Mighty Ducks 4, Senators 3, SO
“He does like to sprawl,” the Anaheim forward said after he scored the only shootout goal, lifting the Mighty Ducks to a 4-3 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night.
Kunitz deked Hasek and put a backhand over the Senators’ veteran goalie on Anaheim’s opening shot.
“He’s very flexible, his legs are post-to-post, so if you fake to the forehand and can’t get the puck in the air, you kind of stuff it into his pads,” Kunitz said. “As long as you can get it into the air, I think you can beat him on that second kind of move.”
Andy McDonald and Jonathan Hedstrom failed to beat Hasek, but Mighty Ducks goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere turned aside Dany Heatley, Daniel Alfredsson and Patrick Eaves to give Anaheim just its second win in 11 overtime games.
“It’s just 1-on-1 and the game’s on the line,” said Kunitz, who had the Mighty Ducks’ other shootout winner in a 5-4 win in St. Louis on Dec. 31. “I think a lot of guys like to thrive in that situation and I like it a lot.”
Trailing 3-2, Ottawa tied it when Heatley scored a short-handed goal with 2:28 remaining in the third. Alfredsson set up the scoring chance with a shot from the right boards, which was stopped by Giguere. Heatley drove the net and put the rebound in for his team-leading 30th goal.
“We started off not bad in the first but after that I don’t know what we were doing,” Alfredsson said. “We kind of started playing by ourselves. We weren’t there to support each other and we got caught turning the puck over way too many times and couldn’t really find our game.
“Heatley scored a big goal for us to get one point which I think we probably don’t deserve but under the circumstances, it’s one point we should be happy with.”
Teemu Selanne had a goal and an assist as Anaheim scored three unanswered goals in the second after falling behind 2-0.
Selanne assisted on Kunitz’s goal 24 seconds into the second during a two-man advantage before scoring his team-leading 20th goal at 8:20, an unassisted effort that tied it at 2.
Selanne reached 20 goals for the 12th time in 13 seasons. He had 16 goals and 16 assists for 32 points—all career lows—in 78 games with Colorado in 2003-04.
“It’s sort of fun, but I should have 30,” Selanne said. “I haven’t really thought about that much but of course I’ve felt great all year. I’ve come back from knee surgery and I’ve got my strength back and my speed back so that’s all that really matters. I’ve really enjoyed this year so far.”
Todd Marchant scored his seventh midway through the period to put the Mighty Ducks up 3-2.
Bryan Smolinski and Eaves scored in the first for Ottawa.
Anaheim won for just the sixth time in 21 road games. The Mighty Ducks had lost four of five, including its last two games in overtime and another in a shootout.
The Senators, fresh from road wins in Edmonton and Minnesota, have lost five of nine, their worst stretch of the season. Ottawa lost for just the fifth time in 22 games in their home arena, the newly renamed Scotiabank Place.
“They didn’t give us anything,” Hasek said. “Even in the third period we had maybe one or two chances. They played a great defensive game. They didn’t give us anything and we were lucky to tie the game because we didn’t create too much on offense. They played a great game for 60 or 65 minutes.”
Jason Spezza returned to the Senators lineup after missing 12 of 13 games because of a chest muscle injury.
Smolinski opened the scoring on a power play 2:22 in when he beat Giguere through the legs with a long shot along the ice from the left boards.
Smolinski assisted on Eaves’ 10th goal at 15:44 which put the Senators up 2-0.
The Mighty Ducks are 0-5 in overtime and 2-4 in shootouts. … Eaves has three goals in two games. … Ottawa, which has 19 home games remaining, tied a franchise record with its 18th sellout of the season. … The Senators have scored an NHL-leading 13 short-handed goals, one more than Toronto.