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Ducks rally for 4-3 shootout win over Blues

by John Kreiser

Anaheim's comeback from a three-goal deficit in regulation gave defenseman James Wisniewski the chance he'd been waiting for -- to be a hero in the shootout.

The Ducks overcame a 3-0 deficit in the third period to get to the shootout, and Wisniewski scored in the seventh round as the Ducks beat the St. Louis Blues 4-3 for their eighth victory in 11 games.

After watching four shooters come up empty in the rounds three through six, Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle called on Wisniewski, who had never participated in a shootout. He calmly beat goalie Chris Mason to give the Ducks their seventh win in the last nine meetings with the Blues.

"He's a confident guy, and those situations don't rattle him," Carlyle said. "He made a hell of a move."

Wisniewski did what he could during the shootout in an effort to catch his coach's attention.

"I said, 'Give a defenseman a try," Wisniewski recalled. "We never get an opportunity. When I saw it go in, it was a pretty good feeling."

The Ducks got to the shootout largely thanks to forward Bobby Ryan, who scored twice during the third-period rally -- including the tying goal with 30 seconds left in regulation.

Even Ryan was surprised that his coach called Wisniewski's number in the shootout.

"It was a surprise pick to me," said Ryan, who leads U.S.-born players with 24 goals. "We play breakaway games every day (in practice), and he's always one of the guys that scores."

The Blues appeared to be on their way to an easy win when T.J. Oshie scored 3:35 into the third period after Andy McDonald and B.J. Crombeen had beaten Jonas Hiller in the second.

But Anaheim captain Scott Niedermayer got the Ducks on the board at 5:13 with his fourth goal of the season. Ryan made it a 3-2 game by beating Mason with 8:00 remaining, then tied the game with Hiller on the bench for an extra attacker.

"If you don't play your game, you can't expect results," said St. Louis coach Davis Payne, now 5-5-1 since taking over for the fired Andy Murray on Jan. 2. "We didn't play our game in the third period."

Mason stopped 34 of 37 shots, plus four in the shootout. Hiller stopped five shootout attempts to improve to 13-5-0 in his last 18 games.

Ryan said the comeback win should give his team a confidence boost as the Ducks continues a 13-day, six-game road trip. Anaheim lost 3-1 at San Jose on Thursday in the first game.

"This was monumental," Ryan said. "It was like a playoff game. This shows that we're a very resilient team, able to bounce back in the face of almost everything."

Material from wire services and team media was used in this report

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