ANAHEIM – The Ducks’ run of late-game magic at Honda Center finally ran out against the NHL’s best team.
Anaheim couldn't get anything past Vancouver backup goalie Cory Schneider in a 3-0 defeat to the Canucks, owners of the league's best record. The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Ducks that included emotional comeback overtime victories over Detroit and Dallas in the last two.
In an intense game where open ice was at a minimum, the Ducks held the Canucks to just 16 shots on the night. But three of those found the net, while Anaheim was denied by Schneider on all 26 of their attempts. (Roberto Luongo was a late scratch after beating the Kings yesterday in LA.) Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf had a game-high 11 of those shots on his own.
"We had opportunities to get back into this hockey game," said Getzlaf. "We hit a few posts and a crossbar. That is the way things go some nights."
Goals in the early parts of each of the first two periods by Canucks center Manny Malhotra had Anaheim down 2-0 going into the third. And all hopes of repeating the charges the Ducks pulled off in their last two games were spoiled when Daniel Sedin scored on the power play six minutes into the third. Sedin’s slap shot from the top of the left wing circle clipped Andrea Lilja’s stick enough to fool Anaheim goaltender Dan Ellis and sneak under him.
"We shut them down defensively," said Ellis. "We played a very strong game. We had some chances, but we just didn’t bury them. Schneider played well for them and gave them a chance to win."
Two Vancouver goals, both by Malhotra and both early in their respective periods, put the Ducks down 2-0 through two.
Not long after the opening draw of the game, a Ducks giveaway led to a 2-on-1 rush in which Jannik Hansen fed Malhotra in the right wing circle for the one-timer.
And just 17 seconds into the second, it was Hansen to Malhotra again, as Cam Fowler tried to rim the puck around the end wall and lost control of it. Hansen picked up the loose change and got rid of it quickly to Malhotra for another one-timer.
The Ducks, meanwhile, came up empty on four power plays in the first two periods.
"Any time you get scored on at the start of both periods, it’s not a good sign," Getzlaf said. "It put us behind the eight ball. We had opportunities to get back into this hockey game. We hit a few posts and a crossbar. That is the way things go some nights. We can’t get too high or too low. We have to get going here for the next one."
Vancouver made it 3-0 at 6:06 of the third period when a Daniel Sedin slap shot from the top of the left wing circle deflected off Andreas Lilja’s stick enough to fool Dan Ellis and sneak under him.
"At the start of the game, they got a 2-on-1 and Malhotra made a good shot," Ellis said. "We had a little turnover in the second and they made a shot out of the corner. The third one was a little bit of a fluke that hit our own guy."
The Ducks went without 2/3 of their second line again, as Saku Koivu missed his sixth straight game with a sore groin and Jason Blake missed his second in a row with a right hand laceration.
Things got a little ugly in the waning moments of the game, as five different penalties – including roughing minors on Anaheim’s Corey Perry and Francois Beauchemin and Vancouver’s Aaron Rome – had the teams skating 3-on-3 for part of the final minute.
The Ducks look to get back on track Wednesday night against the Rangers, the end of their critical seven-game homestand.
"We have to reevaluate, sit back and take a look at the things we did wrong and right," said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle. "We’ll present that to them. I talked to them after the game. I told them they just didn’t play well enough to win the hockey game. We have to accept responsibility for that. We have been on an emotional rollercoaster and have played lots of hockey. Every game is very important."
3rd Period 20:00 - Visnovsky rips a slap shot from center ice into Scheider's gut, as he finishes off the shutout. This one ends ugly, 3-0.
19:05 - We're 3-on-3 for a little bit now.
19:02 - ANA Penalty - Francois Beauchemin. 2 min. roughing and VAN Penalty - Aaron Rome, 2 min. elbowing and 2 min. roughing. Rome throws a late hit on Marchant for seemingly no reason and that's when the rumble ensues. Beauchemin jumps in to defend, at one point skating around the pileup to grab Rome from behind and pull him down hard to the ice after Rome threw a punch.
18:40 - ANA Penalty - Corey Perry, 2 min. roughing. Perry gets into a shoving match with Hansen after putting a shoulder into him and the penalty is called. We're 4-on-3.
17:29 - ANA Penalty - Sheldon Brookbank, 2 min. roughing and VAN Penalty - Keith Ballard, 2 min. kneeing. Ballard's knee leads to Brookbank's rough.
15:06 - McMillan whips a shot from the high slot into Schneider's glove. He's been good when he's had to be.
On of the "green guys" behind the Anaheim goal has taken off his mask. Sacrilege.
6:06 - VANCOUVER GOAL (POWER PLAY) - HENRIK SEDIN - Sedin's slap shot from the top of the left wing circle hits off Lilja's stick and fools Ellis, sneaking under him for the goal. It's 3-0 Canucks.
