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Ducks' Selanne sparks rare comeback win against Blackhawks

The SportsXchange

ANAHEIM -- Game-winning rallies have been a staple for the Anaheim Ducks all season.

Fourteen times in 29 games Anaheim has rallied for wins. But none of the previous 13 was bigger than its latest comeback.

In a showdown of the NHL's top clubs, 42-year-old Teemu Selanne provided the difference, producing a goal late in the third period to lift the Ducks to a 4-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks before a franchise-record 17,610 fans at Honda Center on Wednesday night.

"It's always big when you win, especially this kind of game," said Selanne, who has six goals this season and 107 game-winners in his career. "I don't know if it was a statement. I don't think we played that well. But we found a way to win the game. Obviously, this is the (type of) game you have to get for your confidence. You have to take everything that you can get and use that in the future.

"(We've) got something really special going, especially at home right now. We just have to keep pushing forward."

The victory extended the Ducks' home winning streak to 13 games. They haven't lost at Honda Center since a 5-0 setback to the Vancouver Canucks on Jan. 25.

It also pushed the Ducks (22-3-4) to within three points of the Western Conference-leading Blackhawks (24-3-3), who had a three-game winning streak snapped.

"It was a tough game for us to lose," Chicago's Patrick Kane said. "We had the lead. It's not something we've done this year, but hopefully we can learn from it, move forward and not let it happen again."

Selanne converted a pass from Getzlaf at 15:37 for the winner, helping the Ducks record their second straight win over the Blackhawks this season. They also rallied for a 3-2 win in a shootout in Chicago on Feb. 12.

Nick Leddy's power-play goal at 11:54 of the second gave the Blackhawks a 2-1 lead, but the Ducks erupted for three goals in the last six minutes of the game.

Anaheim's Bobby Ryan tied the score at 2 at 14:33 of the third, when he rebounded a Getzlaf miss and scored before Selanne delivered. The Ducks added an empty-netter in the final minute.

Getzlaf, who leads the Ducks with 35 points, which is sixth in the league, took over in crunch time, Selanne said.

"He comes through when the time is most critical," Selanne said. "That's what the best players do. It's fun to watch."

A third-period goal by the Blackhawks would have given them a 3-1 advantage, but it was disallowed. Chicago's Michael Frolik connected on a pass to Brandon Bollig just outside the crease at 8:57. The puck bounced off Bollig's right skate and slid into the net. After a replay, though, the officials ruled Bollig made a kicking motion, thereby, nullifying the goal.

"It's frustrating considering we thought we were looking at a 3-1 lead at one point," said Chicago captain Jonathan Toews, who scored an unassisted goal in the loss. "But even though it was still 2-1, we have to find a way to not let that be a momentum breaker for us. We have to keep working and keep doing the right things."

The record crowd, which included a large number of Blackhawks' fans, produced a playoff atmosphere.

"I haven't heard our building like that in a long time," Ryan said. "They had a lot of fans here, too, so I think it added to it, and the fans seemed to feed off each other. It was electric."

The Ducks got their faithful roaring less than two minutes into the game, when center Peter Holland punched in a rebound past goalie Corey Crawford for his third goal of the season and a 1-0 lead.

An interference penalty sent Bollig to the penalty box at 2:56 of the period. However, the Blackhawks took advantage of it, as Toews intercepted a Ducks' pass and scored a shorthanded goal on a breakaway at 3:52 of the first to tie the score at 1-1.

The Ducks prevailed despite playing without star right wing Corey Perry for the fourth straight game. Perry, who was suspended four games for his hit on Minnesota Wild forward Jason Zucker, is expected to return Friday when the Ducks host the Detroit Red Wings.

NOTES: This was the first meeting between two NHL clubs with point percentages of more than .800 after 25 games. The Blackhawks had an .879 percentage while the Ducks had an .821. ... The two teams complete their three-game series March 29 when Anaheim visits Chicago. ... The Ducks have scored points in 18 of their last 19 games. ... The contest against the Ducks completed a four-game road trip for the Blackhawks, who won't return to the ice until March 25, when they host the L.A. Kings. ... The Ducks will conclude their homestand with consecutive games against the Detroit Red Wings on Friday and Sunday before the San Jose Sharks visit Monday.
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