Selanne, closing on 500 career goals, passed up scoring chances
Sunday night and set up his linemates instead. He finished with a
career-high five assists in the Anaheim Ducks' 6-4 victory over the
"Teemu is just three away from that goals milestone, and
tonight just shows what an unselfish player he is," said Kunitz,
whose final goal broke a 4-4 tie midway through the third period.
"Teemu's looking for us to get the two points [for a win]. He's
just as happy with an assist as he is with a goal."
Selanne mostly was happy that the Ducks were able to win a close
game, their third victory over the Coyotes this season and eighth
in a row overall.
"It was not that pretty a win. We let them come back," he
Asked about the approaching milestone, he smiled and said,
"It's coming. I'm not a numbers guy, and I don't really want to
start thinking about it. When I see guys open, I try to get the
puck to them. I think that's what makes a good player, making the
"When it's time to shoot, you shoot, when it's time to pass,
you pass. You want to do the right thing."
Kunitz's third goal came on a deflection at 9:21 of the third
period, off a 45-foot shot by Selanne. Phoenix goalie Curtis Joseph
almost blocked the puck, but it trickled past him and across the
line to give Kunitz his 13th goal of the season.
Rob Niedermayer added an empty-net goal with 2.8 seconds left,
his second score of the season.
Kunitz's other two goals were in the second period.
Andy McDonald had two goals and two assists for the Ducks. Ed
Jovanovski led Phoenix with a goal and two assists.
Anaheim got off 30 shots at Joseph, while the Coyotes recorded
28 on Jean-Sebastien Giguere.
Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky said that, despite the loss, the
Coyotes played well.
"We did a lot of good things, and physically we played hard,"
Gretzky said. "They [the Ducks] are a really good hockey club with
a lot of depth and a lot of talent.
"We made a couple of mistakes and they capitalized."
The Coyotes' Mike Zigomanis tied it at 2:07 of the third period.
Georges Laraque, whose goal late in the second period pulled
Phoenix within 4-3, set up Zigomanis' third of the season with a
pass from the boards behind the goal line on the right side.
Laraque got his fourth goal of the season when he deflected
Jovanovski's long shot in at 19:24 of the second period.
After the Coyotes' Yanic Perreault scored on a power play at
11:56 of the second to trim Anaheim's lead to 3-2, Kunitz quickly
built the Ducks' lead back to two. Kunitz beat Joseph between the
pads at 12:57 of the period.
Selanne made a fine play to set up Kunitz's goal that gave
Anaheim a 3-1 pad early in the second period. Weaving his way
through a couple of defenders as he skated toward the crease from
near the goal line on the right side, Selanne waited until Joseph
had to commit to that side, then slid the puck across the crease.
Kunitz was there to knock it in.
"Teemu is great at holding the puck until the last second, then
getting it to you," Kunitz said.
Jovanovski gave Phoenix a quick lead with his 50-foot slap shot
at 3:09, but McDonald evened it on a power play at 7:53.
Selanne's five assists tied the club record set by Dmitri
Mironov on Dec. 12, 1997, against Washington. The five-point game
was the seventh of Selanne's career. ... Anaheim is 13-0-1 against
the Coyotes since Nov. 9, 2003. ... McDonald's two-goal game was
the eighth of his career and first this season.