ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - The Vancouver Canucks were left frustrated and embarrassed last weekend when the Anaheim Ducks ruined their home opener with a blowout victory.
Six days later, the Canucks handed those feelings right back to the Ducks.
Cory Schneider made 30 saves in his fifth career shutout, Mason Raymond scored twice, and the Canucks avenged that season-opening loss with three power-play goals during a 5-0 win over the Ducks on Friday night.
Daniel Sedin and Raymond scored on power plays in the first period, and Zack Kassian added a man-advantage goal in the third period as the Canucks quieted Anaheim's standing-room-only crowd at the final home opener of the NHL's lockout-shortened season.
"We probably had last week in the back of our minds, and we knew that we needed to play our best game," Raymond said.
Schneider bounced back splendidly from his season-opening pratfall as the Canucks' new starting goalie last Saturday at Rogers Arena, where the Ducks chased him with five goals in 27 minutes. Schneider has been solid ever since, and his sturdy effort in the first 10 minutes against Anaheim allowed his slow-starting teammates to get rolling.
"It was a little busy early, but this was absolutely our best 60-minute effort of the year," Schneider said. "There was a lot of energy in the building, a lot of excitement, and it was good to jump on that real quick."
Aaron Volpatti also scored and captain Henrik Sedin had two assists as Vancouver got the usual results from its perennially dominant power play in the opener of a three-game California road trip, its first of the season after a 1-1-1 start at home. The Canucks had an early 2-0 lead for the third straight game - and after blowing that advantage in the last two games, they only built on it in Anaheim.
"They were undisciplined a little bit, and our power play gave us momentum," Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said. "It was the same type of game as they played against us in Vancouver."
Jonas Hiller stopped 29 shots, but Anaheim couldn't get off to a 3-0-0 start for just the second time in franchise history. Much of the crowd that showed up early for red-carpet player arrivals and 17,529 free Teemu Selanne T-shirts left during the third period.
"You never want to get blanked in your home opener, but (Schneider) played well back there for them," Ducks forward Bobby Ryan said. "We had some chances early, and if you get one then, you feel really good about yourself, and then who knows? We've got to find a way to stay out of the box and not let our emotions get the best of us, because some of those penalties were just emotion penalties."
The Ducks started the season promisingly, scoring 12 goals in wins at Vancouver and Calgary. Anaheim was 2-0-0 to start a season for just the second time in franchise history, but couldn't match its franchise-best start in the 2006-07 season, when the Ducks went on to win the Stanley Cup.
The Ducks took themselves out of the game with penalties, building on the theme to a season already featuring seven power-play goals by their opponents. Vancouver had nine power-play opportunities to just two for Anaheim.
"It was a weird feeling. The puck was bouncing around a little bit, and things never really settled down for us," Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf said. "We obviously got in penalty trouble. I wouldn't say it's a concern, but special teams are a huge part of it. We lost on special teams. We didn't do ourselves any players."
With Daniel Winnik and Getzlaf in the box together for 89 seconds midway through the first period, Henrik Sedin found his brother with a cross-ice pass for Daniel's second goal of the season. Late in the period, Vancouver's power play capitalized again when Raymond swatted his own rebound out of the air past Hiller.
After Alex Burrows was awarded a penalty shot in the second period when Luca Sbisa stopped his breakaway out of the penalty box, Hiller stopped him. But Volpatti pounced on a turnover in the slot and beat Hiller later in the period.
Kassian scored on a power play and Raymond scored a 4-on-4 goal in the third period, which also featured Corey Perry battering Keith Ballard in a fight in which the Vancouver defenseman didn't throw a punch.
The Canucks played without center Manny Malhotra, who wasn't with the team after his wife, Joann, gave birth to a baby boy Thursday.
NOTES: New Anaheim assistant coach Scott Niedermayer didn't attend the game. The four-time NHL champion defenseman was in Kamloops, B.C., where the WHL's Blazers retired his No. 28 jersey. ... In Malhotra's absence, Jordan Schroeder played in his second NHL game, getting his first career point with an assist on Raymond's second goal. Vancouver already was thin up the middle without C Ryan Kesler, who's out indefinitely after offseason surgery on his shoulder and wrist. Malhotra is expected to rejoin the Canucks before Sunday's game in San Jose.
|Back to top ↑|