By Adam Brady
ANAHEIM – For a Ducks team that hadn't beaten the Vancouver Canucks since the Western Conference Semifinals last May, this one might have given them flashbacks to that time of year. Tonight Anaheim got a huge boost from the checking line of Travis Moen, Rob Niedermayer and Samuel Pahlsson, the same trio that vaulted them all through those playoffs.
|Anaheim set a franchise record with its eighth straight home win.
Moen and Niedermayer each had first-period goals, Pahlsson assisted on one and all three helped ensure that was all the Ducks would need in a 4-1 drubbing of Vancouver at Honda Center.
It was the first win for the Ducks over Vancouver in four tries, and a franchise-record eighth straight victory at home. That's the longest home streak in the NHL this season.
Moen and Niedermayer scored about 3 1/2 minutes apart in the opening period, giving the Ducks a 3-0 lead that proved more than enough. Rookie goalie Jonas Hiller held Vancouver in check with 30 saves in picking up the sixth win in his last nine starts.
"This team has always played well at home, and to keep that going is great," Moen said. "It seems like we always come out to good starts lately in our barn. It was good to come out and get a three-goal lead."
Todd Marchant got the game's first goal on an unorthodox play midway through the opening period. As Kunitz cleared the puck off the wall during the end of the Ducks’ penalty kill, it bounced toward Marchant, who was fresh out of the box for a tripping penalty. Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo made a poor decision to come way out of the crease to knock the puck away, but Marchant beat him to it and was able to elude the goalie and shoot it from a wide angle into the deserted net.
"I just happened to be in the right place at the right time," Marchant said. "Kuni made a nice play to get it off the wall and for me fortunately Luongo decided to come out and try to play it. I got to it before him."
It was the third straight game with a goal for Marchant, and none of them have been exactly textbook. "I’ll take them," he said. "I’m not going to give them back. Not all of them have been very pretty, to be honest. At the end of the day, no one really asks how. They all count. For all those opportunities that I had earlier in the year where maybe it should have gone in and didn’t, maybe it’s starting to happen for me."
The Ducks got another less than three minutes later from a guy who had no such streak going, but instead hadn’t scored in 27 games. With the Ducks again killing a penalty, Moen did nice work to outrace Alexander Edler for the puck in the Vancouver zone. He then wristed a shot from the left faceoff dot past Luongo and inside the right post for the first shorthanded strike of his career.
"Marchant just chipped it to me and I just drove wide and I got a step on a guy," Moen said. "I pulled it in, saw a little bit of net in the top right corner and put it there."
Anaheim continued to pour it on from another unlikely scoring candidate in fellow checking liner Rob Niedermayer. With 3:11 left in the first, Niedermayer took a shot from the slot that bounced off Luongo to Moen, whose rebound try again bounced off the goalie to Niedermayer. He batted it in from a tough angle to give Anaheim a 3-0 cushion.
|Marchant beat Luongo to the puck to score the game's first goal.
The Canucks were able to salvage something in the period when Mason Raymond struck back quickly with a one-timer from the left circle on a feed from Brendan Morrison.
Anaheim regained its three-goal lead with a power play goal by Doug Weight just 3:03 into the middle session. After Teemu Selanne got deep on Luongo, he fired a quick wrister that hit off the goaltender and hit Weight in his chest. The puck fell to his feet, where he quickly punched it in. It was the first power play goal for the Ducks in its last 19 opportunities.
Ryan Getzlaf's assist on the goal was his 52nd, the most by a center in Ducks history. Andy McDonald set the previous mark in 2005-06 and tied it last season.
The goal chased Luongo -- who was making his 19th straight start -- to the bench, where he was replaced by backup Curtis Sanford, who had beaten the Ducks at Honda Center on Dec. 12.
The Ducks denied Vancouver over the remainder of the second and the entire third, ensuring they would not lose a lead like they did the night before in Phoenix.
