ANAHEIM – After coming up empty in three defeats to start the season, the Ducks’ big guns played a mammoth role in giving Anaheim its first win of the young season in front of a raucous sold-out crowd at Honda Center.
Top-liners Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan each found the net, with Ryan also adding three assists, in leading the Ducks to a 4-3 victory over the Canucks in Anaheim’s home opener.
"It was nice to be able to calm things down and play hockey," Getzlaf said. "It didn’t matter what the score was. We’re coming home where we’re comfortable. We love this building. The fans and everybody showed us what it’s going to be like all year. We’re excited about it."
Ryan scored on the rush from the slot on a brilliant feed from Getzlaf to break open a tie game at the halfway point of the third, and the Ducks hung on the rest of the way with the help of an improved defense and the work of goalie Jonas Hiller.
The game-winner came after a Vancouver turnover at its own blueline, as Getzlaf weaved toward the net before dropping the puck off to Ryan in the low slot, where he fired through a crowd for his first goal of the season.
That goal came just a little more than a minute after Perry tied the game, also on a nifty pass from Getzlaf. The play capped off a thrilling sequence of events that started when the Ducks narrowly escaped a Vancouver goal when the puck came off the back wall and dropped behind Hiller in the crease. Seconds later, the Ducks got on the rush, where Getzlaf took a pass in the slot from defenseman Brendan Mikkelson and passed up an open shot to drop the puck to Perry, who easily dumped it into the open net.
"It was time for it," Getzlaf said of the production of his line. "We have been working hard the last few games. We knew it was just those one or two bounces that we needed our way. We were lucky enough to get them tonight. When our line is effective, we slow that game down and are able to play with the puck more."
Getzlaf did the scoring himself to give the Ducks their first lead of the season early in the first when he took a pinpoint Ryan pass and fired from the slot under goalie Robert Luongo. But the advantage was short-lived as Daniel Sedin connected on the power play a little more than a minute later and Raffi Torres found the net just 17 seconds after that to make it 2-1 Canucks.
The Ducks ultimately tied it 14 minutes into the second period when Teemu Selanne converted on the power play for his first goal of the year. Following a Keith Ballard holding penalty and a Kevin Bieksa slashing call, Selanne took a pass from Getzlaf in the low left wing circle and waited just long enough to roof it for the 607th of his illustrious career.
Vancouver went back in front on the power play following a dubious hooking call on Ryan, as Dan Hamhuis fired a shot from the point that deflected off rookie Cam Fowler’s stick shaft and got past Hiller.
"When they scored, I thought to myself, Something good has to happen here," Ryan said. "Something had to break because in the past it hadn’t. It finally did."
It finally did thanks to Perry and Ryan's work, which helped improve the Ducks to to 1-3-0 on the season with a home date vs. Atlanta looming in two nights.
"It wasn’t pretty," said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle. "I don’t think we’re going to frame that one and say that is the way we want to play every night. But at least it’s a starting point for us. It’s been difficult for us over the first three games that we started on the road. We got our game going as this game went on. Our players are to be credited because they were frustrated."
The Ducks improved their all-time home opener record to 9-8-0.
The Ducks have gone 6-2-2 against the Canucks dating back to Mar. 12, 2008.
Anaheim’s three-game homestand continues on Friday vs. Atlanta (7:05 p.m.) and Sunday vs. Phoenix (5:05 p.m.).
With his first goal of the season (607 career), Teemu Selanne has moved to within one goal of a share of 16th in all-time goals (also Dino Ciccarell, 608).
Ryan Getzlaf recorded his fifth career four-plus point game tonight (1-3=4). His last four-plus point effort took place on Feb. 14, 2010 at Edmonton (2-2=4). His career high is five points, set on Oct. 29, 2008 vs. Detroit (0-5=5).
With an assist tonight, Cam Fowler recorded his second career NHL point (also one assist on Oct. 9 @ NSH).
20:00 - END OF GAME - The Ducks hang on to get that all-important first win, 4-3 over Vancouver.
19:52 - Perry whips around to send the puck out of the zone with one hand, and this time it's icing with 7.2 left.
19:30 - Timeout Canucks.
19:20 - Ducks get away with an icing as Koivu tries to send the puck down near the empty net for Marchant.
18:59 - Hiller a mammoth glove save on a quick Kesler shot from the circle.
18:45 - Luongo off.
17:58 - Big stop Hiller on an Edler try from the wing with 2:02 left.
