Ducks Keep Rolling, Beat Blackhawks 3-1
ANAHEIM (AP) — Teemu Selanne scored a power-play goal and had an assist to move into 20th place on the NHL’s career scoring list, and the Anaheim Ducks kept rolling in their return from an eight-game road trip, beating the slumping Chicago Blackhawks 3-1 Sunday night.
Jonas Hiller made 18 saves in his 21st consecutive start for the Ducks, who won for the ninth time in 12 games during their improbable playoff push. Andrew Cogliano scored his first goal of February for the Ducks, and Sheldon Brookbank also scored as Anaheim avoided a four-game season sweep by Chicago.
Patrick Kane ended the Blackhawks’ monthlong 0-for-39 power-play drought with a first-period goal, and Ray Emery stopped 35 shots against his former Anaheim teammates in Chicago’s third consecutive loss.
The Blackhawks have lost 12 of 16 overall, yet still sit comfortably in sixth place in the Western Conference standings.
The Blackhawks played their fourth straight game without captain Jonathan Toews, who is home in Chicago with an apparent concussion. Coach Joel Quenneville hopes Toews and defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson will return Wednesday against Toronto, but the Blackhawks struggled through a two-game Southern California road trip, losing 4-0 up the I-5 freeway in Los Angeles one night earlier.
Selanne inched up the NHL scoring list by setting up Brookbank’s goal in the second period before scoring his 21st of the season from a sharp angle during a two-man advantage in the third. The 41-year-old Finnish Flash caught and passed Luc Robitaille with 1,395 points, and his 246th career power-play goal put him one behind Robitaille for fourth in league history.
Selanne is the second-oldest player in NHL history to score at least 21 goals in a season, trailing only Gordie Howe, who did it twice after his 41st birthday.
Anaheim got just two days off following the longest continuous road trip in franchise history before starting a key stretch of five games in seven days. The Ducks have been among the NHL’s top teams since Jan. 1, going 17-4-4 — but it still might not be enough to save their season.
After falling 20 points out of eighth place in the West during their awful start, the Ducks are just six points out of playoff position — but still in 13th place in the West.
Chicago hadn’t scored a power-play goal since Jan. 24, but Kane slipped a long shot through traffic and just inside Hiller’s post midway through the first period. The goal appeared to awaken the Ducks, and Cogliano scored with 20 seconds left in the period when he got the puck alone in front of Emery.
The referees immediately waved off the goal because Cogliano clearly kicked the puck toward the net with his right skate, but a lengthy video review at the league offices in Toronto revealed Cogliano poked the puck through Emery’s legs with his stick after Emery stopped the kick with his pads.
Emery backstopped the Ducks to a playoff berth last season, filling in for Hiller after the All-Star break when the Swiss goalie went down with an apparent case of vertigo.
Anaheim thoroughly controlled the second period, but wasn’t rewarded until Selanne passed from behind the Chicago net to Brookbank, who fired it off Duncan Keith and past Emery. The goal was Brookbank’s second in five games after playing the 167 straight games without a goal.
NOTES: The Blackhawks have never swept Anaheim in a season series. … Longtime Montreal captain Saku Koivu played his 200th game with the Ducks. … Cogliano’s score snapped a 12-game goal drought since his hat trick Jan. 31 at Phoenix. … The biggest regular-season crowd in Honda Center history welcomed the Ducks back from the road, with 17,601 tickets sold in a standing-room-only crowd.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.