"We try never to let ourselves get too high or too low after shootout losses or wins," Marchant said, referring to that 3-2 loss the night before. "Our tendency was to feel like it was more of a loss only because we had opportunities to win that game. This team tries to take that same philosophy of as a group and as individuals to not get too high or too low. We came out and played a solid 60-minute game tonight against a team that certainly is fighting for a playoff spot. As we know these points are all crucial, not only for us, but for all the other teams."
Anaheim will try to keep its streak going at home against former teammate Andy McDonald and the St. Louis Blues in a rare Saturday night game at Honda Center.
With tonight’s win, the Ducks have set a new franchise record for consecutive home wins at eight. It’s the longest home winning streak in the NHL this season. The last team to have a longer streak was the Toronto Maple Leafs, who won nine straight at home from Mar. 6-Apr. 7, 2007.
Ducks Longest Home Winning Streaks
8 games (Feb. 17-present)
7 games (Dec. 19, 2007-Jan. 15, 2008)
7 games (Mar. 7-Apr. 4, 2006)
6 games (Feb. 25-Mar. 11, 2007)
6 games (Dec. 1-12, 2002)
Anaheim has won eight of their last 11 games (8-2-1) and 13 of their last 17 overall (13-3-1). The club is also 15-2-1 in their last 18 games at Honda Center.
Anaheim’s three-goal first period equaled a season-high (in a first period). The club also scored three times in the opening period on Feb. 24 vs. CHI.
Todd Marchant has his first three-game goal streak since Dec. 14-18, 2005 (3-0=3 points – was with ANA). His career-high is four games, set Feb. 3-10, 1995 with EDM; 5-3=8). Marchant has earned 3-1=4 points in the last three games overall.
Goaltender Jonas Hiller recorded his first career point (0-1=1) tonight.
In his last seven starts overall, Hiller has stopped 189-of-201 shots for a 1.72 GAA (12 GA/419 MIN) and .940 SV%. Hiller earned his fourth consecutive win at home, stopping 30-of-31 shots tonight.
Samuel Pahlsson extended his point streak to three games (1-2=3), his longest since Mar. 31-Apr. 4, 2006 (5-0=5).
Travis Moen scored the first short-handed goal of his career. He also earned his first multi-point game of the season with 1-1=2 points tonight.
Ryan Getzlaf has earned 2-7=9 points in the last eight games, including a current three-game point streak (1-2=3). In addition, he has collected points in 15 of the last 16 home contests (including five straight, 1-7=8), earning 5-18=23 points during that span (dates back to Jan. 2 vs. CBJ).
Chris Kunitz is riding a three-game point streak (1-2=3), one game shy of his season high.
With a goal this evening, Doug Weight has extended his point streak to three games (1-2=3), also one game shy of his season high.
Scott Niedermayer appeared in his 200th game as Anaheim Duck this evening.
Kent Huskins appeared in his 100th NHL game this evening (all with Anaheim).
Anaheim continues its franchise-record sellout streak at Honda Center, recording their 69th straight sellout (17,174) this evening. In addition, it marks the 57th consecutive sellout in the regular season, also a franchise record.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - And that's gonna do it as Anaheim gets a convincing 4-1 victory over Vancouver, a franchise-record eighth straight victory at home.
18:19 - Byron Ritchie, 2 min. hooking. No chance of a Vancouver comeback now.
17:10 - We go to the final timeout and fans are actually shuffling out of here. They know the Ducks are winning
, right? What are they, Dodgers fans?
6:30 - Chris Pronger is tall. He reaches out to deny a cross-ice pass attempt.
9:29 - Ryan makes a nice feed from behind the net to Sutherby, whose one-timer is saved in the chest area by Sanford.
8:50 - Bobby Ryan
makes a big hit on Taylor Pyatt. The crowd approves.
