ANAHEIM, Calif. (CP) - Teemu Selanne rediscovered his touch, Anaheim's power play clicked and the Ducks evened the NHL Western Conference final.
Selanne broke out of a four-game scoring drought with a goal and two assists in Anaheim's 5-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings Thursday night that evened the best-of-seven series at two games each. The flashy Finn set up Ryan Getzlaf's winner on a power play at 5:24 of the third period.
"As a goal-scorer it's really tough sometimes when you can't score," said Selanne. "But it's nothing I haven't faced before. You just have to work hard and believe that those goals are coming."
Selanne showed his silky touch with the puck when he threaded a pass to Getzlaf on the winning goal. Getzlaf wired a shot through traffic that screened Detroit goaltender Dominik Hasek couldn't see.
"It was a great pass," said Getzlaf. "He saucered it right through the middle. I had to wait for our guys to get in their position, wait for their guy to over commit a little bit so I could pull it around them."
The Ducks, playing without suspended defenceman Chris Pronger, badly needed the win so they didn't return to Detroit trailing 3-1 in the series. They also needed to regain their confidence after being whipped 5-0 Tuesday.
Game 5 will be played Sunday at Joe Louis Arena.
"Tonight was a gut check for us," said coach Randy Carlyle. "We were a very determined group from the beginning."
Corey Perry, who opened the scoring just 1:37 into the game, said the Ducks knew they faced a challenge without Pronger in the lineup.
"We had to battle hard," he said. "We knew it wasn't going to be easy. We had to come out and prove to ourselves we can play without him.
"Thank God we've got him back for Game 5."
Defenceman Ric Jackman, inserted into the lineup in Pronger's place, scored his first playoff goal, in his first post-season game, on his first shot.
"It was very exciting," said Jackman, a 28-year-old journeyman who has spent eight years in the league with six teams. "I just wanted to go in there and keep it as simple as a could."
Pronger, a Norris Trophy candidate, was suspended for one game for his hit Tuesday on Tomas Holmstrom.
Rob Niedermayer sealed the win with an empty-net goal with 68 seconds remaining, bringing a deafening roar from the sellout crowd of 17,375.
Defenceman Francois Beauchemin had two assists and goaltender J.S. Giguere had to be sharp as the Wings outshot the Ducks 39-23.
The Wings trailed 3-1 after the first period but battled back to tie the game with a pair of second-period power play goals.
Dan Cleary had two goals and an assist while Todd Bertuzzi had a goal and assist.
It was Cleary who was in the penalty box when Getzlaf scored his goal.
"I thought we did a lot of good things but I thought we shot ourselves in the foot a little bit," said Detroit coach Mike Babcock.
"They had a couple of seeing-eye pucks tonight."
Twice Detroit had two-man advantages and failed to score.
Bertuzzi said the Red Wings made too many mistakes. It was his giveaway that set up Perry's opening goal.
"We have to throw this one out," said Bertuzzi. "You can't get behind the eight ball right off the bat. We battled back and made a game out of it but just came up short."
Jackman's first-period power-play goal was the first for Anaheim in 31 man-advantages against the Red Wings.
Selanne was pleased but thinks the Ducks power play can still improve.
"I'm not so happy still," he said. "We can do a better job.
"We're making better decisions and we're not rushing the plays and forcing the pass."
Cleary tied the game at 15:36 of the second on a power play after Rob Niedermayer was sent off for hooking.
It took the Wings just 20 seconds to score. Cleary dug the puck out during a scramble in front of the Duck net and lifted a shot over a sprawled Giguere.
Bertuzzi had made it 3-2 on another power play at 7:48. The big forward was parked in front of Giguere when he took a Robert Lang pass from behind the goal and banged at a puck that went off the goaltender and into the net.
It was Bertuzzi's second goal in as many games.
Selanne gave Anaheim a 3-1 lead late in the first period when he pounced on a bouncing puck in front of the Red Wing net and beat Hasek. It was his first point since Game 4 of the conference semifinal against Vancouver.
A Bertuzzi giveaway resulted in the game's first goal. Bertuzzi floated a pass through the middle of the ice that Perry intercepted at the blueline then launched a shot that got past Hasek with just 1:37 gone in the game.
The Wings made it 1-1 on a Giguere miscue. He tried to send a puck around the boards that ended up on defenceman Chris Chelios's stick. Chelios let go a shot from the boards that Cleary directed into the net.
Notes-Anaheim's 5-0 loss on Tuesday was their worst playoff defeat ever. The previous high was a 5-1 loss to Detroit in the first round of the 1999 playoffs. ...The Ducks were 6-7-3 in the 16 regular season games Pronger was hurt this season. ...Ducks GM Brian Burke said Detroit did "the honourable thing" when they put Holmstrom back on the ice Tuesday because "there are teams in this league that would have put him in an ambulance and sent him somewhere."