The 2006-07 season was of course the most memorable in Ducks history, but often lost among its many highlights is Teemu Selanne's 301st goal as a Duck, which he scored at home in a game against the Kings. What follows is my play-by-play reaction to that game.
Todd Marchant is out with an injured stomach muscle, and Joe DiPenta is a healthy scratch. Ric Jackman draws into the lineup, where he will play alongside rookie Shane O'Brien. Brent Severyn is in the booth alongside John Ahlers, so I assume Brian Hayward is sick.
I'm not sure exactly where these teams were in the standings headed into this game, but as almost all of you will recall, the Ducks and Kings were in very different spots in 2007. 42 standings points were the difference between the two teams at the end of the regular season, and a Stanley Cup was the difference a couple months after that.
0:00 — Chris Kunitz, Andy McDonald, Teemu Selanne, Francois Beauchemin, Scott Niedermayer, and Jean-Sebastien Giguere start for the Ducks. Who Cares starts for the Kings? Remember Sean Burke? He turned 40 a month before this game, and he's in the Kings' net.
0:37 — Dustin Brown records the first shot of the game, an unthreatening slapper from 50 feet out that is easily stopped by Giguere. His linemates are the world-famous Brian Willsie and a rookie you probably don't remember named Anze Kopitar.
0:45 — Derek Armstrong's snap shot is a little more dangerous. Giguere makes his second save.
1:26 — Shawn Thornton is riding shotgun with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, and he surprises me by contributing to a good chance on his first shift by passing to Perry who passes to Getzlaf who gets off a decent shot, saved by Burke.
2:21 — Chris Pronger turns it over, and after a moment of chaos in front of Giguere, the puck makes its way onto Armstrong's stick, who would have had half a net to shoot at if not for Jackman's quick stick. Even a Norris/Hart Trophy winner need to be bailed out by a Ric Jackman every once in a while. [Ed. Note: Foreshadowing -CK]
4:35 — Perry puts on some nice moves that look awfully familiar in 2015, but just misses his shot. A second later, Brent Sopel hooks Thornton and puts the Ducks on the power play. Kunitz, McDonald, and O'Brien (twice) each get good chances with the extra man, but can't bury it.
7:05 — A couple of quick changes leave Ryan Shannon on the ice at the same time as McDonald and Selanne. That would have been the fastest line in the league if Shannon had been good enough at things besides skating to play with them.
10:48 — Scott Niedermayer shows off the skating and passing abilities that made him a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame while setting up McDonald, who just missed. Ten or fifteen seconds later Selanne throws the puck in front and causes some chaos before Burke covers up.
12:49 — McDonald goes off for interference. Good call by the ref.
13:04 — Mike Cammalleri controls the puck in the corner to the left of Giguere on the power play before sending a pretty pass up to good ol' Lubomir Visnovsky (then of the Kings, for those of you who might not remember), who scores with a slapshot from the point. Beautiful looking power play, somehow more so than the Hall-of-Fame unit playing for the other team. 1-0 Kings.
16:10 — Pronger makes a good pass to Getzlaf while being hooked by Cammalleri. Getzlaf takes a shot and Cammalleri goes to the box. The Ducks' best power play chance comes from an onrushing Penner, who couldn't make his shot after a great feed from Getzlaf.
17:20 — Kopitar gets the feet moving on a shorthanded rush, but Scott Niedermayer strips him and sends the puck the other way. That was satisfying to watch.
18:22 — Samuel Pahlsson takes a slapshot that bounces off of Burke and onto the stick of O'Brien, who is stoned by Burke. The 40 year-old is looking pretty good right about now.
19:59 — If you watched a lot of Ducks games between 2006 and 2009, you are undoubtedly very familiar with the Chris Pronger end-of-period slapshot from his own zone. The game summary lists this one at 124 feet. He just seemed to love firing it at the other goalie from three zones away, as if to prove that he could both hit the net and beat the buzzer. As they say, never a bad play to throw it on net.
1:37 — Visnovsky plays some good D on Teemu. Both players have looked good tonight.
1:54 — McDonald blocks a shot in his own zone, and his line is off to the proverbial races. He tosses it to Teemu in the neutral zone, and after the Flash gains the blue line, he slows down, giving McDonald time to drive to the net and Kunitz time to find some open ice. Selanne hits Kunitz with the easy pass, and Chris drills it past Burke. 1-1 tie.
