ANAHEIM – In finally snapping out of their losing skid, the Ducks gave their fans a much more exciting finish than they could have ever wanted.
Anaheim went into the third period with a seemingly comfortable 4-0 lead on the visiting Canucks. But the Ducks gave up three unanswered goals to the visiting Canucks and had to survive a 6-on-4 in the final minute to escape with a 4-3 win at Honda Center. The victory, in front of a sellout crowd of 17,339, snapped a six-game losing streak for Anaheim.
"It was pretty tense in some situations there and everything was going against us," said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle. "You could see the ice was tilted and they were winning all the battles. Jonas Hiller stood tall and was a wall in the net. We got the two points and we’ll move forward."
The Ducks scored four times in a dominant second period – two on a five-minute major power play – to take a lead that appeared to provide them smooth sailing to a long-awaited victory. But the Canucks, who are at the tail end of a 12-day road trip, fought hard to finish it in memorable fashion.
It seemed like they had puck possession for 20 minutes," said Hiller, who gave up those three goals, but came through in the end to hold the lead. "We gave them a little too much. At the end, we found a way."
At 4:32 into the third, following a Ducks minor for too many men on the ice, Vancouver cashed in on the power play as Kevin Bieksa fired a shot from the blue line that may have hit Cam Fowler before it bounded past Hiller.
Less than five minutes later, Daniel Sedin sent the puck on net from the blue line and Jannik Hansen tipped it in with his back to the net.
With the Canucks continuing to buzz all around the Anaheim net, Hansen got his second of the game with 6:56 left. Hiller was knocked down during a scramble for a loose puck in the crease and Hansen put it through with the Ducks goalie on his stomach.
The Canucks went on to outshoot the Ducks 22-2 in the final period, but couldn’t get the equalizer as Hiller recovered to make a number of big saves (among his 38 tonight) in the final minute with Vancouver goalie Cory Schneider on the bench for an extra attacker. Schneider was inserted into the game at the start of the third period in place of starter Roberto Luongo, who gave up all four Anaheim goals.
The Ducks got all of those in a dominant second period in which they scored early and often. They struck just 25 seconds into the period when Andrew Cogliano picked off a Dan Hamhuis pass in the corner and fed in front to a wide open Saku Koivu for the one-timer.
Midway through the period came a play that would open the door to two Ducks scores, as Vancouver defenseman Aaron Rome delivered an elbow to the face of rookie Devante Smith-Pelly in front of the Ducks bench. Smith-Pelly was shaken up and suffered a bloody nose as Rome was given a five-minute elbowing major and a game misconduct.
The Ducks took advantage of the lengthy power play time, getting goals from Cogliano and Corey Perry in that window of opportunity. With 7:15 left in the period, Bobby Ryan maneuvered his way to the blue line before splitting two Vancouver defenders, springing Cogliano alone on Luongo. One deke move drew out Luongo and Cogliano forehanded it through for his second of the year.
Less than three minutes later, still on the power play, the Ducks struck again, as a Ryan Getzlaf delivery from the corner kicked off Luongo to Perry, who roofed the puck with his second swing at it.
The Ducks made it a four-goal game at even strength with 2:38 left in the session, as rookie Peter Holland slung a beautiful wrist shot from the left wing circle into the far corner of the net. It was the first goal of Holland’s three-game-old NHL career.
"I don’t think I could feel my legs when it went in the net," Holland said. "It was pretty cool. I kind of decided that I want to do that again. It was pretty special and something I will never forget. To score it on Luongo, one of the best goalies in the league, that adds to it as well."
That goal, oddly enough, turned into the game-winner as the Ducks nearly surrendered their entire lead in that gut-wrenching third.
"We had to get the monkey off our back definitely," said Carlyle. "We’ve been floundering along here. We’ve played some good hockey in sprints and we did the same thing tonight. But we had enough of a cushion that we didn’t give up the fourth goal."
The Ducks will look to turn their losing streak into a winning streak Sunday night when they take on the Minnesota Wild at Honda Center.
