Press-Telegram (Long Beach)
Ducks rally in third period, and Ryan Getzlaf’s goal in overtime sinks Avalanche.
Ducks goaltender Ryan Miller was down but not out late in the third period Saturday in Denver. He made an initial save on a point-blank shot from Tyson Jost from the right wing, but the puck ricocheted to Jayson Megna on the opposite wing for an even closer try.
Sliding to his right as quickly as he could, Miller thrust his right leg into the air and denied Megna on what might have been the clinching goal for the Colorado Avalanche, with the Ducks trailing by a goal and a little more than six minutes left in regulation play.
In time, the Ducks completed an improbable rally from a two-goal deficit for a 5-4 overtime victory from the Avalanche, ending a ninegame winless skid. Ryan Getzlaf scored with the Ducks on a power play 1:59 into the extra period for their first win since Feb. 11.
Miller’s save on Megna was the most spectacular of the 29 he made en route to his 389th career victory, which tied him with the man who made a career of such sprawling, otherworldly stops, Dominik Hasek, for 14th place on the NHL’s alltime list.
“I knew if I just extended to where the puck ended up, I was just going to be swinging my arm around and I didn’t like how it was working out, so I decided to throw the bigger piece of equipment up there,” Miller said, referring to his leg on what proved to be a game-saving play.
“Maybe it’s appropriate. It was a never-say-die kind of a night. If we conceded anything else, it wouldn’t have been a game. We were able to all contribute there at the end of the third (period). I was happy we were able to get an unlikely win. Hopefully, that’s what it takes right now.”
Miller, 40, has the most victories by a U.S.-born goalie and is second in games with 785.
The Ducks seemed bent on getting Miller his milestone victory in the first half of the game, but they failed to sustain their play. They built a 2-0 lead, then gave up four consecutive goals before rallying in the closing minutes of regulation to force the game to OT.
Troy Terry scored twice, Rickard Rakell had one goal and two assists to extend his points streak to five games (three goals, six assists), and Kevin Shattenkirk scored the tying goal while the Ducks were on a power play with 2:50 left in regulation. Logan O’Connor, Mikko Rantanen, Brandon Saad and Gabriel Landeskog scored for the Avalanche. It was Rantanen’s tripping penalty on defenseman Cam Fowler in overtime that set up Getzlaf’s tap-in from near the right post off a pass from the perimeter from Rakell.
“I think the relief in our locker room is good,” Getzlaf said of ending a 0-6-3 skid. “It takes a little tension off. We’ve been battling the last, I can’t even tell you, five or six games, playing pretty good hockey. Just coming close was getting really old.”
Coach Dallas Eakins iced a lineup with seven defensemen and 11 forwards, just as he did for Friday’s OT loss to Colorado. Max Jones then exited the game after he was struck by a puck in the first period, leaving the Ducks with only 10 forwards for the remaining two periods.
“It was upper body,” Eakins said of Jones’ injury. “He was trying to come back, but he just couldn’t. That was a tough one because we had just the two extra forwards and that put us down to just one. Our forwards handled the minutes excellent.”