Vancouver may be north of the U.S.-Canadian border, but the Anaheim Ducks sure seem to feel at home there.
The Ducks look to complete a perfect two-game Canadian road trip and win at Vancouver for the sixth straight time Thursday when they face the Canucks.
Anaheim has won all five of its visits to Vancouver since the start of the 2003-04 season, outscoring the Canucks 17-5 in those meetings. The Ducks earned their most lopsided victory of this season at GM Place, a 6-0 rout Nov. 9. Ryan Getzlaf scored twice for Anaheim, Shane O'Brien added a goal and two assists and Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped 20 shots for one of his three shutouts in 2006-07.
The Ducks (18-2-6) improved their league-best point total to 42 with Tuesday's 3-2 victory at Edmonton to open their road trip. It appeared Anaheim would lose in regulation for just the third time all season, but Chris Kunitz's team-leading 14th goal tied the game with 17 seconds left after the Ducks pulled Giguere for an extra attacker.
Getzlaf's 10th goal of the season, 2:19 into the extra session, then secured Anaheim's third straight victory.
Chris Pronger assisted on Anaheim's other tally, a second-period goal by Teemu Selanne, but was booed every time he handled the puck in his return to Edmonton. Pronger helped lead the Oilers to last season's Stanley Cup finals, but then demanded a trade over the summer.
"We knew it would be a bit difficult for him coming back in here and we wanted to support him as much as we could," said Anaheim captain Scott Niedermayer, who played in his 1,000th NHL game.
While the Ducks have stayed hot since playing Vancouver last, the Canucks (12-12-1) continue to search for offense. Vancouver's 2.20 goals per game rank 28th in the NHL.
The Canucks have totaled only two goals over their last three games, but goalie Roberto Luongo made 24 saves Tuesday for his second shutout of the season as Vancuover defeated Columbus 1-0 to open a five-game homestand.
Markus Naslund scored his team-leading 12th goal midway through the second period to provide the game's only offense. Vancouver has scored two goals or fewer in 11 of its last 13 games, going 5-8-0 in that span.
"We talked about it before the game and we said these are the types of games we have to win, the 1-0, 2-1 games," Luongo said. "And when we got the lead we played really well defensively."
Luongo had a rough night against Anaheim earlier this month, allowing three goals on nine shots before being replaced in net by Dany Sabourin. He has fared well in the past against Anaheim, however, going 4-3 with a 1.98 goals-against average in eight career starts versus the Ducks.
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