15:45 - Dangerous time as Hiller halfheartedly saves a shot from the corner and has to pounce on a loose puck in the paint.
15:18 - We go to the last timeout with a tense 4:42 remaining.
14:30 - Dan Sexton crates his own breakway by sprinting past and around Andrew Alberts, but loses control of the puck right as he shoots. He's playing great tonight regardless.
13:30 - Getzlaf four points tonight on one goal and three legit assists.
10:30 - Should be an interesting last half a period. I think I just threw up a little.
10:12 - ANAHEIM GOAL - BOBBY RYAN - The Canucks turn the puck over at their own blueline to Getzlaf, who weaves his way toward the net before dropping off to Ryan in the low slot, where and Ryan sends a quick shot through traffic and off the back of the net. Ducks lead it 4-3 and this place is going wild.
10:00 - Ducks dodge another bullet as the older Sedin (Henrik) is denied on a one-timer on the doorstep.
8:54 - ANAHEIM GOAL - COREY PERRY - Unbelievable sequence of events for the Ducks, who narrowly avoid a Vancouver goal when the puck comes off the wall and drops behind Hiller in the crease. It comes out to Kesler, who fires wide of the mark, setting the Ducks off on the rush. Mikkelson gets it to Getzlaf in the slot, who looks to have the shot, but instead dishes to Perry on the doorstep and he dumps it into the wide open net. We're tied 3-3 on Perry's first of the year and Getzlaf's third point of the game.
8:29 - Hiller doing his best to keep the Ducks in the game, stopping an open try by Schaefer on the left wing.
5:23 - VANCOUVER GOAL (POWER PLAY) - DAN HAMHUIS - The Canucks cash in quickly on the PP, as Hamhuis rifles a shot from the point that deflects off Cam Fowler's stick and gets past Hiller. It's 3-2 Vancouver.
5:02 - ANA Penalty - Bobby Ryan, 2 min. hooking. Ryan gets called for getting the stick into Hamhuis, but the replay shows otherwise.
4:50 - Perry gets on the rush with Ryan, but Ryan can't get open, so Perry spins and fires a backhand that Luongo sweeps away.
3:10 - Huge scoring chance goes awry as Fowler makes a great cross-ice pass to Sexton, who waits a tick before sliding a wrist shot over the net. Ouch.
It's a sellout at 17,174.
0:00 - Off and running in what will hopefully be a happy third period for the home fans.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - The Ducks get one from Selanne on the power play and we're tied 2-2 through 2.
First hole in the elbow of my suit jacket comes early this year. Stupid press box table edge.
Tell you what, this is a very good Vancouver team.
18:20 - Fowler with a couple of turnovers this period.
We play Guess that Duck with a blurry photo of what is clearly Ryan Getzlaf with the clue that he scored his 100th goal last January 13. A whopping 83 percent of the texts say it's Getzlaf and they ... are ... right.
17:20 - Hiller with a huge stop on a Samuelsson one-timer on the rush. Great anticipation to get into position.
14:09 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - TEEMU SELANNE - Selanne on the power play for about the 10 thousandth time in his career. Getzlaf sets ut up by holding the puck at the point then dropping it down to Selanne, who waits for the defense to commit before roofing a shot from the low left wing circle. We're tied 2-2 and the Ducks are still on the 5 on 4.
14:16 - VAN Penalty - Kevin Bieksa, 2 min. slashing. Bieksa slices Perry's stick in half as they chase a puck along the wall. Huge opportunity for Anaheim.
13:56 - VAN Penalty - Keith Ballard, 2 min. holding. Blake and Ballard get tangled down on the ice behind the net and start half-heartedly punching each other. Ballard doesn't like the call as the official arrives on seen and gives Blake another shove.
12:20 - Ducks keep it pinned in for a bit, but nothing to show for it.
10:30 - Beleskey jumps on loose puck and whips a shot from above the circle that beats Luongo and appears to go in, but it gets bounced back by what I guess was the post. Didn't make a sound though.
9:00 - Ryan backhands a bouncing puck with no one in front of him but Luongo, but he sends it over the cage.
8:20 - What looks to be a Vancouver interference penalty is instead a whistle for a Ducks icing. That's unfortunate.
Donna from Ducks HR and her daugher get a cameo on the video board during the fan montage at the timeout. Absolutely nothing bad to say about Donna from HR.
Somehow the contest where people wave their AAA cards and they pick a winner randomly out of the crowd works for me.
