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Ducks come up big in the third period

The Ducks served notice Sunday they’re not cooked quite yet.

Three players with more than 900 NHL goals among them -- Teemu Selanne, Saku Koivu and Joffrey Lupul -- are out of the lineup because of injuries.

The Ducks persisted, overcoming a slew of miscues to come back for a 5-4 victory over the Calgary Flames at the Honda Center.

The win was their sixth in the last seven games and their seventh in a row at home. They had to work for it, holding off a two-man Calgary advantage in the final minute to secure the victory.

“You know what, we’re rallying around each other,” said Bobby Ryan, who scored the game-winner with 7 minutes 17 seconds left in the third period.

“There wasn’t anybody down between periods. There were a couple of things we needed to change. We did that, and we played a tight third period.”

The Ducks began the third trailing by a goal, but Corey Perry tied the score with his 19th goal of the season 7:10 into the final period.

Ryan pulled the Ducks ahead when he scored his team-leading 21st goal with a sharp-angled shot into the top of the net after rookie Dan Sexton dropped the puck to him along the right-wing boards.

“It was nip and tuck and every inch and every bounce,” Coach Randy Carlyle said. “We found a way once we got settled down in the third, and our big guys delivered for us.”

Until then, the goals came from sources that would have seemed unlikely at the start of the season.

Sexton scored his eighth on a power play, Evgeny Artyukhin scored off a flashy rush and rookie Troy Bodie picked up his first goal.

Carlyle praised the cast of understudies for “making a contribution.”

“We don’t expect Troy Bodie to replace Teemu Selanne, but Troy Bodie goes out and blocks shots or creates energy and gets in on the forecheck. Those are things that don’t probably get noticed, but as a coaching staff you appreciate those types of things from that level of player.”

The Ducks needed five goals to win in part because they gave up three goals on breakaways and allowed a 3-1 lead to evaporate. Olli Jokinen, Jamie Lundmark, Mark Giordano and Curtis Glencross scored for Calgary.

The Ducks’ Jonas Hiller made 33 saves, including four in a flurry at the end when the Flames went on a power play after a hooking penalty against Perry and pulled goalie Curtis McElhinney for an extra attacker.

“We left Hillsie out to dry a couple of times,” Ryan said, referring to the breakaways earlier in the game. “He made some incredible saves for us down the stretch.”

Whether the Ducks can sustain their recent success -- they are 8-3-1 in their last 12 -- without three of their top six forwards remains to be seen.

Selanne, with 595 goals, is out two to six weeks because of a broken jaw. Koivu, with 201 goals, is out one to two weeks because of a sprained right knee. And Lupul, with 112, is out indefinitely after back surgery complicated by an infection.

“I think it shows a lot of character from the whole team, coming back in the third,” Hiller said.

Etc.

Hiller earned the second assist on Artyukhin’s goal for the second point of his career. He also had an assist on a goal by Todd Marchant on March 12, 2008. . . . The Ducks haven’t lost to Calgary at home since Jan. 18, 2004, a streak of 11 games. . . . Flames forward Jarome Iginla ended a streak of six games without a point by recording an assist.

robynnorwood@verizon.net


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