Anaheim’s four-goal second period was the club’s highest-scoring period since Apr. 6, 2011 vs. San Jose (also four goals in the second period).
At HOME this season (including the Ducks’ “home” contest vs. the NY Rangers on Oct. 8 in Stockholm), the Ducks are 25-for-26 on the penalty kill, a 96.1% success rate (second at HOME in the NHL). The club surrendered its first power play goal in the third period of tonight’s contest (the club had killed 25 straight penalties until that point).
Jonas Hiller's assist on Andrew Cogliano’s goal marked the fifth of his career (last: Dec. 31, 2010 vs. PHI). Hiller stopped 38-of-41 shots in tonight’s win.
Andrew Cogliano’s two points tonight (1-1=2) marked his first multi-point game since Apr. 2, 2011 w/EDM at VAN (0-2=2).
Teemu Selanne’s assist tonight moved him into sole possession of 24th in all-time points (642-713=1,355) and 46th in all-time assists
Tonight’s attendance was 17,339, a sellout including standing room only.
20:00 - END OF GAME - Ducks hold on for dear life and win it, 4-3.
19:58 - Canucks can't recover and send a weak shot into Hiller, who puts it out of danger as the clock winds down.
19:50 - Ducks get a huge break when the puck goes under a Canucks' stick on a pass back to the point and nearly the length of the ice.
19:32 - Hiller with a HUGE glove save on Kesler in deep off a loose puck.
19:01 - ANA Penalty - Corey Perry, 2 min. slashing. Perry gets a costly penalty when he's accused of a slash during a fight for the puck near the wall. Canucks will go 6 on 4 with 58.6 left. Nervous time.
18:56 - Getzlaf backhands it into an icing with 1:04 left. Schneider to the bench.
17:50 - McMillan with nice hustle to the corner to wipe out an icing.
17:37 - Hiller smothers a bouncing puck to get a stoppage with 2:23 left.
15:22 - Hiller hangs on to a Ballard slap shot with Canucks all over him. Canucks outshooting Ducks 19-2 in this period.
14:35 - Hiller reaches out and snatches a bouncing puck with the glove. Ducks needed a save like that.
13:04 - VANCOUVER GOAL - JANNIK HANSEN - With the Canucks buzzing around the Anaheim net, Vancouver makes them pay yet again. Hiller gets knocked down during a scramble for a loose puck in front of the net, allowing Hansen to pick it up and send it through with Hiller on his stomach. Second for Hansen and it's 4-3 Ducks now.
12:00 - Ducks still on their heels a bit.
9:12 - VANCOUVER GOAL - JANNIK HANSEN - With the Canucks all over the Anaheim net, they ultimately cash in, as Daniel Sedin sends the puck on net from the blue line and Hansen tips it past Hiller with his back to him. It's 4-2 with 10:48 left, a slightly scary time for the Ducks.
8:00 - Hiller with a big stop on a Burrows one-timer.
5:50 - Ballard has an open net off a loose puck and appears to be ready to score before a diving Perry gets a piece of it. That was huge.
4:32 - VANCOUVER GOAL (POWER PLAY) - KEVIN BIEKSA - Vancouver takes advantage of the power play opportunity when Bieksa unleashes a slap shot from the blue line that looks like it deflects off something before it gets past Hiller. Could have been another Canuck, could have been Fowler. They give it to Bieksa so far. Either way, it's 4-1 Ducks.
3:10 - ANA Penalty - Bench minor, 2 min. too many men on the ice. Little miscommunication there.
0:00 - Vancouver starts the third with Cory Schneider in net.
20:00 - Phenomenal period for the Ducks, who score early and often (and get help from Rome) to take a 4-0 lead.
18:15 - Perry picks up a giveaway and feeds Ryan who only has Luongo to beat, but his shot is kicked away nicely. Luongo may have just kept himself in this game with that one.
17:22 - ANAHEIM GOAL - PETER HOLLAND - Ducks get on the rush as Lydman heads down left wing and feeds to his right to Holland, who delivers a gorgeous wrist shot from the circle into the far top corner of the net. Luongo didn't have a chance, as Holland GETS THE FIRST OF HIS NHL CAREER. He looks absolutely thrilled as the Ducks take a 4-0 lead.
