ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — In his first game behind the Anaheim bench, Bruce Boudreau saw all the talent and passion that makes the Ducks such a compelling team.
The new coach also saw exactly why this job opened up two days ago.READ MORE: 'Police Incident' Closes Park City Center Mall In Lancaster County
Claude Giroux scored 3:29 into overtime and the Philadelphia Flyers rallied from a three-goal deficit for a 4-3 victory Friday night over the Ducks, who surged ahead and then spectacularly fell apart in Boudreau’s debut.
The Ducks’ 17th loss in 20 games ended with Boudreau’s captain in the penalty box for a four-minute stretch. Ryan Getzlaf committed a tripping penalty 41 seconds into overtime, but then yelled at a referee and slammed his stick on the glass in anger, earning another unsportsmanlike-conduct minor — the Ducks’ 11th penalty of the night, increasing their NHL-leading total to 130.
Boudreau knows he can’t fix the Ducks’ brains overnight, so the former Washington coach chose to emphasize his new team’s assets.
“There’s a lot of positives,” Boudreau said. “There’s more skill up front than I thought there was. The energy and the enthusiasm on the bench was really good. Everybody left everything they had on the ice. It wasn’t a question of not giving it their all, but in the end, you can’t overcome making dumb mistakes.”
Anaheim killed 2:37 of Getzlaf’s penalties, but Giroux was left alone to score on a one-timer from Danny Briere.
“It’s frustrating. It’s an emotional game out there,” Getzlaf said. “I mean, I’ve said a lot worse to referees, and I’ll admit that. At the end of a game, it’s tough to make that call. I definitely regret what I did, and it won’t happen again. I can guarantee that. That stuff at the end of the game hurt our group tonight. I’ll take that on me.”
Jaromir Jagr scored two power-play goals and Scott Hartnell tied it with 3:02 left in regulation for the Flyers, who trailed 3-0 late in the second period. Ilya Bryzgalov made 19 saves in Philadelphia’s return from a five-day break.
After Jagr scored twice, Hartnell tied it with a close-range goal off a pass from Kimmo Timonen, who assisted on all three regulation Flyers goals.
“It was a great comeback,” said Bryzgalov, the former Ducks goalie. “We don’t give up. We just keep playing. We tried to keep executing in the third period, and it paid off.”READ MORE: Protestors Demand Full Investigation Into Fanta Bility's Shooting Death, Want Sharon Hill Officers Fired
Teemu Selanne and Andrew Cogliano scored first-period goals and Jonas Hiller stopped 43 shots, but the Ducks couldn’t maintain a fast start under Boudreau, who replaced Randy Carlyle in Anaheim on Wednesday night after getting fired by the Capitals on Monday morning.
In their first time back on home ice since Carlyle’s firing after six-plus seasons, the Ducks started out with all the energy and grit they’ve lacked far too often this season.
And while the Ducks took responsibility for their late disciplinary lapses, they also were angry with the officials for the extra overtime penalty.
“Getting a 4-on-3 in overtime, it’s got to be murder,” said Selanne, who scored his ninth goal of the season. “That’s unbelievable. I don’t know what the first penalty was, but the second one — why did he give him the extra penalty and give him four minutes? Why did he have to blow the game? You can’t take criticism? I’ve been in this league for 20 years and I’ve never seen that before.”
Saku Koivu had two first-period assists for the Ducks, who have lost eight of nine. Boudreau took over after the Ducks got off to a 7-13-4 start, falling to 14th place in the Western Conference despite a wealth of talent.
Jagr, who redirected Timonen’s shot for the Flyers’ first goal, missed four of the previous five games with an apparent groin injury, but returned for his first goal since Nov. 5. Jagr then scored with 5 seconds left on a two-man advantage early in the third period for his third two-goal game since rejoining the NHL this season.
“Even when we were down 2-0, 3-0, we felt like we didn’t play that bad,” Jagr said. “The score was bad, but I don’t think we played that bad. We had some shifts where we cycled the puck really well, and it was just a matter of time as to when the puck would go in.”
NOTES: Before the game, Boudreau added assistant coach Bob Woods and video coordinator Joe Piscotty to his staff. Woods had been on Boudreau’s staff in Washington since 2009. … Gordon’s goal was the second of his NHL career. He played for Boudreau in Washington last season, but hadn’t scored in his first 24 games with the Ducks. … The Flyers scratched D Matt Walker after recalling him from the AHL earlier Friday. … Flyers D Chris Pronger still hasn’t played in Anaheim since the Ducks traded him to Philadelphia in June 2009. Pronger, who won the Stanley Cup with Anaheim in 2007, could be out for a month after knee surgery on Tuesday. The 2000 NHL MVP and current Flyers captain also missed Philadelphia’s last game in Anaheim on Dec. 31, 2010, while recovering from foot surgery.
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