Canucks open homestand with win against Ducks


Kevin Woodley – Correspondent

Derek Cain Photography

(ISN) – VANCOUVER — It wasn’t always pretty, but the Vancouver Canucks finally defeated the Anaheim Ducks in regulation.

After blowing the lead earlier in the third period, Zack Kassian scored the go-ahead goal with 3:59 left and Eddie Lack made 29 saves to help Vancouver to a 1-0 win at Rogers Arena on Monday, giving the Canucks their first regulation win against the Ducks in more than two years.


Derek Cain Photography

Roughly one minute after Lack scooped a loose puck off the goal line, Kassian squeezed the winning goal through the legs of Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen and over the line at the other end. Defenseman Dan Hamhuis led a rush into the Anaheim end, faking a shot before driving wide and down to the goal line for a pass to Kassian in the slot for a quick shot through Andersen.

Rookie Bo Horvat scored for the Canucks (38-24-4), who started a five-game homestand by defeating Anaheim in regulation for the first time in 11 games dating back to Jan. 25, 2013.

Vancouver moved three points ahead of the idle Calgary Flames for second place in the Pacific Division, 11 behind the Ducks.

Andersen made 14 saves for the Ducks (42-19-7), who were 9-0-1 against Vancouver since last losing in regulation. Anaheim has lost two straight after winning the previous four.


Derek Cain Photography

It was the Ducks’ first regulation loss decided by one goal; they are 26-1-7 this season.

The Canucks were led by a couple players who weren’t with the team the previous time they defeated Anahem in regulation.

Horvat, a 19-year-old rookie center, wasn’t drafted yet. Lack was still in the American Hockey League, stuck behind Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider, who was traded for the pick used to select Horvat ninth at the 2013 NHL Draft.

The Canucks had given up the first goal in six straight games and 17 of 21, and had fallen behind 2-0 in the past four. They were dominated 12-5 in shots by the Ducks too, but got a break when Ryan Getzlaf hit the crossbar with Lack down and an empty net to shoot at, and Horvat opened the scoring midway through the first period.



A harmless looking shot off the rush bounced out of Andersen’s glove, and Jannik Hansen chipped the loose puck back to Horvat just above the right faceoff dot. Horvat beat Andersen low on the glove side through a maze of defenders for his 11th goal this season.

Vancouver was outshot 20-10 through two periods, but kept the lead thanks to a couple of great saves by Lack.

Playing his ninth straight game since No.1 goalie Ryan Miller injured his knee, Lack got his left pad on Cam Fowler’s shot from the slot a minute after Horvat’s goal and stretched it out to rob Corey Perry on a backdoor tap in during a power play early in the second period.

The Ducks were outshooting Vancouver 26-10 when Emerson Etem finally tied it 8:40 into the third period. After a couple of failed chances to clear by former Anaheim center Nick Bonino, the Ducks worked it behind the net to center Nate Thompson, who sent it out front to Etem all alone between two defenders in the slot for a one-timer past Lack. It was the 100th career point for Thompson and Etem’s fifth goal this season.

The goal seemed to wake the Canucks; they had the next five shots on Andersen, who was forced to make big saves on Alexander Edler and Zack Kassian.


Derek Cain Photography

Perry almost put the Ducks ahead from a sharp angle with 5:20 left when his shot trickled through Lack and fell onto the goal line behind him. But Lack reached back with the blocker as fell backwards and managed to keep the puck from completely crossing the goal line.


Derek Cain Photography

Each team welcomed back key defensemen back. The Canucks got top-pairing defensemen Christopher Tanev back after missing 10 games because of a head injury. James Wisniewski played his first game since coming back to Anaheim in a March 2 trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Wisniewski injured his left foot in his final game with Columbus on March 1, but was a game-time decision in Vancouver because his equipment, including his skates and a custom knee brace, got stuck in transit. The gear arrived in Anaheim late Sunday and Ducks general manager Bob Murray brought it with him to Vancouver on Monday.

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