Mighty Ducks Seize Final Moment in OT : Hockey: Douris scores game-winner with three-tenths of a second left in 2-1 victory.
The clock ticked down in overtime, five-four-three-two-one, with the Mighty Ducks headed for a disheartening tie against the New York Islanders, one of the NHL’s worst teams.
But Duck defenseman Jason York slapped a last-ditch shot at the Islanders’ goal, then jumped on a long rebound and tried another, and with three-tenths of a second left in overtime, the puck fluttered into the net after teammate Peter Douris deflected it past goalie Jamie McLennan for a 2-1 victory Friday night before a crowd of 17,174 at The Pond of Anaheim.
With that, the celebration began, as the Ducks won for the eighth time in the last 10 games and reached .500 for the first time since the sixth game of last season. They’ve never been .500 this far into a season.
“It was like a 60-yard field goal at the horn, into the wind,” Duck Coach Ron Wilson said.
The Ducks are as hot as they have ever been, but beating the New York Rangers, New Jersey, Montreal and Colorado doesn’t mean much if you can’t beat the Islanders.
The Islanders have won only three games and had lost six of their last seven, beating only San Jose--a team with the worst record in the NHL. All that, and they were coming off a 9-2 loss to the Kings at the Forum Thursday.
It was a rather dull 65 minutes, with the two goals in regulation coming in a span of 31 seconds of the second period, but the game-winner just before the overtime buzzer changed everything.
The Ducks had outshot the Islanders, 44-27, in regulation, but McLennan was good enough to hold them off, and they seemed to have trouble getting their sticks on pucks in front of the net.
The night before, Coach Mike Milbury had been so displeased with his team’s defense that he benched Mathieu Schneider from the first period on and sat forwards Zigmund Palffy and Marty McInnis as well.
But after putting up so little resistance against the Kings, the Islanders were persistent and hard-working against the Ducks.
The game was scoreless until 13:35 of the second period, when Islander center Alexander Semak jumped on the puck in the slot and beat Duck goalie Guy Hebert. Left wing Derek King had whiffed on a pass, but the puck floated past Duck defenseman Bobby Dollas’ skates, and Semak found it.
The Ducks countered less than a minute later, though, when defenseman Oleg Tverdovsky passed the puck behind the goal to center Mike Sillinger, who found left wing Patrik Carnback with a pass from behind the goal line.
Islander defenseman Dean Chynoweth had lost his stick on the play, and was more or less defenseless to stop Sillinger’s pass to Carnback, who scored easily. The goal, his fifth, tied the score, 1-1 at 14:06 of the second.
The Ducks’ Paul Kariya didn’t score or get an assist in Friday’s game, ending his nine-game point streak, which tied the club record set by Anatoli Semenov in 1993.
Right wing Todd Ewen, the team’s top enforcer, will undergo surgery on his left middle finger Monday and is expected to miss about a month. Ewen’s hand was originally injured by a skate blade during a fight with Buffalo’s Rob Ray on Oct. 13. He missed two games but played the next 10 before deciding five games ago he could no longer play. The problem is calcification around a tendon that was cut by the skate. The area will be scraped during the surgery, to be performed by hand specialist Norman Zemel at the Kerlan-Jobe Clinic at Centinela Hospital in Inglewood. . . . The Ducks’ complaints to the NHL about Dallas winger Shane Churla injuring rookie center Chad Kilger with an unpenalized slash in a game Oct. 26 have resulted in a $1,000 fine and two-game suspension without pay to Churla. Churla broke his ankle later in the game and has been sidelined since. Brian Burke, NHL senior vice president and director of hockey operations, ruled the suspension has been served during Churla’s injury.