Game 3 - Ducks 3, Vancouver 2
VANCOUVER, British Columbia - The Ducks should look up the penalty for larceny in British Columbia, because they might have stolen one in Vancouver.
Despite being outplayed by the Canucks much of the game, and taking a frustrating nine penalties, the Ducks somehow came away with a 3-2 victory at GM Place. The win gave them a 2-games-to-1 lead in the Western Conference Semifinals series, with Game 4 here Tuesday night.
"The positive thing is that we won the game," said Teemu Selanne. "But we can definitely do better."
Corey Perry somehow found a hole in Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo for the game-winner with the Ducks on the power play 7:51 into the third period. Perry's slap shot from the top of the left wing circle seeped through Luongo, who was partially shielded by Chris Kunitz.
J.S. Giguere gave new meaning to the word "save" for the Ducks (as in saving the game). He flicked away countless Vancouver opportunities, including several with the net empty and six Vancouver attackers in the final minute. He finished with 24 saves.
Dustin Penner opened the scoring with this goal in the first period.
The Ducks initially subdued a pumped-up Vancouver crowd with a Dustin Penner goal just 3:08 into the game. Luongo tried to clear the puck from behind the net, but sent it right to Perry in the corner. Perry sent a nice pass into the slot to Penner, who one-timed it past a diving Luongo.
The Ducks could only manage one other shot on goal for the rest of the period, while the Canucks had 13. But Anaheim still held the lead until late in the period, boosted by three straight penalty kills that made Vancouver 3 for 52 on the power play in the playoffs and scoreless against Anaheim.
But just as the Ducks killed the third one, Ryan Getzlaf accidentally sent the puck over the glass and was whistled for a delay of game. This time Vancouver took advantage, getting a Markus Naslund goal with 48 seconds left in the period. Giguere came to the top of the crease to deflect a long Mattias Ohlund shot, but it trickled behind him and Naslund came from behind the net to punch it in.
Anaheim picked it up in the second, outshooting Vancouver 15-6 and getting a goal midway through from Francois Beauchemin. Like so many power play goals in these playoffs, this one was set up by a Chris Pronger slap shot from the blue line. Seconds after the Vancouver crowd was chanting "MVP, MVP" for Luongo, Pronger's shot bounced off the All-Star netminder and he couldn't manage to hold it underneath him. Chris Kunitz knocked it loose to the stick of the onrushing Beauchemin, who stuffed it in on the right side.
Vancouver evened it up again less than five minutes later on a Daniel Sedin tally. Taylor Pyatt's wraparound attempt bounced hard off Giguere's pads to the waiting Sedin, who one-timed it over a bent-over Giguere.
The Ducks spent almost more time in the penalty box than the official who works in there. But they killed all but one of Vancouver's many power plays. The man-advantage goal the Canucks got was the first of the series and just their fourth in 10 postseason games.
Perry's game-winning goal was the only one of the third period, and with Giguere's help the Ducks put the clamps on Vancouver from that point to the final horn.
"I'm thankful that we got the win," Giguere said. "It's time to move on now."
And they will do that with Game 4 back here at GM Place on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
0:00 - END OF GAME - Giguere comes up huge in the final minute with six Vancouver attackers taking shots at him. He even blocks on in the final second that could have tied it. Ducks take it 3-2 and take a 2-1 lead in the series.
18:40 - With Luongo out of the net, McDonald hits the left post on a shot.
17:45 - There's 2:15 to go. Luongo will be emptying the net soon.
12:08 - VAN PENALTY - Brent Sopel, 2 min. hooking. Ducks are on the power play again.
7:52 - ANA GOAL (POWER PLAY) - COREY PERRY - Perry takes a slap shot from the left wing circle that gets through Luongo with the help of a Kunitz screen in front. It's 3-2 Anaheim.
7:40 - VAN PENALTY - Alex Burrows, 2 min. delay of game. Burrows accidentally sends it over the glass.
4:41 - ANAHEIM PENALTY - Corey Perry, 2 min. holding. The Ducks take yet another.
2:22 - VANCOUVER PENALTY - Taylor Pyatt, 2 min. interference. The Ducks get bailed out on an easy-to-call penalty, as Pyatt picks Ryan Getzlaf.
1:00 - ANA PENALTY - Samuel Pahlsson, 2 min. boarding. The Ducks take yet another penalty. Vancouver is 5 on 3.
