By Adam Brady (firstname.lastname@example.org)
If turnabout is fair play, the Vancouver Canucks were more than fair to the Ducks on this evening.
After having their opening night in Vancouver spoiled by Anaheim six days ago, the Canucks rebounded to sully the home opener at Honda Center in front of a standing-room-only crowd of 17,529. The 5-0 Ducks defeat, their first of the young season, came six days after Anaheim (2-1-0) trounced those same Canucks 7-3 last Saturday night.
"It was a weird game," said Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf. "The puck was bouncing around a little bit and things never really settled down for us. We got in penalty trouble. We can’t win too many games in that fashion."
The eager crowd that packed the place for its first taste of live Ducks hockey in nine months was energized by pregame introductions that included a spine-tingling salute from both teams at center ice. Getzlaf addressed the crowd, thanking the fans for “sticking with us” through the 3 1/2-month NHL lockout.
But the good vibes from that gesture were soon dampened by a first period in which three Ducks penalties paved the way for a 2-0 Vancouver lead on goals from Daniel Sedin and Mayson Raymond.
Near the midway point of the period, Daniel Winnik was whistled for holding, while Getzlaf took a cross-checking call in front of the net a half-minute later. Soon afterward, Henrik Sedin slipped a pass across the crease that brother Daniel punched in.
"Bad penalty there early, especially going down 5-on-3," Getzlaf said. "It’s not something that I envisioned doing, obviously. He fell a little bit when I was trying to get after him. But it definitely put us behind the eight ball right off the hop."
A Bryan Allen interference call late in the frame was soon followed by Alex Burrows feeding in deep to Raymond, whose initial shot was denied, but he batted in the rebound out of mid-air.
The Ducks were in danger of going down three goals five minutes into the second, as Luca Sbisa hooked Burrows from behind on a breakaway. But Burrows never did gain good control of the puck on the penalty shot, and Jonas Hiller denied him on the backhand. It was the fourth save in five career penalty shots faced for Hiller.
The Canucks made it 3-0 with 3:23 left in the middle session when Aaron Volpatti jumped on a turned-over puck and fired under Hiller wide open from the slot.
Corey Perry was whistled for a charging penalty and a roughing minor during a scrap with Alex Edler late in the second, and went to the box for four minutes, much to the disagreement of the crowd. While the Canucks didn’t capitalize in the period, they did early in the third, as Hiller got fooled on a Daniel Sedin pass across the crease and Zack Kassian sent it over the prone goaltender.
The Canucks made it a five-goal lead seconds after Teemu Selanne was robbed by the right post, and Mason Raymond fired one through from the left wing on the rush.
Vancouver goalie Cory Schneider was perfect on the night, saving all 30 Ducks shots.
"You never want to get blanked in your home opener," Bobby Ryan said. "[Schneider] played well back there and they took away our second and third opportunities pretty well. We were buzzing early, we had some chances, and you get one there and you feel real good about yourselves, and who knows, maybe it’s a different game. We didn’t the way to get one early and sustain any pressure after being down a couple."
Anaheim looks to bounce back tomorrow night back at Honda Center, as they take on one-time playoff rival Nashville.
20:00 - END OF GAME - And that's a final. Canucks 5, Ducks 0.
17:20 - Hiller with a lunging glove save on a Tanev slap shot. That keeps it 5-0 as Perry is two seconds away from escaping from the box and cancelling this two-man advantage.
16:51 - ANA Penalty - Francois Beauchemin, 2 min. slashing. Beauchemin gets a little choppy trying to take the puck from ... actually, I'm not sure who it was.
15:01 - VANCOUVER GOAL - MASON RAYMOND - Raymond gets is second of the night right off the Selanne post, as Raymond whips a shot from left wing past Hiller. It's 5-0.
14:50 - Selanne with a try from right wing, off the post.
14:18 - VAN Penalty - Dan Hamhuis, 2 min. tripping. Hamhuis gets whistled for taking down a hard-working Bonino behind the net, drawing what could be described as a sarcastic cheer from the home crowd.
13:36 - Ryan trying to create something with a little spin and backhand, but Schneider stops and covers.
12:22 - ANA Penalty - Corey Perry, 5 min. fighting and VAN Penalty - Keith Ballard, 2 min. roughing. Perry gets into it away from the puck with Ballard, as jersey-tugging turns into Perry whaling on Ballard, who has his jersey over his head. Perry gets five for fighting, but Ballard doesn't, which makes you wonder who he was "fighting" with. Perry jawing with Ballard from the box, as Getzlaf jaws with the Vancouver bench. This one could get ugly before it's over.
11:45 - Perry with a chance, but his shot is blocked in deep.
8:25 - Fowler with a nice move into the slot, but he fires off Schneider's leg pad.
3:33 - The fans, looking for something to cheer about, get it as Beleskey and Bieksa drop the gloves, with Beleskey getting the upper hand despite a cut to his nose.
