Ducks break through against the Coyotes
Maybe it was the presence of their fathers in the seats at Jobing.com Arena.
Or it could have been the realization that Peter Forsberg wasn’t coming in to sweep them out of their offensive slump.
Or maybe the Ducks simply got fed up when they trailed by three goals in the second period to the Phoenix Coyotes.
Teemu Selanne’s second goal of the game at the 1-minute, 53-second mark of overtime Thursday night capped an improbable comeback in a 5-4 victory.
The Ducks brought in 18 fathers for five days of traveling with their hockey-playing sons as a gift to honor the efforts they made in helping their offspring achieve their dream.
There wasn’t much honor displayed on the players’ behalf when Phoenix scored four unanswered goals, two each in the first and second periods for a 4-1 lead, and the Ducks seemed headed for a fourth consecutive defeat, including shutouts in their last two games.
“Before the game, I said to Andy [McDonald], ‘Let’s put on a good show for the dads,’ ” Selanne said.
“When it was 4-1 ... I think we got [angry]. Enough is enough. We started working and we started winning the battles. Everything else happens when you get the momentum.”
The Ducks started the rally with a power-play goal by Chris Pronger with 4.4 seconds remaining in the second.
The goal was the first of three power-play goals for the Ducks (34-16-8) after they went scoreless in their previous 25 man-advantage situations.
“Monumental,” Ducks Coach Randy Carlyle said of the goal. “Any time you can score in the waning second of the period, it seems to light a fire under your group. Right from the first shift in the third, I thought we were much more committed and much more determined than we were in any part of the game.”
Dustin Penner cut the lead to 4-3 at the 5:11 mark of the third before Pronger got his second of the game at 7:32 when he blasted another slap shot past Coyotes goalie Curtis Joseph.
Pronger got to do that only because Corey Perry shoveled a would-be illegal hand pass from a scramble in front of the net back to Ryan Getzlaf, who fed it back to the defenseman. Not that Perry would fess up to his apparent misdeed.
“I just tried getting it to Getzy,” said Perry, with a laugh. “I don’t think it was a hand pass. It’s a goal. That’s all it matters.”
Just before the game, the Ducks learned they lost out on the Forsberg sweepstakes to the Nashville Predators, who lead the Western Conference with 81 points and have similar Stanley Cup aspirations.
General Manager Brian Burke confirmed that he made several attempts to pry Forsberg from the Philadelphia Flyers, though he wouldn’t indicate who was part of a possible deal for the Swedish superstar.