0:24 - ANA PENALTY - Francois Beauchemin, 2 min. tripping. The Canucks go 4 on 3 for a few seconds, then 5 on 4 after the Getzlaf and Edler penalties expire.
0:00 - And we're underway in the third.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - The Ducks catch up on the shots on goal, trailing 19-17 now. They also get a Francois Beauchemin goal, but give one up to Daniel Sedin later in the period. The 2-2 score would be much higher without the sharp play of Giguere and Luongo. We'll be back in about 17 minutes.
18:28 - ANA PENALTY & VAN PENALTY - ANA Ryan Getzlaf, 2 min. hooking and VAN Alexander Edler, 2 min. diving. Edler oversells a Getlaf hook by hitting the ice. We're 4 on 4 for two minutes.
14:56 - Every Luongo save is met with a "Luuuuuuuuu" by the crowd. And he just made another nice one on a Ryan Getzlaf shot.
14:31 - VAN GOAL - DANIEL SEDIN - Taylor Pyatt's wraparound attempt bounces off Giguere's pads, but the rebound comes out hard and Daniel Sedin one-times it above a bent-over Giguere. It's 2-2.
10:43 - VAN PENALTY - Willie Mitchell, 2 min. hooking at 10:43.
9:45 - ANA GOAL (POWER PLAY) - FRANCOIS BEAUCHEMIN - Chris Pronger's slap shot is blocked by Luongo, but it gets loose. Kunitz knocks it out from under Luongo and Beauchemin is there to cram in the loose puck. They're not chanting "MVP" anymore. It's the third of the playoffs for Beauchemin, first since donning the face mask. It's 2-1 Ducks and you could hear a stick drop in here.
9:23 - Luongo makes a nice save on a Scott Niedermayer shot and holds it while the Ducks jab at it. The crowd chants, "MVP, MVP".
8:27 - VAN PENALTY - Markus Naslund, 2 min. hooking. Apparently, Vancouver commits penalties too. First power play for the Ducks starts after Perry's penalty expires.
7:51 - Giguere makes a nice save on a Mattias Ohlund slapper and freezes it. Trevor Linden looks like he wants to take some shots at Scott Niedermayer, but Niedermayer ignores him.
7:14 - ANA PENALTY - Corey Perry, 2 min. holding.
The video board shows a young fan with the Canucks logo shaved into the side of his head. The crowd roars.
Luongo looks like he might not be interested in giving up any more goals tonight.
4:50 - Giguere somehow kicks another puck away that sits in the crease in front of an open net for what seemed like an eternity. That's after Jeff Cowan nearly puts one in on a wraparound. This game should be about 5-1 Canucks right now.
0:00 - We're back at it in the second.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - The Ducks get outshot by a noticeable margin, 13-2. But they lead most of the period before the late Naslund goal.
19:12 - VAN GOAL (POWER PLAY) - MARKUS NASLUND - Giguere comes out to the top of the crease to deflect a Mattias Ohlund shot, but it trickles behind him and Naslund comes from behind the net to easily stuff it in. Naslund also fed Ohlund's shot. We're tied 1-1. It's the first power play goal of the series for Vancouver.
18:47 - ANA PENALTY - Ryan Getzlaf, 2 min. delay of game. But before the Ducks can celebrate, Getzlaf accidentally sends the puck over the glass.
18:43 - The Ducks kill again, with Vancouver not even getting a shot off. They've taken the "power" out of power play.
16:43 - ANA PENALTY - Rob Niedermayer, 2 min. slashing. The Canucks are 0-2.
In case you were wondering, Vancouver apparently invented the towel waving at hockey games. They just ran an ad on the scoreboard that said "Copied all over North America. But no one does it like we do." Their towels are white, by the way.
15:01 - Giguere makes another brilliant save on a Jan Bulis shot, then buries the puck after Joe DiPenta nearly kicks it in the net.
Someone should tell the Vancouver entertainment crew that there was music recorded after 1985.
13:04 - We go to the timeout with the Ducks being outshot 10-2. But they made one of those count.
10:46 - The Ducks kill both penalties without a serious scoring chance by Vancouver. The Canucks don't have a power play goal in this series and are now 3 for 52 in the postseason.
8:46 - ANA PENALTY - Chris Pronger, 2 min. hooking. While trying to kill the PP, Pronger hooks a Canucks behind the net. The Dynamic Duo are both in the box. The crowd smells blood.
