ST. LOUIS - Anaheim defenceman James Wisniewski has been waiting his entire five-year NHL career for an opportunity to show off his shootout skills.
That chance finally came Saturday night. Wisniewski scored in the seventh round of the tiebreaker to help the Ducks rally past the St. Louis Blues 4-3 for their eighth victory in 11 games.
After watching four shooters come up empty in the rounds three through six, Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle turned to Wisniewski, who had never participated in a shootout.
Wisniewski calmly slipped the puck behind goalie Chris Mason to give the Ducks their seventh win in the last nine meetings with the Blues.
"He's a confident guy and those situations don't rattle him," Carlyle said. "He made a hell of a move."
Wisniewski gave Carlyle a long look during the shootout in an effort to catch his coach's attention.
"I said, 'Give a defenceman a try,"' Wisniewski recalled. "We never get an opportunity. When I saw it go in, it was a pretty good feeling."
Carlyle's choice of Wisniewski came as a shock to winger Bobby Ryan, who scored two goals including one with 30 seconds left to send the game into overtime. Anaheim had trailed 3-0.
"It was a surprise pick to me," said Ryan, who leads U.S.-born players with 24 goals. "We play breakaway games every day (in practice) and he's always one of the guys that scores."
Ryan triggered the Ducks' third-period comeback with two goals in the final eight minutes. Anaheim scored three times in the final 14:47 to erase the big deficit.
The Blues jumped in front on second-period goals by Andy McDonald and B.J. Crombeen and a third-period tally by T.J. Oshie.
But Anaheim defenceman Scott Niedermayer, the Ducks captain, started the rally with his fourth goal of the season. Ryan took over from there.
"If you don't play your game, you can't expect results," said St. Louis coach Davis Payne, 5-5-1 since taking over for the fired Andy Murray on Jan. 2. "We didn't play our game in the third period."
Anaheim also got goals from Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf during the first two rounds of the shootout. Brad Boyes and Oshie scored shootout goals for St. Louis.
Mason stopped 34-of-37 shots including four in the tiebreaker. Anaheim's Jonas Hiller stopped five shootout attempts to improve to 13-5 over the last 18 games.
Ryan says the comeback should give his team a shot of confidence as it continues its 13-day, six-game road trip. Anaheim lost to San Jose 3-1 on Thursday in the first game of the swing.
"This was monumental," Ryan said. "It was like a playoff game. This shows that we're a very resilient team, able to bounce back in the face of almost everything."
Ryan recorded 10 shots on goal.
NOTES: Anaheim forward Teemu Selanne missed his fifth straight game (broken jaw). He underwent surgery Jan. 14 and is expected to be out at least two more weeks. The injury could keep him from playing for Finland next month at the Vancouver Olympics. ... The Blues have scored first in nine of 10 games. ... Anaheim is 7-1-1 in its last nine games against St. Louis. ... The Ducks have killed off 20 of 22 penalties.