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Ducks: Third-period turnaround lifts Anaheim over Oilers, 4-2

3/6/2012

ANAHEIM -- Corey Perry said it was probably the worst period of the season. From his view in front of the net, Jonas Hiller thought the Ducks looked scattered and disorganized. Bobby Ryan half expected coach Bruce Boudreau to barge through the locker room door during the second intermission and give his team an earful.

Instead, the Ducks stayed calm after getting outshot, 22-8, and losing their one-goal lead in the second period. Ryan scored the go-ahead goal midway through the third on a power play, and Perry added two more in the final five minutes, lifting the Ducks to a much-needed 4-2 win against the visiting Edmonton Oilers at Honda Center.

With the victory, Anaheim moved to within five points of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference with 15 games remaining.

“We needed something to pop,” said Ryan, who scored his 25th goal of the season. “We finally got a power-play goal, which has been ever elusive for us the past five games, so we were able to build off that.”

Ryan’s goal was a thing of beauty. He caught the Oilers off guard on a line change and Teemu Selanne made a perfect stretch pass. Ryan collected the puck at full speed while racing toward the right post, cut in front of the net and dove as he flicked a backhand high into the net 8:09 into the final period.

“I came in behind the play because it was a weird [line] change and they were selling the farm there a little bit with four guys on the rush all night,” Ryan said. “I wasn’t sure if Teemu was going to see me but he put it in the perfect place for me to just skate right into it and not lose any speed, and the rest was just trying to make a move that I’m comfortable making.”

With the assist, Selanne picked up his 1,398th point of his career, tying him with childhood idol and fellow Finn, Jari Kurri, for 19th all time in the NHL.

“Those are huge goals, especially because our second period wasn’t very great,” Perry said. “Bobby made a great play and a great heads up play by Teemu as well. But to go to your backhand while falling, it’s a tough play but [Ryan] got the job done and that’s what he’s there for.”

Perry added the 200th goal of his career with 3:20 remaining and that turned out to be the game winner, as Edmonton cut the deficit to 3-2 on a power-play goal with 1:46 remaining.

The Oilers then pulled their goalie, but Perry made them pay immediately, scoring his 33rd goal of the season into the empty net.

"It’s nice to get there and keep going,” Perry said of his 200th goal. “But I’m more worried about the schedule and what we’re doing and what we’re trying to accomplish.”

The Ducks don’t play again until Thursday in St. Louis. Meanwhile, the eighth-place San Jose Sharks have a game Tuesday against the visiting Oilers and again Thursday at the Dallas Stars, who now lead a tightly bunched Pacific Division.

“Every night is a must-win, which is not easy mentally, especially after you play as many games as we did last week,” said Hiller, who made his 26th consecutive start to extend his franchise record. “At the same time, it was our own mistake not competing hard enough at the beginning of the year, so that’s where we’re at. I think as long as we have a chance, it’s easier to battle.”