Perry, Ducks best Canucks in shootout

Author:
Publish date:

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- The Anaheim Ducks are used

to being counted out this season, so being down to Vancouver on

Thursday night didn't faze them.

Corey Perry had a goal and assist in regulation and the only

goal in a shootout, and Anaheim overcame a pair of two-goal

deficits to beat the Canucks 6-5.

"I think it's a tribute to the guys recognizing around the room

and on the ice and on the bench that we're not out of it just

because we're down two," said rookie Bobby Ryan, who set up

Anaheim's first goal and scored the next two.

Overlooked while sitting in 13th place on March 18, the Ducks

have won eight of nine since then, moving into seventh in the

Western Conference playoff race, one point ahead of St. Louis

and two up on ninth-place Nashville.

"We feel like we belong in the upper echelon in this conference

and it's been a long year with a lot of inconsistency and if we

can manage to peak at the right time then hopefully we can

create some damage," Ryan said.

Teemu Selanne also had two goals, and Jonas Hiller made 25 saves

in regulation and overtime, then stopped Pavol Demitra, Kyle

Wellwood and Alex Burrows in the shootout.

"We live another day," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "It's the

most important game of the season at this point. They all are at

this time. When you're in a desperate situation as we are,

there's no other way to explain it. Every point is precious and

more precious as the games dwindle down."

The single point for getting the game to overtime was certainly

valuable to the Canucks. It clinched a playoff spot, moved them

into a tie with Calgary atop the Northwest Division and one

point ahead of fifth-place Chicago in the race for home-ice

advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

"We're in and now we're going to focus on seeing whether we can

get home-ice advantage," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. "At

the end of the day, that team right now with us is the second

hottest team in the NHL and it went to a shootout. We battled

hard and a point automatically clinches a playoff spot."

After a slow first 10 minutes, the teams seemed to score at will

for the next 30, combining for 10 goals through the second

period before failing to settle things through overtime. Anaheim

blew an early two-goal lead before twice recovering from two

goals down, setting the stage for Perry s heroics.

"Up, down, up, down, it's one of those nights where we just keep

plugging away and we knew we were going to get our chances if we

just kept going to the net and kept battling and we got rewarded

for how hard we worked," Perry said.

Vancouver's top line of Burrows and identical twins Daniel and

Henrik Sedin all scored. Kyle Wellwood and Ryan Kesler also

scored for the Canucks, who returned from a 12-day, six-game

trip to see their home winning streak end at 11 games.

The teams traded two goals each the final half of the first

period.

Selanne, on a power-play deflection, and Ryan, on a long shot

through Perry's screen, scored 3:16 apart midway through to give

the Ducks a 2-0 lead.

Henrik Sedin pulled the Canucks within a goal with a shot

through twin brother Daniel s screen two minutes later. After

Ducks forward Drew Miller rang a shot off the post on a 2-on-1,

Kyle Wellwood tied it with 1:15 left after a great play and pass

by Steve Bernier, who was robbed earlier on a breakaway.

Vancouver failed to convert a length 5-on-3 early in the second,

but went ahead when Burrows banked a shot from below the goal

line in off Hiller 3 minutes into the period for his 27th goal

of the season.

Daniel Sedin added his 31st on a power play just over 2 minutes

later.

Ryan, with a nice individual effort off the rush, and Kesler, on

the tail end of a tic-tac-toe passing play, traded goals midway

through the period.

Perry closed the gap just a minute after Kesler's goal, banging

a rebound over Luongo after a sloppy Canucks line change created

a 3-on-1 down low for the Ducks, and Selanne snapped a quick

shot between the goaltender's legs off the rush to tie it with

3:32 left in the second period.

Hiller, making a third straight start ahead of Jean-Sebastien

Giguere, made point-blank stops on Burrows' power-play shot in

the final minute of regulation, and on Daniel Sedin's deflection

with 50 seconds left in overtime.

"I don't mind five goals if we win," Hiller said. "We can

definitely play better, more structure, but we'll take these two

points and be happy about it."

Luongo stopped 27 shots through overtime.

Notes: Ryan added an assist, giving him four goals and eight

points during a four-game point streak, and increasing his lead

among all NHL rookies in goals (28) and points (54). Henrik and

Daniel Sedin both extended point streaks to six games, with 25

points combined over that time. Play was delayed after Daniel's

second-period goal to clean up the mess left by a salmon thrown

on the ice. ... The Canucks play in Edmonton Saturday -- their

eighth straight in a different city -- before returning home to

face Colorado on Sunday.

TOP HEADLINES

unnamed (2)
Play

What if Cam Neely had been dealt to Montreal instead of Boston?

According to the authorized biography of Habs legend Serge Savard, which takes readers through a remarkable playing and managing career, that came very close to happening.

BLR
Play

Should Belarus Still Host The World Championship?

The European nation is slated to co-host with Latvia, but with Belarus in the midst of political revolt, safety must be considered by the IIHF.

USATSI_11277227_168393426_lowres
Play

Ryan and Akil's Excellent Adventure

The prospects from Edmonton and Los Angeles are two Canadian kids getting game experience in Europe right now - and learning just how different food can be over there.