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Ducks clinch playoff spot in fitting way: By coming back from the dead

Ducks Maple Leafs Hockey

Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Garret Sparks looks back for the puck as Anaheim Ducks’ Jakob Silfverberg (33) falls into him during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Thursday, March 24, 2016 in Toronto. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT


Of course it couldn’t be pretty.

The Anaheim Ducks tweeted the following when crossing into overtime clinched their playoff spot: “Not a goal, but an expectation.”

Even the Ducks would probably admit that they wouldn’t be so bold with such a proclamation back in, say, November.

In a way, Thursday’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs runs parallel to the Ducks’ odd little 2015-16 season. They waddled badly out of the gate in falling behind by a score of 4-1 in the waning moments of the second period, yet Anaheim once again reminded us that they shouldn’t be dismissed, even under trying circumstances.

Remarkably, the Ducks ended up roaring back to a 5-4 lead.

Heck, even most of their offense came from reinforcements, hammering home this theme in another way.

Again, that’s a strangely fitting microcosm of their season, although the ultimate result (a 6-5 overtime loss to the lowly Leafs) means that the Ducks don’t want the analogy to be too accurate.

Deep down, more than a few Ducks fans probably let out a sigh of relief tonight.