Rookie Shea Theodore sparks Ducks in 4-1 victory over Ottawa

Shea Theodore found Teemu Selanne's ketchup bottle.

Ducks legend Selanne used to liken a burst of offense to ketchup being squirted out, and the well-worn anecdote was appropriate Wednesday after Theodore's first NHL goal ignited a three-goal outburst in the third period in the Ducks' 4-1 victory over Ottawa.

The Ducks have searched all season to find scoring flurries and it was left up to Theodore, 20, a defenseman who played his eighth NHL game.

"He opened the floodgates," Carl Hagelin said.

Theodore pinched down the left side on the power play and received a clever pass by Ryan Getzlaf, who made up for an egregious turnover in the second period by pausing and slipping Theodore the puck through two defenders.

Theodore lifted a shot that went in off the right side of goalie Craig Anderson. His face broke into pure joy, his missing tooth visible in his smile.

"I kind of just panicked after," Theodore said. "It felt good."

Hagelin followed with only his second goal since Nov. 16 when he barely got his stick on a loose puck at the goalmouth and pushed it in. Jakob Silfverberg followed with his third goal since Nov. 21. The two struggling Swedish wingers had a combined six goals in 41 games before Wednesday.

Their goals came within 66 seconds of each other.

"It always feels good scoring goals," Hagelin said. "Let's be honest. That's a big part of why you play the game. You want to be contributing offensively and help the team out."

The game could have easily turned after Getzlaf's error.

The Ducks were clinging to a 1-0 lead when Getzlaf tried a blind pass to Sami Vatanen in neutral ice. Curtis Lazar intercepted it, broke in on goalie Frederik Andersen and snapped a shot over his glove.

It was the second high-profile giveaway in as many games for the Ducks captain. Coach Bruce Boudreau benched Getzlaf for the next eight minutes and demoted him to the fourth line during even-strength play in the third period.

"I certainly don't want to do it too often," Boudreau said. "But what happens there is between me and Getzy, and we'll talk about it again [Thursday]."

Boudreau said it was good to see Getzlaf vindicate himself, and that was the feeling in the Ducks dressing room. Earlier in the season, the Ducks were known to pack it in after such momentum swings, but Wednesday was different.

"We wanted to pick him up," Andersen said. "Obviously, he's the leader of our team, so we wanted to do that to him, too.

"He's been the guy that picks up guys. He's a great leader. We wanted to make it the other way this time."

Andersen made 24 saves in his second start since Jan. 1. He helped kill two early penalties and combined with defenseman Clayton Stoner for a lunging save at the goal line on a shot by Zack Smith in the second period.

Andersen is trying to make a case to get the net back after ceding the No. 1 job to John Gibson. He has made the most of his sparse playing time with a 1.25 goals-against average in three appearances since the Christmas break.

"I felt good and pretty calm all game," Andersen said. "That's been something I've been working on a little bit."

Andrew Cogliano gave the arena a jolt of energy with a near end-to-end play for the Ducks' first goal. He took a loose puck in his zone and burst down the right wing before he stopped, looked off a pass and beat Anderson with a shot to the far side.

The Ducks have killed 31 consecutive penalties.

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
A version of this article appeared in print on January 14, 2016, in the Sports section of the Los Angeles Times with the headline "Ducks take off in third period - Theodore scores his first NHL goal to ignite a three-goal output in the period. - DUCKS 4 OTTAWA 1" — Today's paperToday's paper | Subscribe