Just when a win became necessary to keep the playoff dreams alive, the Ducks pulled through, triumphing over Nashville in overtime, 4-3. Three powerplay goals gave the Ducks their win, and Teemu Selanne earned his 1,200th point after scoring the game-winning goal in the first 34 seconds of overtime.
Anaheim's Corey Perry scored the first goal of the game in the first 4:19 of regulation. It would also be the only goal for the Ducks that wasn't scored on a powerplay. The Predators evened the score five minutes later, on a powerplay after a tripping call on Todd Marchant. The Predators would go up in the second on a powerplay goal by Joel Ward after two penalties are called on Ryan Whitney and Todd Marchant for tripping and boarding.
Down by one with 9:47 left in the second period, Andrew Ebbett tied the score once again on a powerplay goal after a tripping call on Nashville. Rookie Bobby Ryan put the Ducks ahead in the third, on a powerplay goal at 11:38 after a Nashville player was sent to the sin bin for yet another tripping penalty. It looked like the Ducks had the game in the bag, when Predator Joel Ward got his second goal of the game, tying the score and sending the game into overtime. The Ducks were on a powerplay for the first 1:11 of overtime, but Teemu Selanne only needed the first 34 seconds to find the back of the net to win the game.
The Ducks have been struggling with their offensive effort but tonight they found themselves successful. Before tonight, they had been 0-22 of the last 22 powerplay opportunities. After scoring on 3 of 6 tonight, it seems they've improved. They had 31 shots tonight, and only allowed 24 from Nashville. JS Giguere successfully blocked 21 of those shots to give Anaheim the win tonight.
While tonight's victory was crucial to preserve the Duck's chances to make the playoffs, they're still not in the top 8. Every point is critical, and even allowing a point to Nashville for the overtime challenge may be devastating to their own playoff hopes. They next play Phoenix on the road before meeting up with the Coyotes again at home on Sunday. The Ducks have 72 points and are currently 12th in their division, with four points and five teams inbetween them and a playoff spot as of today. The Coyotes are seeded 14th, with 64 points.
Elsewhere in the NHL, the Detroit Redwings have clinched a playoff spot with 103 points and the San Jose Sharks have clinched their division, with 100 points. Following the Sharks are the Boston Bruins, with 99 points and the New Jersey Devils with 95 points.
Lets Go Ducks!