The Anaheim Ducks are in the playoffs! For the 4th consecutive season, and the 7th in team history, the Ducks will be making their post-season appearance. Coming from 12th place, they’ve won 10 of their last 12, a very strong finish for them. What better way to end it with a shootout victory in front of their home crowd?
Anaheim was not quick through the gates however, getting badly outplayed in the first period. Even so, Todd Marchant opened the score sheet with a quick shot 9:50 into the game right over Marty Turco’s right shoulder. Fantastic passing from Niedermayer and Nokelainen got them the assists. Late in the first, Ribero was called for a slashing/unsportsmanlike conduct double-minor penalty.
The second period opened up well again for the Stars, with Steve Ott tying the game 4:50 into it, after Jonas Hiller gave up a rebound that went directly to Ott’s stick, for a PP goal. At about 11:15 into the period, Anaheim had a chance to take the lead with a 3 on 2, but James Wisniewski’s shot was turned away by Turco. Christense was also robbed by Marty with a right pad stop on one of the best chances of the game towards the end of the period.
The Ducks must have had a fire lit under them, because they really started to shine in the third period. Scott Niedermayer scored his 14th goal of the season 7:13 into the final period, with assists from Perry and Wisniewski. Bobby Ryan followed that goal up with another great chance, but couldn’t convert. A little bit later, Brunnstrom scored his 17th goal of the season, tying the game up again. 13 seconds afterwards, Scott Niedermayer and Teeme Selanne assisted Ebbett to take a 3-2 lead.
Anaheim never quit pressing, keeping the pressure up for the last few minutes of the game. That wasn’t enough to stop Steve Ott from scoring with 13.1 seconds remaining in regulation, to tie the game up. Even with the game going into overtime, the Ducks had already secured that final playoff spot. The Stars mostly dominated the OT, yet the game remained tied, and would be decided in the shootout.
James Neal opened the scoring for the shootout, with a quick wrist shot over Hiller’s glove. Getzlaf returned with a shot right past Turco’s mitt. Selanne, showing amazing speed, faked Turco into laying on the ice, stopped, and flipped the puck into the net, securing the Duck’s win.