It took an ear-splitting scolding from Coach Bruce Boudreau, a game-turning hit by team leader Ryan Getzlaf, an amazing save by goalie Frederik Andersen, a power-play conversion, and Corey Perry’s won’t-be-denied rush to the net.
But was destiny also at play in the Ducks’ franchise-record comeback from a four-goal deficit to defeat the Winnipeg Jets, 5-4, in overtime Monday?
With seven games remaining, the victory gave the Ducks (49-18-8) the most regular-season wins in team history and, with 106 points, put them in position to grab the Pacific Division title and finish first in the Western Conference.
The day after scoring his 39th goal of the season with 22.7 seconds left to force an overtime that led to Stephane Robidas’ deciding goal, Perry said the comeback victory could provide a lasting burst of momentum into the Stanley Cup playoffs.
“That’s a win to build off. You need to have that kind of drive to show we can come back from any point,” Perry said. “If you have that confidence and belief, you can beat any team.”
“Our character just took over. It’s a full 60-minute game. The start wasn’t what we wanted, but the finish is where we want to get to and what we did is a special thing. There’s a lot of happy faces in here today.”
Boudreau said he believed the Ducks had a chance to rally from a 4-0 deficit with less than three minutes left in the second period, but he stopped short of buying the notion that the magic automatically continues.
“I don’t think those thoughts,” Boudreau said. “I think it’s great in the moment. It gives you confidence from now on you’re never out of a game.
“But I had those thoughts once [coaching] Washington, down 4-1 in a playoff game, we won in overtime. I said it’s a team of destiny, and then we lost in the second round. So that destiny didn’t last too long.
“I don’t want to put the same kind of burden on this team. You don’t want to have to win 5-4 games, because you can’t survive in the playoffs.”
Out since March 14, defenseman Cam Fowler (sprained knee ligament) skated at Tuesday’s practice and Boudreau said Fowler, a U.S. Olympian with six goals and 30 assists, could return to play by next week.
The team had no update on defenseman Mark Fistric, who underwent an MRI exam Monday to address a lower-body nerve ailment that has kept him sidelined since March 15.
DUCKS VS. EDMONTON
On the air: TV: KDOC; Radio: 830.
Etc.: The Ducks renew acquaintances with the Oilers for the second of three games within a nine-day span. They lost Friday in Edmonton when ex-Kings goalie Ben Scrivens stopped 48 of 51 shots in a 4-3 overtime win. The teams meet again Sunday in Canada.