17:15 - Weise drills Gordon with a shoulder shot, but he's back up and running.
16:00 - Ducks almost get another from a pinching Beauchemin, but Luongo makes a big stop.
15:23 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - COREY PERRY - Ducks continue to take advantage of this major, as Getzlaf feeds from the corner into the crease, where it deflects off Luongo to Perry. He whiffs on the first try, but not on the second, roofing it for his sixth of the year. It's 3-0 with more power play time left.
12:45 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - ANDREW COGLIANO - Ryan does a little maneuvering to carry the puck to the blue-line, where he splits two defenders with a pass to Cogliano. He's got plenty of room to make a deke to get Luongo down and deposits it into the open net. Heck of a night for Cogliano, 100th career assist for Ryan and it's 2-0 with the Ducks still on the power play off that major.
11:04 - VAN Penalty - Aaron Rome, 5 min. major elbowing and game misconduct. Rome delivers a shot to the face on Smith-Pelly right in front of the Ducks bench and the Ducks want a piece of him. The official jumps in before anyone can get there, and Rome is ejected from the game. Smith-Pelly is bleeding and gets some help from the trainer.
10:04 - Beleskey one-timer goes over the net. Ducks rolling through the Vancouver zone though.
7:31 - Selanne speeds around the back of the net and feeds in front to Koivu, who's stopped this time by Lu.
5:56 - A nice kill by Anaheim is punctuated by Hiller freezing the puck.
3:53 - ANA Penalty - Lubomir Visnovsky, 2 min. tripping. Visnovsky trips Kesler on his way to the net. Thankfully, not a penalty shot this time.
0:25 - ANAHEIM GOAL - SAKU KOIVU - Cogliano picks off a Hamsuis pass behind the net and feeds in front to a wide-open Koivu for the pretty one-timer. It's the second of the year for Koivu and it's 1-0 Ducks. No. 11 has the first goal on 11/11/11. Not bad.
0:00 - Here we go in the second.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Ducks with 9 shots and Canucks with 11 and both fail to score on two power plays as we're scoreless through 1.
16:22 - ANA Penalty - Corey Perry, 2 min. slashing and 5 min. fighting and VAN Penalty - Keith Ballard, 5 min. fighting. Away from the play, Perry and Ballard go at it. Perry heads to the room for the remainder of the period, while the Ducks are on the PK because of the slash.
16:00 - Perry tries to feed to a wide open Beleskey on the doorstep, but it's under his blade.
14:31 - A lot of passing for the Ducks on this power play.
13:12 - VAN Penalty - Aaron Rome, 2 min. cross checking. The rookie Holland is checked from behind by former Duck Rome, knocking over Luongo.
12:20 - Luongo with a couple of stops on the PK.
11:00 - VAN Penalty - Ryan Kesler, 2 min. holding. Kesler doesn't let Ryan move near the glass.
9:36 - Ryan slip-slides between the Ds, but loses control, then gets it back and feeds Perry in front for the near-goal.
6:34 - Scary times in front of the Ducks net as Hiller can't cover a loose puck and finally smothers it with a couple Canucks jamming at it.
4:38 - Perry drops to Koivu who hits Luongo in the logo.
2:30 - Hiller denies big brother Sedin on a point blank rebound try.
1:56 - ANA Penalty - Matt Beleskey, 2 min. slashing. Beleskey commits the slash right after the Hiller stop.
1:50 - Hiller avoids giving up another very early goal when he makes a big kick save on Hodgson, who was on the breakaway after the puck bounced on Brookbank.
0:00 - And we're underway at Honda Center.
7:38 - Wonderful job on the Canadian anthem by Dawn Wright (with Canucks fans in the crowd singing along) and then the American anthem by soldier Marcus Dangelo.
7:31 p.m. - Ducks begin Military Night festivities by having a couple soldiers rappel from the rafters, and they're given a standing ovation once they hit the ice. Pretty damn cool.