-- Surely there will come a day when Teemu Selanne isn't flashing his trademark smile while making a mockery of Father Time.
One of these years, the image of the Finnish Flash with his arms raised in triumph won't be an annual rite of spring in Anaheim, right?
Well, don't bother holding your breath because that day doesn't appear to be anytime soon after the 40-year-old Selanne's three-goal, five-point performance in Anaheim's 5-4 victory against Colorado on Monday night at the Honda Center.
The Ducks pulled a point behind Nashville for sixth in the Western Conference and moved them four points ahead of ninth-place Calgary to set up Wednesday's showdown against the Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome.
Anaheim won for the eighth time in 10 games in an apparent revival of two seasons ago, when the Ducks closed out the regular season on a 10-2-1 run.
Selanne is front and center on this surge with 7 goals in his past five games. He scored twice in the second period and assisted on Cam Fowler
's go-ahead, power-play goal in the third.
He completed his 22nd career hat trick later in the third for his ninth five-point game to match a career single-game high and tie the franchise single-game record.
In January, Selanne hinted that this season will be his last. But nights like Monday make one wonder why he would stop at this point.
"My mind goes like an elevator," Selanne said. "One day I feel I could play 10 more years and the next day I feel like, 'Why are you still doing this?' That's why I'm not even thinking about that during the season. It's better to think about those things after the season when you're stable.
"But, you know, I'm really enjoying this game, and obviously that's why it's so much fun."
Selanne got his second goal of the period when he intercepted Erik Johnson
's clear and wristed it high past Brian Elliott to give Anaheim a 3-2 lead.
It was the kind of goal that gives the 19-year-old Fowler a new appreciation for longevity.
"Sometimes I just watch in awe at what he's able to do," said Fowler, who established Anaheim rookie defensemen records for goals and assists with 9 goals and 27 assists. "He's been so consistent over his career, and for him to be having the season he’s having this year and to be putting the big goals together like he is … it seems like those are the goals he has a knack for. I think we owe a lot to him, for sure."
Selanne’s first goal turned the tide for the Ducks.
Down 2-0 entering the second period, the Ducks got the break they needed 47 seconds in when veteran Colorado defenseman John-Michael Liles covered the puck in the crease to trigger a penalty shot for Selanne, who beat Elliott with a wrist shot glove side.
Remarkably, it was Selanne's first penalty shot goal since his first career attempt in 1993 when he was with the Winnipeg Jets.
"Really?" said Selanne, who thought his first was against Calgary -- but it actually came against Tampa Bay.
Colorado entered the game on a 3-20-2 skid, but was up for the spoiler role early.
Avs coach Joe Sacco said before the game that he would try Matt Duchene
, Paul Stastny
and Milan Hejduk
on a line against the Ducks' big line of Bobby Ryan
, Ryan Getzlaf
and Corey Perry
Duchene made him look smart just more than five minutes into the game when he drove in around Getzlaf, passed it to Hejduk and banged home Hejduk's rebound to put Colorado up, 2-0.
Colorado, searching for its first regulation victory since Feb.22, tied it at 3 when David Jones
completed a pretty give-and-go play with Daniel Winnik
and had a late power play but couldn't convert and committed a too-many-men penalty to set up Selanne's third goal.
"It's disappointing," Sacco said. "We worked hard for the most part. You just can't take a too many men on the ice penalty at the end of the game. You just can't do that in this League. Those are the types of penalties the opposition really capitalizes on."
Colorado took advantage of an early power play as Ryan O'Reilly
got open for a cross-ice pass from Hejduk and scored into an open net at 3:34.
Colorado defenseman Matt Hunwick
returned the lineup after he missed two games with a back injury. Center Mark Olver
also returned after he sat out a game with a head injury.
Anaheim has won 15 of the past 17 meetings. Colorado is 1-8 over its past eight trips to Anaheim.
Ducks captain Getzlaf took a slap shot to the leg and briefly left the game in the second period, but he was able to return.