3:30 — Another great shift by the top line. Kunitz and McDonald each get good chances, both off passes from Selanne. Kunitz' bid is stopped by Burke and McDonald's goes wide. Selanne then gets a shot himself off a pass from McDonald, which he can't bury.
4:11 — Kopitar rushed up the ice and tries a quick shot, which is blocked at close range by Beauchemin. Beauch skates past Kopi and hits Travis Moen with a breakaway pass. In alone, Moen goes backhand and Burke makes the save. That doesn't matter to me, because I'm still reveling in the play Beauch just made.
5:00 — Yet another phenomenal shift from Andy Mac. I know this post is supposed to be about Teemu (and Teemu has been good), but McDonald is the MVD of this game so far.
5:09 — O'Brien takes a seat for hooking and gives Pahlsson an opportunity to show off how good he is at pressuring the puck while killing a penalty. Until . . .
6:48 — Rob Niedermayer hooks Armstrong and gives the Kings a 5 on 3 for 20-something seconds. Alexander Frolov gives Cammalleri a slick pass, and Giguere makes his best save of the night on Cammy's one-timer.
7:46 — O'Brien's penalty had expired, so the Ducks were only down one man when Cammalleri blasted a slapshot past Giggy. 2-1 Kings.
8:25 — Mike Weaver (who plays D for the Kings and wears number 8 but unlike someone else who will eventually share those traits is not exactly your go-to guy on the blue line) trips Selanne and heads to the box. The top unit stays out for almost the entire two minutes and does precisely nothing with the puck until Scotty takes a decent shot with time winding down. Abysmal power play, especially given the firepower out there. Where have we heard that before?
10:55 — Perry hooks someone, and again Pahlsson goes out there and does some sexy work on the PK.
13:12 — Not long after getting out of the box, Perry tries to dangle around Weaver and ends up on the receiving end of a big-time open ice hip check. The fans didn't like it, but it looked clean to me and to the refs. The acrobatic nature of Perry's trajectory was undoubtedly good enough to get Weaver on some highlight reels that week.
15:08 — The Kings take another penalty (plenty of those to go around in this one), and the Ducks continue to suck at the power play. Again, Scotty gets the best chance, a redirect off a McDonald shot that isn't enough to beat Burke. The rest of the period is mired in uneventfulness, with the puck spending more time in the Kings' zone than in the Ducks'.
0:12 — Tom Kostopoulos goes off for hooking, Mark Crawford is irate, and I find that these names bring back memories of the Kings being so bad that I didn't even have the will to dislike them. It won't happen in the near future, but let us hope that such times will return eventually.
1:01 — Naturally, Teemu's record-breaking goal came on the power play. After receiving a pass from Scotty, he scores short side with a perfectly placed wrist shot. The goal comes at 8:30 of this video, which you ought to watch in full if you have a half hour of time lying around somewhere. 2-2 tie.
3:49 — Brent Sopel's point shot bounced off Giguere, and Jackman wasn't in good enough position to stop Derek Armstrong from potting the rebound. And that is part of the reason Niedermayer and Pronger each played half the game, every game. 3-2 Kings.
6:30 — Good, quick move by Teemu to skate out from behind the net, turn, and shoot. Made something out of nothing, even if Burke ended up with the save.
8:53 — Scott Niedermayer does his best Scott Niedermayer impression and skates from his own zone right up to the slot, outmaneuvering three Kings along the way. Right before the D closes in on him, he puts a quick shot on net from a dangerous spot, and Burke makes a really good save because he knows if he doesn't, he'll be watching that goal all year long. Sami Vatanen, take note: If you've beaten half the team on the rush, maybe you ought to just shoot the puck instead of trying to beat the other half.
9:06 — On the same shift, the puck ends up at the other end of the ice, where Beauch surrenders it to Patrick O'Sullivan right in front of Giguere. Frankie saves his own bacon by blocking Sully's first shot, but the puck bounces back to him and he gets a second opportunity, which he puts wide.
10:34 — With Cammalleri off for interference, Getzlaf skates toward the net with the puck and fools everybody with a no-look behind-the-back-backhand pass to Selanne, who returns the favor with a slick saucer pass of his own, right back onto the stick of Getzlaf. Both passes go through Hall of Famer Rob Blake, who in all fairness was the victim of way too much talent on this one. After getting it back from Teemu, Getzlaf shoots it into a half-open net. Pure wizardry by the two of them, and Selanne gets his third point of the night. 3-3 tie.
