ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The NHL season is more than a month old and no team has beaten the Anaheim Ducks in regulation yet -- which makes their one overtime loss and three shootout defeats sting even more.
Teemu Selanne scored 44 seconds into overtime on a power play after drawing a tripping penalty from Noah Welch, and the Ducks beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 Monday night. Chris Kunitz and Corey Perry also scored for the Ducks, who outshot Pittsburgh 40-17 while improving to a league-best 11-0-4.
By earning at least one point in each of their first 15 games, Anaheim tied the 1984-85 Edmonton Oilers for the most consecutive games without a loss in regulation to start a season.
"The games that we lost in overtime or a shootout, they feel like losses," Selanne said. "I mean, we got the one point out of those games, but we weren't really happy about it because we knew there were two points available. And I think that maybe the reason for this streak is that we really considered those games as losses -- and then we bounced back. That's a good sign."
Dominic Moore and Chris Thorburn scored first-period goals for the Penguins, who concluded a four-game road trip with their second straight loss following a five-game winning streak. Sidney Crosby, who scored 39 goals last season as a rookie and became the youngest player in NHL history to record at least 100 points, did not have a shot on net for the third consecutive game.
"I'd definitely like to get more pucks to the net, but I'm not going to sit here and worry about it too much," Crosby said. "Obviously, you want to get shots, but I think I've passed up a couple to try to make a play and I don't regret that. When I think it's time to shoot, I'm going to shoot. But there's no doubt that there's guys pretty much within a stick-length of me all the time. So if I want to get shots, it's going to have to be around the net and it'll have to be a clear chance."
Selanne had plenty of open ice to maneuver with the teams skating 4-on-3 in overtime, and he got in perfect position to redirect Scott Niedermayer's centering pass from the right circle. It was Selanne's 44th game-winning goal with the Ducks, tying Paul Kariya's franchise record.
The Penguins played without defenseman Mark Eaton, who dislocated his left wrist just 63 seconds into Saturday's 3-2 loss at San Jose and is scheduled to undergo surgery on Tuesday in Pittsburgh. Eaton, who leads the team with 36 blocked shots and is a key member of the penalty-killing unit, was injured when Jonathan Cheechoo of the Sharks rode him into the corner boards and landed on top of him.
Jocelyn Thibault made 16 of his 37 saves during the second period in his first start of the season. The 13-year veteran was 1-9-0 with a 4.46 goals-against average in 16 appearances last season before missing the final 40 games because of a hip injury that required surgery.
Thibault's previous start was Jan. 6 in Atlanta, when he gave up three goals on nine shots and was benched 10½ minutes into a 6-4 loss to the Thrashers.
"I've been training real hard this summer and practicing real hard to get to my first game, and this was a good game to build on," Thibault said. "I wasn't that nervous. It took me a few minutes to kind of get into a groove, but I expected that. I'm pretty happy about the game I played, but I'm disappointed that we didn't win."
Anaheim had seven of the game's first eight power plays. The Ducks capitalized on Moore's holding penalty to tie the score at 13:13 of the second period when Perry banged home a rebound of Niedermayer's one-timer.
"It's hard to get any momentum going when you get penalties all the time," Crosby said. "It wasn't like we just had one period of penalties. It was consistent throughout. We just couldn't stay out of the box. Against a team like that, you need to get in a flow."
Thorburn, playing in his 12th NHL game and 10th with Pittsburgh, put the Penguins ahead 2-1 at 10:49 of the first period when he pounced on a rebound of Evgeni Malkin's one-timer and backhanded it past Jean-Sebastien Giguere for his first NHL goal.
|Pitt's Sidney Crosby, who checks Samuel Pahlsson, goes without a goal for a third straight game. (AP)|
|Anaheim (11-0-4) «||1||1||0||1||3|
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|03:29||Chris Kunitz (7), Slap Shot - Assists: Teemu Selanne, Andy McDonald|
|03:50||Dominic Moore (3), Wrist Shot - Assists: Chris Thorburn, John LeClair|
|10:49||Chris Thorburn, Backhand Shot - Assists: Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby|
|13:13||Power Play - Corey Perry (4), Slap Shot - Assists: Scott Niedermayer, Chris Pronger|
|00:44||Power Play - Teemu Selanne (5), Slap Shot - Assists: Scott Niedermayer, Ryan Getzlaf|
|06:28||Thorburn: Hooking - 2 min.|
|11:24||Ouellet: High sticking - 2 min.|
|14:05||Malkin: Hooking - 2 min.|
|19:09||Beauchemin: Interference - 2 min.|
|01:49||Welch: Hooking - 2 min.|
|05:52||Welch: Hooking - 2 min.|
|11:50||Moore: Holding - 2 min.|
|16:17||Thorburn: Boarding - 2 min.|
|17:05||Kunitz: Interference - 2 min.|
|03:18||Ekman: Too Many Men on the Ice(bench) - 2 min.|
|15:02||Ekman: Roughing - 2 min.|
|15:02||Pronger: Roughing - 2 min.|
|15:02||Marchant: Roughing - 2 min.|
|15:02||Armstrong: Roughing - 2 min.|
|17:12||Recchi: Holding - 2 min.|
|17:12||Niedermayer: Holding - 2 min.|
|00:21||Welch: Tripping - 2 min.|
|SHOTS ON GOAL|
|Attendance - 16599|
|Referees - Tom Kowal, Dean Warren|
|Linesmen - Scott Driscoll, Jonny Murray|