Simpson accidentally swept the puck into his own net in the
second period, but Lupul scored with 7:10 left in the third to
salvage a 1-1 tie with the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday night.
The Blackhawks, who took just four shots in each of the last two
periods of Saturday's 3-2 victory at Los Angeles, had only four
shots in the second period against Anaheim. They got a huge break
on Simpson's mistake, right after Kyle Calder was stopped twice in
close by goaltender Martin Gerber -- the second time while on his
stomach after tripping over Sergei Fedorov.
"It was just bad luck," said Simpson, who was obtained from
Phoenix in the waiver draft Oct. 3. "The puck was about a foot
from the goal line and it was such a scramble, guys everywhere. I
didn't really have a good picture of what was going on.
"There were two guys whacking away, and I was just trying to get
in there. Obviously, I did a pretty good job of letting them get
their sticks on the puck. It was terrible, embarrassing and
upsetting. I was just hoping we'd score at least two goals."
That didn't happen, thanks in part to Michael Leighton's 31
saves at the other end. But Lupul got Simpson off the hook with his
second NHL goal and second in two games.
Chicago's Scott Nichol was off for holding Petr Sykora when
Niclas Havelid got the puck in the high slot from Steve Rucchin.
The hard-shooting defenseman faked a slap shot and slid the puck to
Lupul, who one-timed it past Leighton's stick from the left circle.
"I don't know if he saw me all the way, or if he was going to
shoot it and then saw me at the last second. But either way, it's a
great play by him," said Lupul, the seventh overall pick in the
2002 draft. "I've been getting a lot of shots in the last three
games, and I've been able to bury a couple."
The Blackhawks, who lost all four meetings with Anaheim last
season, are 58-1-13-1 in their last 73 games when leading after two
periods. Their one regulation loss came to the Ducks, who turned a
3-2 deficit into a 4-3 victory last March 13 at Chicago.
"We've got to be a little bit better in the third period. We
had a lead going into the third tonight, and we've got to learn how
to win those," Steve Sullivan said. "We're a young team, and
that's the one thing we've really got to work on."
The best chance either team had in overtime came 35 seconds into
the extra period, when Chicago's Nathan Dempsey tried to redirect
Sullivan's feed from the top of the left circle before Gerber slid
out to steer it away for one of his 25 saves -- including five in
the extra five-minute period.
"I was pretty sure Sullivan was going to shoot, and then I saw
that he was going for Dempsey. I just tried to get myself over as
fast as I could, and fortunately it hit my pads," Gerber said.
The Blackhawks scored first for only the second time in their first nine games. The other time was on opening night, in Jocelyn Thibault's 1-0 victory over Minnesota.
The Mighty Ducks' management announced that ticket holders unable to get to the game because of wildfires that resulted in the closure of several freeways and the destruction of 264,000 acres and at least 650 homes in Southern California by Sunday, would be able to exchange their tickets for another game. ... The attendance at the Pond was announced at 12,845, but that did not account for the many no-shows. The Blackhawks drew a sellout crowd of 18,118 at Staples Center the night before. ... Ducks D Keith Carney expects to start skating again within the next couple of days. He worked out Saturday without the cast on his broken right foot for the first time since he was injured blocking a shot by Phoenix's Shane Doan in an exhibition game on Oct. 2.