Selanne helps lift Ducks to a 2-1 win over Avalanche
DENVER (AP)—Teemu Selanne still gets winded and his legs feel like rubber after a long shift.
However, there’s nothing wrong with the Anaheim forward’s scoring touch.
Selanne scored his first goal of the season and Samuel Pahlsson rammed in a rebound with 4:21 remaining in the third period, lifting the Anaheim Ducks to their fifth straight win by beating the Colorado Avalanche 2-1 on Tuesday night.
Anaheim has now won all five games since Selanne made his debut on Feb. 5 against the New York Islanders.
“I’m not 100 percent,” said Selanne, who signed a one-year deal with the team Jan. 28. “I have to be patient. There’s still a price to pay, but it’s getting better. It’s like training camp.”
Anaheim concluded its franchise-record nine straight road games on a winning note. The Ducks went 5-3-1 on the road swing, which was briefly interrupted by the All-Star game.
“Unbelievable road trip,” Selanne said. “You don’t see that very often. We finished up very strong. We won the last five; that’s a good sign.”
Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped 32 shots and Ryan Getzlaf had an assist—the 100th of his career—as the Ducks broke a string of six straight regular-season losses at the Pepsi Center, spanning more than five years.
“We battled hard through the game, and that’s what got us the win,” said Pahlsson, who played in just his second game since an abdominal injury sidelined him for 21 contests.
Pahlsson said his goal boiled down to being in the proper place. The puck came lose from Jose Theodore and Pahlsson knocked it in for his first goal since Dec. 10.
“Hard work in front of the net,” Pahlsson said. “I just tried to get in there and hope to get it on my stick and that’s what happened.”
The banged-up Avalanche had their two-game winning streak halted. They lost defenseman Brett Clark to a shoulder injury early in the third period, and coach Joel Quenneville didn’t know how serious it was.
“Probably not good,” he said. “We’ll know more tomorrow.”
However, Colorado may get Ryan Smyth back as soon as Thursday against St. Louis. He’s been out for 18 games with a fractured ankle.
Paul Stastny, who’s missed 11 games after having his appendix removed on Jan. 17, is skating again, but he recently experienced groin problems, delaying his return.
“We were down to just 10 forwards, three lines, and your options are not great,” Quenneville said. “But the guys were doing what we wanted them to do. They left it out there tonight.”
Theodore turned back 27 shots, but had his season-best three-game winning streak snapped.
The Ducks capitalized on a two-man advantage to begin the second period when Selanne scored on a wrist shot from down low.
Selanne’s power-play goal 1:09 into the second tied him with Paul Kariya as the team’s career leader in points with 669. It was also the 541st goal of his career, drawing him even with Stan Mikita for 26th place on the league’s all-time goals list.
“They were a pretty decent team without him,” Ian Laperriere said. “Now with him, they’re even stronger.”
Marek Svatos scored his 25th goal of the season just 1:37 in when he backhanded a shot over Giguere’s right shoulder. It was the fastest goal to begin a game for Colorado this season.
“That was the game we needed to play against the Stanley Cup champions—a smart game,” Laperriere said. “But we couldn’t do it for 60 minutes.”
Avalanche F Cody McCormick was out with a bruised chest and F Scott Parker missed the game due to the flu. … Laperriere is hoping Peter Forsberg selects Colorado if he decides to return to the NHL. Forsberg, who won two Stanley Cup titles with Colorado, hasn’t played this season due to foot and ankle injuries. “We all know that whoever is going to get him, they’re going to be a better team overnight,” Laperriere said. “The fans sure appreciate him here. You look around and still see his No. 21 jersey everywhere.” … Ducks F Doug Weight missed a second straight game with a left shoulder injury. He’s expected to be out at least a week.