7:54 - Scott Niedermayer skates from behind the Ducks net and seemingly through about 22 different Canucks into the attacking zone, but little brother jumps offside and ruins the whole thing.
7:20 - Bertuzzi takes a nice hard shot from the top of the circle that Sanford just does save with the skate.
6:28 - We go to the first timeout in a relatively uneventful third period so far, which is just how the Ducks like it.
5:05 - Moen tries to feed Rob Niedermayer in front, but Niedermayer can't put a stick on it.
0:00 - We start the third with Vancouver on the power play after the Rob Niedermayer roughing call.
During the intermission, it's time for the What Would You Do for a Honda Ridgeline contest again. The first one shows the Kings mascot (that lion thing) looking into the camera, when a girl comes out of nowhere and shoves him to the ice. A surprising lack of response from the crowd. The next video shows a girl pulling a Kings jersey from the garbage, followed by some kind of bag she puts over her head. Then there is a disclaimer on the screen that is way to small to read. Video No. 1 gets the win by fan response.
This was just sent to me from the game telecast. Sorry, Jiggy, but I just had to put this up.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - The Ducks get a Doug Weight goal 3:03 into it and chase Luongo. Anaheim leads 4-1.
20:00 - ANA Penalty - Rob Niedermayer, 2 min. roughing. Niedermayer gets a little frisky at the horn.
We have a tennis balls development. The wife has moved in front of the husband and is now sitting next to the guy in orange, who no longer has the flourescent sweatshirt tied around his neck. Now that sweatshirt appears to be lying on the seat next to the husband. We'll keep you posted on further developments.
15:25 - Just out of the box, Beauchemin gets it at the blueline with Rob Niedermayer on the rush. He's looking to pass it back to Niedermayer, but takes the shot instead and Sanford is right there for it.
14:41 - Hiller again makes about three stops on Naslund from right in front of him.
14:14 - Hiller makes some nice saves from point blank range before the goal is knocked off.
13:12 - ANA Penalty - Francois Beauchemin, 2 min. hooking.
I love the Kiss Cam. I really do. Tonight they showed two Power Players together, and when they blew kisses to the camera instead of kissing each other, you could sense the disappointment in the building. They had Giguere on the TV feed in preparation for coming out of commercial and he was watching the Kiss Cam and smiling. Then when they showed him on air, with his impressive stats on the screen, he was actually caught in a yawn. I told you he looked sleepy.
9:00 - ANA Penalty - Ryan Getzlaf
, 2 min. hooking. Getzlaf gets his stick into the underarm of Brad Isbister. Tickled him a little bit.
6:35 - Hiller makes a nice stop on a one-time try by Naslund.
3:03 - The Canucks pull Luongo for Curtis Sanford, who beat Anaheim in the last matchup at Honda Center.
3:03 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - DOUG WEIGHT - Teemu Selanne gets in very deep and tries a quick wrist shot that bounces off Luongo to Weight. It hits off Weight's chest and down to his feet, where he quickly punches it in. It's 4-1 Anaheim. First point for Selanne in five games.
3:23 - VAN Penalty - Taylor Pyatt, 2 min. hooking. The Ducks get 40 seconds of 5-on-3 time.
2:02 - VAN Penalty - Kevin Bieksa, 2 min. holding. Let's see what the Ducks can do on this power play. They are 0 for their last 18.
0:00 - Here we go in the second. Todd Marchant
is on the ice, so obviously not seriously hurt.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - A period that went mostly the Ducks way ends with a bit of a scuffle at the horn in response to the hit on Marchant. Either way, the Ducks get goals from Marchant, Moen and Niedermayer to take a 3-1 lead.
19:45 - Todd Marchant
takes a shot from Ryan Kesler and looks a little woozy, as he's slowly coming off the ice. Scott Niedermayer gives a shot to a Vancouver player in retaliation.
