Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said goalie Ryan Miller was brought in to be a veteran presence and not just a backup to starter John Gibson.
But Miller didn’t get the opportunity to show what he could do over the first 10 games of the season.
On Sunday he got that chance and rose to the occasion, stopping 34 shots as the Ducks beat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 in a shootout.
“In tonight’s appearance he saved our butt on numerous occasions,” Carlyle said. “We told him not to accept being here as a backup. We want him to compete. That’s where the competition between the two goaltenders is unique. But it’s a benefit to us if we can have a 1-A and 1-B.”
Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf left the game in the second period with what Carlyle described as an upper-body injury and will be evaluated on Monday.
“I thought (Carolina) had great jump in the second period and that was a hard one to grind out,” said Miller, who had three point-blank saves in the overtime. “We were able to hold onto it and that was nice.”
Corey Perry scored the only goal in the shootout.
Jakob Silfverberg tied it with just under five minutes remaining in the third period for Anaheim. Ondrej Kase and Derek Grant scored in the first period.
“Obviously coming in were playing a team with a lot of speed up front,” Silfverberg said. “We got off to a good start, but we had a rough second period. We kept pushing and came back in the third. To see (Miller) come back and push as hard as he did was a big bonus for this group.”
Jeff Skinner, Jordan Staal and Justin Faulk scored to rally the Hurricanes from a 2-0 deficit in the opening period. Scott Darling stopped 22 shots.
“The execution just wasn’t there,” Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said. “We were just sloppy with the puck. Our `D’ got the puck off the stick a lot better in the second and allowed us to play fast.”
Skinner pulled Carolina to 2-1 with a power-play goal with 7 seconds remaining in the first for his seventh of the season. Staal tied it with 6:27 to go in the second as he got Sebastian Aho’s pass from behind the net and beat Miller stick side.
The Hurricanes went ahead exactly five minutes later when Faulk beat Darling with a bullet from the high slot.
Kase gave the Ducks an early lead when he lifted the puck over Darling’s right shoulder from the right circle with 9:12 remaining in the first.
Grant made it 2-0 with 2:46 left as he beat Darling five-hole from the slot.
NOTES: Carolina D Klas Dahlbeck and RW Josh Jooris were healthy scratches. RW Jared Boll and D Sami Vataden sat out for Anaheim. The teams conclude their season series Dec. 11 at Anaheim.