7:22 - ANA PENALTY - Scott Niedermayer, 2 min. hooking. First power play of the game for the Canucks
7:06 - Chris Kunitz goes sliding into Luongo while trying to chase down an iced puck. The crowd doesn't seem to appreciate that.
Man, this place has gotten quiet.
6:20 - Giguere makes another couple of nice saves on a wrister and then a rebound try.
3:08 - ANA GOAL - DUSTIN PENNER - Luongo tries to clear the puck from behind the net but sends it right to Corey Perry in the corner. Perry makes a nice pass in front of the net to Penner who one-times it past the late-recovering Luongo. The crowd goes silent. The first shot on goal for Anaheim produces the first goal.
2:15 - The Canucks nearly knock in a rebound on Giguere and the crowd roars its approval. They are definitely loud tonight.
0:00 - And we're underway in Game 3.
The Canucks have a drum soloist kick off the pregame hoopla. It's a nice touch.
Starting Goaltenders: ANA J.S. Giguere; VAN Roberto Luongo
Scratches: ANA Sebastien Caron, Ric Jackman Mark Hartigan, Drew Miller, Todd Marchant, Aaron Rome; VAN Kevin Bieksa, Rory Fitzpatrick, Matt Cooke, Tommi Santala, Yannick Tremblay, Nathan Smith
Brad May is in the lineup for Anaheim; Sami Salo is in the lineup for Vancouver
5 p.m. at General Motors Place
TV: Versus Radio: AM 830
Looking like they might dominate the series after a 5-1 rout of the Canucks in Game 1, the Ducks were brought back down to Earth by a 2-1 double-overtime loss in Game 2. Now the series heads to Vancouver, where Anaheim hopes to get back on track.
"Our guys got really fired up by everything that was said about the big, bad Ducks and how they were going to stomp all over us, and nobody gave us a chance because we had a depleted lineup," coach Alain Vigneault said. "Nobody gave us a chance before the series started and nobody gave us a chance after the first game."
Vancouver's Todd Linden said the Canucks "came out with a better edge" in Game 2 after being badly outclassed in the opener, but knows they'll need to find another level as the series goes on. Just as the Ducks weren't surprised the Canucks bounced back, Vancouver expects more from Anaheim in Game 3.
"From our standpoint, we can execute at a higher level," coach Randy Carlyle said before the Ducks flew to Vancouver Saturday. "We turned the puck over way too many times. I wouldn't say they were unforced errors, I think they did a better job of putting pucks in areas and putting pressure on us."
Roberto Luongo had something to do with the Ducks not being rewarded in Game 2, making 43 saves to temporarily end talk of his 0-4 record and lackluster statistics against Anaheim this season. Luongo made 19 - and many of his best - saves against Anaheim's power play, and if there was one area the Canucks were looking to improve going into Game 3, it was discipline. Vancouver gave the Ducks' playoff-leading power play nine chances and two goals in the first game, and seven more opportunities in Game 2.
"We're taking too many penalties still," said Brendan Morrison. "If we can keep this series five-on-five we feel we have a really good chance."
It also wouldn't hurt if they figured out their own power play, which is 0-for-12 in this series, 3-for-50 in the playoffs, and has become a momentum killer.
To do that they'll have to solve Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who had stopped 73 of 75 shots before surrendering the first playoff overtime goal of his career.
"We were expecting them to bounce back and they did," said Giguere, who had his NHL record of 197 minutes, 15 seconds without a playoff overtime goal ended when Cowan's shot somehow found a hole between his skate and the near post. "If we want to be successful, we're going to have to match their intensity."
The Canucks may also have to overcome more injuries on defense.
Kevin Bieska skated by himself and Sami Salo practiced Saturday, but shutdown defenseman Willie Mitchell, who missed stretches of Game 2 after a colliding with Ducks defender Francois Beauchemin, wasn't on the ice. Defenseman Rory Fitzpatrick, who came in to replace Bieksa, also missed practice, so the Canucks called up Yannick Tremblay from the AHL.
The Ducks will have the services of Brad May, who has finished serving his three-game suspension that came from an incident in Game 4 against Minnesota.
Added Giguere, "I think as a team, we've already moved on. It's going to be a different battle (tonight). It's going to be that much harder to win, in their building. They're going to be pumped up. We have to be ready. The first 10 minutes are going to be crucial, momentum-wise."
- Associated Press contributed to this report