17:45 - VANCOUVER GOAL - MASON RAYMOND - Chris Pronger has trouble clearing the puck from behind the Anaheim net, and it's picked up by Brendan Morrison, who gives it back to Raymond in the left circle. Raymond one-times it over Hiller's shoulder. Raymond had his first NHL goal against the Ducks on Dec. 12. It's 3-1 Anaheim.
17:39 - ANA Penalty - Ryan Getzlaf
, 2 min. holding.
16:49 - ANAHEIM GOAL - ROB NIEDERMAYER - Niedermayer takes a shot from the slot that bounces off Luongo, as does Moen's rebound try. But Niedermayer swoops in from behind to send that rebound through from a tough angle. The checking line does it again and it's shockingly 3-0 Anaheim.
Why is it that every time they show J.S. Giguere on the bench with that towel around his neck he looks like he just woke from a nap?
14:14 - VAN Penalty - Sami Salo, 2 min. holding.
13:17 - ANAHEIM GOAL (SHORTHANDED) - TRAVIS MOEN - As the puck is cleared from the Anaheim zone, Moen outskates Alexander Edler to pick it up near the left wing boards. He continues into the attacking zone, where he puts a wrist shot past Luongo and inside the right post. Well-deserved goal for Travis Moen, who has had several close calls lately. First goal in 27 games for Moen and the first shorthander of his career. It's 2-0 Anaheim.
11:57 - ANA Penalty - Mathieu Schneider, 2 min. interference.
The tennis balls are in their normal spot, and the only reason I mention it is because there is a guy in orange a row in front of them with the same flourescent yellow sweatshirt tied around his neck in kind of a mid-'80s preppy style.
10:53 - ANAHEIM GOAL - TODD MARCHANT - Kunitz clears the puck out of the zone and off the wall just as Marchant is leaping out of the box. The puck bounces right to Marchant at center ice and he beats Luongo to it after the goalie came way out of the crease to try and knock it away. Faced with an empty net from near the top of the left circle, Marchant shoots it and drills it home. Hiller, who made the last save on the penalty kill, gets the second assist. Goals in three straight games for Marchant, all of them a little unorthodox.
10:25 - Hiller makes a couple of nice stops before Beauchemin clears it down the ice.
8:46 - ANA Penalty - Todd Marchant
, 2 min. tripping. Marchant takes down Morrison near the red line.
During the timeout, they honor Ducks equipment manager Doug Shearer for working his 2,000th game in the NHL earlier this year. When they show him love on the video board, a Ducks glove comes into the shot and jokingly pats Shearer on the face. A quick look at the bench reveals it was Mathieu Schneider.
4:30 - Getzlaf gets loose near the crease and makes a great move that sends Luongo flopping on his side, but when it comes to the shot on the wide-open net, Getzlaf clangs it off the post. The net is still open as the rebound comes to Selanne, but he misses the net badly with it. Huge missed opportunity for Anaheim.
3:00 - Sutherby flips a shot on net from the right wing, but Luongo saves it with ease.
1:15 - Selanne-Getzlaf-Bertuzzi for Anaheim.
0:00 - We're underway at Honda Center, with the Ducks looking for their first win over Vancouver since last May.
Starting Goaltenders - ANA Jonas Hiller
; VAN Roberto Luongo
Starting Skaters - ANA Chris Kunitz, Todd Marchant
, Doug Weight, Sean O'Donnell, Chris Pronger; VAN Kevin Bieksa, Alex Burrows, Ryan Kesler, Daniel Sedin, Alexander Edler
Scratches - ANA Marc-Andre Bergeron, Corey Perry
, George Parros
, Joe DiPenta; VAN Aaron Miller, Trevor Linden, Mike Weaver, Jeff Cowan, Rick Rypien, Nathan McIver
The Ducks go with Hiller on the second half of a back-to-back. Meanwhile, they mix up the forward lines a bit, putting Kunitz with Marchant and Weight, meaning Selanne will be with Getzlaf and Bertuzzi.