11:45 — Kunitz takes a penalty, and Moen and Pronger impress on the PK.
14:17 — Teemu dances his way around the Kings' zone with the puck and end up with a pretty good shot. He is fast.
16:45 — Scotty turns a Kings rush into a Ducks rush in less than a second. Instead of skating backwards, he changes his angle at the last second, skates right at the attacking Kings players, strips him of the puck, and passes it up the ice. Damn.
17:21 and 18:44 — The teams trade penalties, and O'Sullivan's expires before overtime while Scott Niedermayer remains in the box for the start of OT.
0:48 — The Kings get three outstanding chances on the 4 on 3. First, Frolov hits Cammalleri with a great pass, and Cammy misses from the slot. Then Blake takes a slapshot with some mustard on it. Finally, Visnovsky one-times a puck. Pronger blocks it, unfortunately with his face. The whistle blows as his pain becomes obvious. He won't return for the rest of the game, but he will play two days later, so nothing to worry about long term. (On second thought, maybe that puck did more damage than anyone thought at the time . . .)
1:20 — McDonald comes out once the teams are at even strength, and he is absolutely flying. Earlier I said he was the MVD, and while Scotty's third period makes that harder to call now, I'd still have to give it to Andy Mac.
2:27 — Getzlaf passes to Kunitz, who skates around the back of the net and beats Burke to the far post, but barely misses the net on his wraparound. The puck slides harmlessly through the blue paint.
3:32 — Frolov skates dangerously into the Ducks' zone, but Guess Who comes to the rescue. Scotty steals the puck from him, heads up ice, and gives his brother a clean pass to create a 2-on-1 with Robbie and O'Brien. Rob elects to shoot, and rings it off the near side post. That would have been beautiful.
3:33 — As all this was happening, somebody screwed up a line change and the Ducks spent the rest of OT down a man for having one too many on the ice.
4:37 — Getzlaf sends a pass to Scotty (Has he left the ice in OT?), who skates into the Kings' zone, shorthanded, one-on-one with Blake. Scott shoots and Burke makes the save.
4:49 — Frolov rushes into the zone (Kings are still on PP) and he has Brown wide open on top of the blue paint. He attempts the pass, but a diving Scott Niedermayer pokes it away before it can reach its intended target. He just might have done enough in overtime to grab first MVD honors.
Getzlaf — Fakes backhand, shoots forehand, slides under Burke's left pad and into the net, giving the Ducks the lead.
Cammalleri — Shoots forehand high glove side, saved by Giguere.
Selanne — Shoots for five hole, saved by Burke.
Kopitar — Uses his reach to go from backhand to forehand and give himself an empty net to tuck it into, tying the shootout.
Perry — Rings a wrist shot off the stickside post. Damn.
O'Sullivan — Almost the same exact move as Cammalleri, with the same exact result.
Kunitz — Kick fake, moves to forehand, scores. Similar to Kopitar's, but objectively less pretty. Ducks lead.
Lundmark — Shoots forehand and scores high gloves. Tied back up.
McDonald — Low shot stickside, saved by Burke.
Brown — Attempted five hole, shut down by Giggy.
R. Niedermayer — Similar shot to Brown's, also saved.
Visnovsky — Wins it for LA with a slick move to the backhand, tucking it between Giguere's legs.
Despite the shootout loss, the Ducks were the much better team in this game. They outshot the Kings 42-24, good for 63.6% of the total shots on goal in the game. While I don't have shot attempt numbers, I'd be surprised if they told a different tale. The top line of McDonald, Selanne, and Kunitz was brilliant from start to finish, the young Twins showed off some of their talent, and the checking line did its job. Pronger and Beauch have had better games, and even Scotty looked just good for the first half, but in the third period and overtime he controlled the game like only he can.
This game went to a shootout because the Ducks didn't execute on enough of their power plays and didn't have enough discipline to limit LA's chances (both teams went 2 for 7 on the PP). The Kings scored two of their goals with the extra man and the other one while the Ducks' third pairing was on the ice. In other words, they exploited a superior team's weaknesses, which is exactly what you have to do when playing a much better team.
It wouldn't matter, though. All that mattered here was Selanne's 301st goal, which gave him sole possession of the Ducks' all-time goal scoring lead. That, and the fact that his team would continue to dominate hockey games all the way into June.