5:43 - Ehrhoff shot gets through Hiller, but rings the post. Thankfully.
4:30 - Hiller is caught out of position but the Canucks can't center the pass.
2:55 - Marchant comes from behind the net, spins and fires across the crease. The bounce comes to Visnovsky, who fires high.
0:00 - Off and running in the second.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Things start promisingly for the Ducks with an early Getzlaf goal, but they give up two quickies and trail 2-1.
19:50 - Visnovsky another try, deflected away by Luuuuuuu.
18:50 - Ducks being outshot 16-11.
16:50 - Sexton charges in on Luongo who is having trouble holding the puck and manages to poke it under him and just over the stripe as he goes tumbling over the Canucks goalie. But Luongo gets the quick whistle and it's no goal.
16:35 - Sexton with a heads up play to quickly feed Chipchura after chasing the puck behind the net, but Chip can't find the handle.
Kent French interviews Jan from "The Office" during the timeout for Prime Ticket. Lucky bastard.
14:25 - Sexton tries a backhand on the rush off a Beleskey feed, but no dice.
11:36 - ANA Penalty - Bobby Ryan, 2 min. hooking. Ryan tries to send the puck but nearly whiffs on it and commits the hook trying to stop the play.
11:22 - ANA Penalty - Sheldon Brookbank, 5 min. fighting and VAN Penalty - Raffi Torres, 5 min. fighting, 2 min. instigating and 10 min. misconduct. Away from the play, Brookbank and Torres do some wrestling on the ice, then get up and wail away, with Brookbank pulling the jersey over Torres' head to end it. But Torres started it so he gets extra punishment.
Pretty good crowd in here tonight. Very loud, even if some of them are Canucks fans.
9:45 - Visnovsky with a rocket off Luongo.
8:45 - Bodie takes a puck off the wall to get on the rush a bit, but fires wide right.
First timeout means first look at the Power Players in their new unis, complete with skirts and knee socks. Not too shabby.
6:00 - Way too much time in the Anaheim end right now.
5:15 - As the Ducks continue to have trouble clearing the puck, Hiller stops play by glove snatching a Bieksa drive from straightaway.
4:14 - VANCOUVER GOAL - RAFFI TORRES - Manny Malhotra beats Brookbank to the puck behind the net and feeds to the point to Dan Hamhuis, who rips a slap shot that's redirected by former Oiler Torres in front of Hiller. That quickly, the Ducks trail 2-1.
3:57 - VANCOUVER GOAL (POWER PLAY) - DANIEL SEDIN - The Perry penalty hurts the Ducks as Sedin catches the puck from his brother in the left wing circle and wrists a shot that beats Hiller on the near side. It's 1-1.
3:07 - ANA Penalty - Corey Perry, 2 min. goalie interference. Perry bowls over Big Lu.
2:41 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - RYAN GETZLAF - Just as the first Vancouver penalty runs out, Ryan is in the corner and threads the needle to feed Getzlaf in the slot, and the Ducks captain whips a shot under Luongo to give the Ducks the early lead. It's their first lead of the season at 1-0.
2:45 - Fowler at the point on the second unit.
2:23 - Selanne gets in deep, but Luongo has seen it before.
1:15 - VAN Penalty - Ryan Kesler, 2 min. delay of game. After a Selanne slap shot is stopped and bounces in front, Kesler clears it over the glass into the stands. It's 5 on 3 for 1:22.
0:36 - VAN Penalty - Peter Schaefer, 2 min. hooking. Early opportunity for the boys in black.
0:13 - Early shot by Visnovsky and a save by Luongo.
0:00 - And we're underway at Honda Center in the long-awaited home opener.
7:13 p.m. - Melora Hardin (a.k.a. Jan from "The Office") is looking rather fetching and knocks the American anthem out of the park. Nicely done.
7:09 p.m. - Dawn Wright with a nice job on the Canadian anthem.
7:07 p.m. - Big roar for Cam Fowler when he's introduced. Like it.
7:05 p.m. - Ducks not dressing tonight and then coaches are introduced, followed by members of the Junior Ducks hitting the ice and lining up on the blueline to welcome those Ducks in the lineup tonight.
6:58 p.m. - Video board shows a montage of videos of fans all over the globe showing their Ducks dedication. That's followed by an incredible opening video showing everyone getting ready for opening night. Very cool. Starters in bold/italics. Scratches crossed out.