Monday, April 25, 2011
Ducks: Top 10 moments of 2010-11
By Dan Arritt
Drum roll, please...
10.Hiller’s heroics: Ducks goalkeeper Jonas Hiller stopped 39 shots Jan. 2 against the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks, including 19 in the third period, leading his team to a 2-1 victory at Honda Center. It was that type of performance the Ducks sorely missed during the postseason, as Hiller sat out all but three games following his first All-Star appearance with vertigo symptoms.
9. Fine debut: In his first NHL appearance, Kyle Palmieri notched the tying goal late in the third period Nov. 3 against visiting Tampa Bay, allowing Ryan Getzlaf to score in overtime and provide the Ducks a 3-2 victory that sparked a season-high six-game winning streak after a 4-7-1 start.
8. King-sized victory: The Kings stole all the headlines the first month of the season, getting off to a franchise-best 12-3 start, but entered their first meeting of the season against the Ducks having lost six of their last seven. Anaheim fans felt great pleasure watching Hiller stop 27 shots and shut out the Kings, 2-0, on Nov. 29, sending them spiraling back to Los Angeles.
7. Lubo makes history: Lubomir Visnovsky became the first defenseman in franchise history to record a hat trick on March 4. His final goal against visiting Dallas came with 3.8 seconds remaining in overtime and lifted the Ducks to a 4-3 victory. Teemu Selanne had tied the score for the Ducks with 1:03 remaining in regulation.
6. The Finnish(er): In a key game March 23 in Dallas, Selanne scored the tying goal with 5.2 seconds remaining in regulation, giving rookie defenseman Cam Fowler a chance to win it, 4-3, in overtime. Four times in the last two months of the regular season Selanne scored the tying goal in the final minutes of regulation and the Ducks won each in overtime, providing key points in their playoff drive. The Stars, meanwhile, missed the playoffs by two points.
5. Twice as special: After Selanne tied the score with two minutes remaining March 20 against visiting Calgary, Corey Perry scored his second overtime winner in 24 hours to lead the Ducks to a 5-4 victory against the Flames. Perry scored the night before in overtime to defeat the Kings, 2-1, at Staples Center. Perry had never scored an overtime goal in his NHL career until that weekend.
4. Perry nets No. 50: Perry’s red-hot finish to the regular season peaked during a three-goal effort April 6 in a 6-2 victory against the Sharks, pushing his season total to 50 goals. With his third career hat trick, Perry joined Selanne and Paul Kariya as the only Anaheim players to hit the 50-goal mark and the first Western Conference player since 2007-08.
3. Rare sighting: When it comes to the NHL, you have a better chance of seeing an Island Fox than an overtime penalty shot. But that’s what happened March 2 against the visiting Red Wings, when Ducks right wing Bobby Ryan was taken down from behind by Ruslan Salei midway through overtime. Ryan converted for a 2-1 victory, moving the Ducks into a tie for ninth place with eventual first-round opponent Nashville.
2. If only…: This would have easily been the play of the year for the Ducks had the goal held up as the winner. One game after returning from a two-game suspension, Ryan turned Nashville forward David Legwand into a stick-less turnstile late in Game 4 at Honda Center after stealing a pass from Legwand in the neutral zone. After twice spinning Legwand around, Ryan scored with 5:44 remaining to give the Ducks a 3-2 lead, but they gave up the tying goal with 35 seconds remaining and the winner in overtime to change the momentum of the series.
1. Kippis Selanne!: Selanne produced one of the most glorious individual efforts in one of the most important games of the season, producing three goals and two assists in a 5-4 victory March 28 against the Avalanche. His effort had teammates chanting for one more year in the locker room following the game, but the 40-year-old future Hall of Famer remains undecided on his future plans.