1:18 - VANCOUVER GOAL - POWER PLAY - ZACK KASSIAN - With the Ducks scrambling, Henrik drops it back to Daniel, who gets Hiller down as he passes across for Kassian, and he easily sends it home. It's 4-0 Vancouver.
0:00 - Canucks on a lengthy power play as we start the third with Perry in the bin.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - It's 3-0 Canucks after the Volpatti strike, and Vancouver has 2:44 of power play time to start the third.
18:44 - ANA Penalty - Corey Perry, 2 min. charging and 2 min. roughing. Perry and Edler get into it away from the puck after Edler sends Perry face first into the wall following the Perry charge. Only Perry gets time in the box. Crowd not pleased.
16:37 - VANCOUVER GOAL - AARON VOLPATTI - It seemed like only a matter of time, as Volpatti pounces on a loose puck in the right wing circle, skates unmolested into the slot and sneaks a shot under Hiller. It's 3-0 Canucks.
16:30 - Vancouver with a bunch of chances in front of the Ducks net.
13:15 - No call on what the crowd thought was a Vancouver penalty, and the first "Ref, you suck!" of the young season emerges.
12:36 - ANA Penalty - Nick Bonino, 2 min. holding. Crowd starting to get anxious.
Did you know Hiller has stopped four of five career penalty shots? Not bad.
5:42 - Burrows never gains good control of the puck as he approaches and Hiller thwarts the backhand try.
5:42 - Burrows gets a lucky break as the puck skitters to him just as he's leaving the box. Sbisa hooks him from behind and the penalty shot it awarded.
4:30 - Souray gives fans an in-person look at that slapper, but it's wide left.
3:32 - VAN Penalty - Alex Burrows, 2 min. roughing Burrows takes action after a hard hit by Allen on Hansen into the glass. We'll see if the Ducks can take advantage now.
0:00 - Here we go in the second, Ducks with some catching up to do.
0:00 - END OF PERIOD - Ducks take some costly penalties, and Vancouver strikes twice. It's 2-0 after one.
18:40 - VANCOUVER GOAL - POWER PLAY - MASON RAYMOND - Canucks take advantage again, as Burrows sends the puck across to Raymond, who is denied (possibly by the post) on the one-timer, but bats it back in out of midair. Ducks penalty kill struggling as it's 2-0 Canucks.
17:01 - ANA Penalty - Bryan Allen, 2 min. interference. Allen drills Weise with a shoulder at the Ducks blue line. Not great to take the penalty, but a nice way to introduce yourself to the Ducks fans.
Lord how I've missed Kiss Cam all these months. Nothing like embarrassing a father and daughter right off the bat.
14:45 - Perry rips a slap shot wide from right wing. Ducks tilting the ice back in their favor.
14:30 - Beauchemin pinches in for a one-timer off a Getzlaf feed, knocked away by Schneider.
14:30 - Koivu with a try that's batted away
9:13 - VANCOUVER GOAL - POWER PLAY - DANIEL SEDIN - On the two-man advantage one Sedin slides it across the crease (just past Hiller's stick) to another Sedin, who pops it in for the 1-0 Vancouver lead.
8:42 - ANA Penalty - Ryan Getzlaf, 2 min. cross checking. Getzlaf gets nailed during a scrum in front of the net.
8:11 - ANA Penalty - Daniel Winnik, 2 min. holding. Winnik goes off on the first minor of the night.
6:00 - Winnik looks for his fifth of the year, whipping a wrister that Schneider just gets a piece of.
5:15 - Smooth stop by Hiller on a rocket from the point by Garrison.
4:10 - Ryan goes slamming into Schneider in search of his first goal of the year. Play goes on.
1:51 - Off the raceoff, Beleskey and Volpati drop the gloves, each exchanging and landing several rights in a row before Volpati gets Beleskey down on a knee and it's broken up. Good tangle to start things off here.
1:13 - Palmieri forces his way in early, but shoots it into Schneider. Ducks with some offensive zone time early.
0:00 - And we're underway at Honda Center. Can't tell you how good that feels to write.
7:15 p.m. - Awesome job on both anthems by mainstay Dawn Wright, sporting dark wavy hair this season. Only singer in the NHL whose name is in the lyrics of the song. Well, unless there's a singer named "Twilight" out there.
7:11 p.m. - Ryan Getzlaf skates out to center ice with a microphone to welcome back all the fans. He's joined at center ice from memebers of both teams as he thanks the fans for "sticking with us" and they all raise their sticks. Big-time class.
7:09 p.m. - Just as I suspected, LOUD and sustained cheer for Selanne, possibly in his last home opener here.
7:07 p.m. - Players being introduced now. Bracing myself for the Selanne introduction and that roar.
7:05 p.m. - Every member of the Ducks coaching and training staff being introduced right now. Huge cheers for Scott Niedermayer and Bruce Boudreau.