While Monday’s two contests were all about the immediate future, it was also an evening for old souls. On the heels of Nicklas Lidstrom hitting the 60-point mark a month before he will turn 41 years old, Teemu Selanne scored three goals and added two assists to help the Anaheim Ducks earn a come-from-behind win against the Colorado Avalanche.
With that, the Ducks are back in front of the Chicago Blackhawks for seventh place in the West in a Finnish Flash.
Anaheim 5, Colorado 4
Selanne factored into all five Ducks goals, pushing his 2010-11 season point total to 75 in 67 games played. Anaheim started the game in a wobbly fashion as the Avalanche stormed to an early 2-0 lead, but Selanne’s penalty shot goal turned the game around a minute into the second period.
He also notched his 700th career assist, by the way.
As if his presence wasn’t already profound enough as he became the oldest NHL player to record a hat trick since 1980, both of his helpers were primary assists.
Ray Emery is now an incredible 5-0 in his remarkable NHL comeback, stopping 31 out of 35 shots after a tough start to the game. Brian Elliott made 37 out of 42 saves in a losing effort.
Matt Duchene scored a goal and an assist while Milan Hejduk provided three assists for the Avalanche, who showed that they can still create goals even if they appear helpless in stopping them.
With this win, the Ducks regained their slim seventh-place lead over the Blackhawks. Anaheim has 91 points in 76 games played with 43 wins while Chicago has 90 points in 75 games played with 41 wins. We’ll keep you informed as the desperate chase for the West’s final spots continues.
There was stiff competition for the backup goaltending job in Boston, but with a signing this afternoon, it seems likely that the matter has been resolved.
The Boston Bruins announced that Jonas Gustavsson has agreed to a one-year, $700,000 deal. It’s a one-way contract, according to the Boston Globe’s Amalie Benjamin.
That contract is still small enough that the Bruins could bury it in the minors if they so desire, but it does set him apart from his last competitor for the goalie position, Jeremy Smith, who has a two-way deal. The fact that Boston went this route seems to imply that Gustavsson will serve as Tuukka Rask‘s understudy, although both netminders attended Sunday’s practice.
In Smith, the Bruins would be getting a 26-year-old goaltender who was dominant with the AHL’s Providence Bruins last season, but has no NHL experience. By contrast Gustavsson, 30, has played in almost 150 NHL games.
Boston sent Zane McIntyre and Malcolm Subban to the minors last week, but an argument could be made that either one of them is worthy of the backup job. However, both of them have a lot of potential and it’s not surprising that the Bruins felt they were better served by staying in the minors where they can play regularly and focus on honing their game.
The Calgary Flames have released Ryan Wilson from his professional tryout.
The 28-year-old was trying to make a comeback after missing 79 games with a shoulder injury last season.
Even with T.J. Brodie sidelined because of a broken hand, Wilson still faced long odds to make the final roster.
The veteran will be hard-pressed to find NHL work with another team.
He hasn’t suited up in more than 12 regular season games since 2011-12.
The Stockton Heat, Calgary’s AHL affiliate, also made some news on Sunday.
The club announced that they’ve signed Colton Orr to an AHL contract.
The 33-year-old tough guy suited up in just one game for the Toronto Maple Leafs last season. He has 12 seasons of NHL experience under his belt.