Ducks can't break down Budaj

Times Staff Writer

Of all the challenges the Ducks have had to face recently, Peter Budaj didn't figure to be one of them.

A talented young goalie but not one exactly considered the second coming of Patrick Roy, Budaj had a brilliant 38-save performance to get the Colorado Avalanche to a shootout, where he stopped three of four shots in a 3-2 victory over the Ducks at the Honda Center on Saturday night.

Milan Hejduk eventually won the shootout in the fourth round with a backhand past Ducks goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov.

Budaj allowed goals only to rookie Curtis Glencross and center Ryan Getzlaf while foiling many other Ducks chances; they finished the game with a 40-17 advantage in shots.

"He had our number tonight," Ducks forward Corey Perry said. "It was just one of those nights where things didn't completely go our way but we got a point and we'll take that."

Perry was one of those turned aside in the shootout. Chris Kunitz put the first try past Budaj but Colorado's Wojtek Wolski answered.

Budaj foiled Getzlaf's try and then stopped Perry and Andy McDonald. After Marek Svatos and Joe Sakic came up empty against Bryzgalov, Hejduk broke through to get their second shootout win over the Ducks this season.

"He stole a point for them," Ducks Coach Randy Carlyle said. "He was strong in the net. Bottom line is, we missed an opportunity for a point, but it wasn't because of a lack of effort or execution."

Budaj, 24, has been good enough to overtake one-time Hart Trophy winner Jose Theodore in the Avalanche net, but the Slovakian goalie was coming off a game against Calgary Thursday in which he was pulled after giving up five goals in 17 shots.

"Every goalie wants to come back with a strong performance," Budaj said. "I was very glad that the coaches trusted me and put me back in. I'm very happy that we beat the best team in the league."

Wolski gave Colorado a 2-1 lead early in the second when he banged in a rebound off a shot by Sakic. Budaj and the Avalanche held the lead until the 11:03 mark of the third.

Perry, who had a team-high eight shots, skated behind the net and wrapped a pass to Getzlaf and the center buried his 19th goal.

Glencross gave the announced sellout crowd of 17,174 a thrill when he got a cross-ice feed off the boards from Getzlaf and snapped his very first shot past Budaj.

Glencross was called up Friday after rookie left wing Bjorn Melin was injured in Thursday night's win over Dallas. At the Ducks' minor league affiliate in Portland, Maine, the 24-year-old forward had five goals and 15 points in 30 games.

"I was excited to get the call," Glencross said. "The guys were saying that not many guys have ever scored on their first shot in the NHL.... I was lucky enough to fire it by him."

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