Andersen earns 3rd career shutout, Ducks blank Canucks 4-0
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) As they dive into the second half of the season, Frederik Andersen and the Anaheim Ducks don't want to change a thing.
Andersen had to make only 17 saves in his third career shutout as the Ducks defeated the Vancouver Canucks 4-0 Tuesday night.
Matt Beleskey, Kyle Palmieri, Rickard Rakell and Patrick Maroon scored for Anaheim (32-10-6), which sits atop the NHL's overall standings. The Ducks have won six straight and eight of nine.
''We just want to go with the same pace we have been and keep showing we are among the very best teams in this league,'' Andersen said. ''It's the second half now and we just want to continue that on and keep playing the way we have been and keep shutting teams out and keep playing that good defensive game.''
All three of Andersen's shutouts have come this season.
Rakell also had an assist for the Ducks, who are 3-0-1 against the Canucks this season and 9-0-1 in the last 10 games versus their Pacific Division rivals.
''I think we can compete with them. I do. Whenever we play them I honestly feel inside that we can compete and we can play well, and we haven't,'' Canucks coach Willie Desjardins said. ''Maybe somewhere along the line I've got to change my mind, but there's stretches there where I believe we can compete and we didn't get it done tonight.''
Ryan Miller stopped 20 shots for Vancouver but allowed two soft goals.
With his team up 2-0, Rakell scored at 9:20 of the third period, firing a shot from just inside the blue line that deflected off the stick of Canucks defenseman Frank Corrado and in off the crossbar for his fourth of the season.
Maroon scored his fifth goal into an empty net in the final minute.
Held to 12 shots through two periods in the first game for both teams since the All-Star break, the Canucks didn't muster much more offense in the third on a night when Andersen's crease was rarely threatened.
''Not good enough. Not good enough at all,'' Canucks captain Henrik Sedin said. ''If we're a team that's going to roll four lines we need everyone to contribute and we're not getting that right now.''
Part of the problem was Vancouver's anemic and disjointed power play, which went 0 for 3 and is 2 for 28 over the last nine games.
''I think we're a better team than that,'' Desjardins said. ''We've just got to find ways. I think we can play better than that and we didn't.''
Anaheim led 1-0 after the first and doubled that lead at 7:19 of the second on a delayed penalty with the Canucks already short-handed.
Palmieri came down the right side and fired home his 10th of the season through Miller's legs, a shot the Vancouver goalie probably should have stopped.
''It was a disappointing game. A couple errors on my part or else maybe we get some confidence and they don't get to play the game where they can just kind of sit back at times,'' Miller said. ''They might have to push a little more and that opens things up.
''Not real happy about that, (but) things happen. You move on.''
Canucks forward Derek Dorsett left the game a few minutes earlier with an upper-body injury and did not return after taking a hit from Ryan Kesler. Replays appeared to show that Kesler, who was dealt from Vancouver to Anaheim in the offseason, made contact with Dorsett's head on the play.
''I haven't seen it yet. All I know is I was going for the puck and I felt him hit,'' Kesler said. ''I hope he's all right. It's unfortunate. It's a fast game out there. I was just going for the puck, trying to make a hockey play.''
The Canucks played at home for the first time since Jan. 10 after going 3-2 on their road trip prior to the All-Star break.
Nick Bonino had Vancouver's best chance early when he rang a shot off the post behind Andersen.
Anaheim opened the scoring at 13:43 of the first period thanks to Beleskey's 18th of the season on a play Miller will also want back.
Beleskey unloaded a slap shot from the wing off a rush and Miller could only get a piece of it with his glove before the puck fluttered into the top corner.
NOTES: The Canucks haven't scored at home since the first period of a 3-1 loss to Florida on Jan. 8, a span of more than eight periods. ... The Canucks were without defenseman Kevin Bieksa, who broke his left hand in the final game before the All-Star break. The 33-year-old Bieksa had surgery and is expected to miss six to eight weeks. ... The teams play the final game of their season series March 9 at Rogers Arena. ... Vancouver continues its six-game homestand Friday against Buffalo. ... Anaheim visits San Jose on Thursday.