clear off the boards and Schultz collected the puck at the left point with traffic in front of Hiller.

The Oilers put 10 shots on goal in the first 3:20 of the second. Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau called timeout -- presumably to give his defense a breather -- about midway through, but the Oilers stretched it to a 16-2 advantage through the first 10:40 of the second.

Hiller held the fort with a breakaway stop on Alex Hemsky and a save on Eberle's toe drag attempt in the slot. He stopped Eberle again on a breakaway early in the third.

Boudreau said he didn't give his team a "24/7" style tongue-lashing in the second intermission.

"I didn't because the players were doing it to themselves," Boudreau said. "I walked in and heard a couple of players standing up. If they're doing it, there's no sense in me doing it. I just let them calm down and we talked about something else when I came in before the (third) period started."

Boudreau added, "If nobody was talking, I probably would have lost it on them."

The second period was a reversal of a first period that saw Anaheim with an 11-4 shot advantage and a 1-0 lead after Jason Blake brought the crowd to life.

Edmonton got caught in a line change and Cam Fowler's lead pass sent Blake and Ryan on a 2-on-none. Blake, who has gone from the first line to the fourth line in a two-week span, delivered with one second remaining on the man advantage for his sixth goal and first in 11 games.

"It really costs us when we make mistakes like that," Sam Gagner said. "It's tough to give those chances up, tough to ask Khabibulin to stop them. We're playing solid and we just seem to give up the big chances. It's unacceptable and it's costing us games."
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