5:38 - ANA Penalty - Brandon McMillan, 2 min. tripping. McMillan gets a little too aggressive trying to take the puck from Henrik's brother.
0:45 - Ducks look to get one early as Perry spins and fires from the slot off Schneider and Getzlaf just misses punching in the rebound.
0:00 - Here we go in the third, skating 4-on-4 for the first 17 seconds, then the Ducks get :24 of 5-on-4 stemming from the Ehrhoff hook.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Malhotra strikes early in the period again to put the Ducks down 2-0. Just 11 shots by the Canucks, but they've potted two.
18:41 - VAN Penalty - Christian Ehrhoff, 2 min. hooking. Ryan weaves his way to the net, and Ehrhoff takes him down from behind. Ducks get a brief 4 on 3.
18:17 - ANA Penalty - Teemu Selanne, 2 min. slashing. Seconds after Getzlaf just misses on a one-timer (and no Duck is there for the fat rebound, the power play gets cancelled.
16:55 - Ducks nearly get one right off the faceoff.
16:48 - VAN Penalty - Keith Ballard, 2 min. closing the hand on the puck. During a battle in the corner, Ballard picks up the puck with his glove and throws it out of trouble. May be the first time I've seen that call this year.
13:45 - Ryan and Salo get tangled behind the net as the puck goes the other way, Ryan losing his helmet in the process. Fans wanted a call.
12:00 - Visnovsky's open shot from the slot goes off Schneider's blocker and flutters high in the air, banking off Winchester but going just wide of the net.
Told my dad during the intermission I heard there were 11 busloads of Canucks fans that made the trip this weekend. He said, "from where?" Oh, Dad.
10:35 - Drop pass from Perry to Visnovsky, who rings the post with a one-timer.
9:40 - Ducks escape from this penalty.
7:40 - ANA Penalty - Corey Perry, 2 min. charging. Perry goes for the big hit on Hamhuis against the wall in the Vancovuer end. Looked for a minute that their might be a penalty on Hamhuis, who held Perry afterward, but no dice.
0:17 - VANCOUVER GOAL - MANNY MALHOTRA - Fowler picks up the puck in the corner of the Anaheim end and dries to backhand it around the boards, but doesn't make good contact with the puck and loses it. Hansen picks it up and quickly feeds in front to Malhotra, but punches it in. Hansen to Malhotra early in the period again, and it's 2-0 Canucks.
0:00 - Here we go in the second.
1st Period 20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Canucks clear the puck just as the penalty expires and time runs out on the period. Ducks give up an early one, but that's it. It's 1-0 Vancouver.
18:40 - Getzlaf nicely lifts it ahead to Selanne behind the D, and he's denied on the doorstep by Schneider. That would have been a beauty.
Unbelievably intense atmosphere in here right now. Apparently 11 busloads of Vancouver fans came down for this game and LA yesterday.
18:02 - VAN Penalty - Sami Salo, 2 min. interference. Salo blocks Ryan's path as he chases a dumped puck.
15:25 - Perry spins and makes a nice feed on the low left wing to Ryan, who fires off Schneider.
14:30 - Fowler riled up by a check by Raymond and delivers a couple of checks and a slash on him away from the play.
13:26 - Guy on the crowd in a Sedin jersey catches the puck that goes over the glass. Gets roundly booed as he holds it up.
10:15 - Fowler with a great feed right in front to Perry, who goes to a knee and whiffs on the one-timer. Had a wide open net.
9:59 - VAN Penalty - Jannik Hansen, 2 min. interference. Hansen knocks down Winchester away from the puck. Opening for Anaheim.
8:00 - Selanne tries to feed right in front to Winchester, but Schneider reaches out to glove it. Nice play.
6:05 - Getzlaf tries to fire through a Perry screen, but it doesn't make it all the way through.
0:42 - VANCOUVER GOAL - MANNY MALHOTRA - Canucks strike early as Hansen gets on the 2-on-1 with Malhotra and feeds him for the one-timer from the right wing circle. It's 1-0 Vancouver.
All the dasher boards have CHOC on them, which looks pretty cool. You can text CHOC to 90999 and donate $5 to CHOC Children's.
0:00 - And we're underway at Honda Center.
5:07 p.m. - It's CHOC Night here, so the singer of both anthems is Giana Nguyen from CHOC Follies. Nice job on both, with the bevy of Canucks fans in the building singing along to the Canadian anthem. Should be an interesting night.
Koivu out again with a sore groin and Blake misses his second straight with a hand laceration. Late change: Luongo out and Schneider in between the pipes for Vancouver. Starters in bold/italics.