Goonies never say die, and neither do the Anaheim Ducks.
With 2:10 remaining in the game, the Ducks were down 4-2. It looked like the Dallas Stars were going to force a Game 7 back in California.
And then Nick Bonino happened.
Behind the Dallas net, Bonino was crunched by Alex Goligoski as he fed the puck out to Corey Perry waiting in the corner. Perry made a nifty spin move around Trevor Daley, and as he’s falling, pushes the puck to a wide open Bonino. The forward lifts the puck up and over a sprawling Kari Lehtonen to bring the Ducks within one.
Anaheim moved the puck around the ice as the seconds ticked off the clock and Dallas collapsing on their net-minder.
And then Devante Smith-Pelly happened.
Perry shot the puck on net and the Ducks began digging away. Lehtonen, down on the ice again, could not locate the puck long enough to cover it for the whistle. Francois Beauchemin rolled the puck across the goalie’s leg pad to a waiting Smith-Pelly. With only 25.9 seconds left, the 21-year-old went top-shelf and tied the game.
There would be no more heroics in the third period and the game went to overtime.
Dallas nearly won it in the early stages of overtime. Jonas Hiller, who replaced starter Frederik Andersen midway through the second period, was beaten on the play and the puck deflected off the post and away from Anaheim’s net-minder.
And then Nick Bonino happened (again).
Defenseman Ben Lovejoy fired a shot from the point and it deflected wide of the Dallas net. The puck made its way to Andrew Cogliano who skated it from behind the net. Cogliano sent a pass to Bonino waiting between the dots. Lehtonen was down on his knees on the opposite side of his crease, leaving a wide open net for Bonino’s wrist-shot.
In his post-game tv interview, Bonino said during the intermission, the team discussed how Lehtonen tends to go down to the ice early.
Bonino should be accustom to scoring big goals by now. Playing for Boston University in the 2009 NCAA hockey championship game, Bonino scored the game tying-goal with the goalie pulled and 17.4-seconds left on the clock. BU went on to win the championship in OT.
After eliminating Dallas, Anaheim heads back to California to await the winner of the Sharks-Kings bloodbath series.