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Teemu Selanne scored his 500th goal in his last matchup with the Colorado Avalanche, but it wasn't enough for a win. Coming off another memorable achievement, the Anaheim Ducks' leading scorer hopes for a different result this time around when his squad hosts the Avalanche on Saturday.
Selanne's 500th goal sparked a comeback against Colorado on Nov. 22, but the Ducks lost 3-2 in a shootout. Now the Anaheim right wing is trying to continue getting his team back on track.
The Ducks (30-9-7) are 2-0-1 in their last three contests, including a 5-1 victory over the Dallas Stars on Thursday, after a season-high four-game losing streak. Selanne scored three goals Thursday for the first time since March 29, 2001, when he had a hat trick against his current team while playing with San Jose.
The performance was an emotional one for Selanne after he had a phone conversation earlier in the day with a close friend in Finland, who has terminal cancer and asked Selanne to send him the puck if he had three goals.
"In old times when I was younger, when I got two I knew I was going to get three and I wanted the third more than those first two," said Selanne, whose team leads the NHL with 67 points. "But as you get older, you're not so greedy anymore. It was one of those nights when the puck finds a way to get into the net."
Selanne moved into a tie for the NHL lead with 28 goals, and has nine goals and three assists in the last seven games. The 14-year veteran, who recorded 32 points in 78 games for Colorado in 2003-04, has a four-game point streak against his former team with six in that span.
Two of Selanne's goals Thursday came on the power play as the Ducks converted three of seven chances. They are 5-for-12 over the last two contests.
Andy McDonald assisted on four goals in the win for Anaheim, which is capitalizing on 22.8 percent (54-for-237) of its extra-man opportunities this season - third-best in the NHL.
Colorado (21-19-3) scored a season high-tying three power-play goals on five chances Thursday, but still dropped its second straight game, 7-3 to the Calgary Flames. The game was tied at 2 after the first period, but the Avalanche were outscored 4-1 in the second and couldn't recover.
It was the second-most goals Colorado has allowed all season. Two of them were short-handed.
"The second period, that was the game there," said Avs coach Joel Quenneville, whose squad is going for a season-high third straight road win. "Giving up the second short-handed goal was killer. You're not going to win giving up two short-handed goals; I don't care what happens. We gave up more odd-man breaks in the second period than we did in the last month. Our coverage was terrible."
Peter Budaj was pulled after giving up five goals on 17 shots and replaced by Jose Theodore, who gave up two on nine shots. Andrew Burnette had a goal and an assist in the defeat while Avs leading scorer Joe Sakic had two assists.
Sakic, picked as a Western Conference starter in the upcoming All-Star game, has nine points in his last six meetings with the Ducks.
Anaheim goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, who is playing for injured starter Jean-Sebastien Giguere, is 1-2 with a 2.81 goals-against average in three career starts versus Colorado. Giguere's groin injury isn't improving as the team had hoped and he'll likely be sidelined until after the All-Star break.
The Ducks are 16-3-4 at home this season and have won three of their last four meetings there with Colorado. The Avs have taken four of the last five overall matchups.