Game 44: Going down swinging
Corey Perry's power play goal with less than two seconds remaining in overtime lifted the Ducks to a 4-3 victory over the banged-up Canucks at the Honda Center.
The loss extended Vancouver's winless streak to four games while the win for Anaheim allowed them to stretch their regulation undefeated streak on home ice to an impressive 19 games.
With time running out in the overtime session and the Ducks enjoying a 4-on-3 man-advantage, Perry was able to sneak past Canucks' defenceman Chris Tanev, take a lead feed from Ryan Getzlaf and beat Eddie Lack five-hole to give the Ducks the victory in a game in which they never led.
The Canucks came into this contest knowing they'd be in tough against the Pacific Division-leading Ducks but their difficult assignment was compounded by the fact they had to add two more players to the injury list prior to puck drop with Chris Higgins and Roberto Luongo scratched late with undisclosed injuries.
A third player would join the list of walking wounded before this night was out as Zack Kassian was forced to leave the game in the second period after taking teammate Tom Sestito's skate to the face.
Despite all the setbacks, the Canucks burst out of the gate on fire taking a 2-0 lead after the first 20 minutes courtesy of power play goals from Ryan Kesler and Henrik Sedin but it was pretty much all Ducks after that point.
Anaheim out-shot Vancouver 44-8 over the final two periods of regulation and overtime although the Canucks still managed to come within 1:37 of becoming the first team to knock the Ducks off in regulation at the Honda Center.
After Saku Koivu and Matt Beleskey squared the contest at 2-2 after 40 minutes, Kevin Bieksa would reclaim the lead for the Canucks just 66 seconds into the final frame – a lead Vancouver would hold until Nick Bonino's equalizer late in the period setting the stage for Perry's overtime heroics.
Lack was easily the Canucks' MVP on this night turning aside 45 of 49 shots in the contest. Jonas Hiller stopped 17 of 20 shots in the victory for the Ducks.
The Canucks open a two-game home stand on Tuesday when they host Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
WELCOME BENN: Benn Ferrerio made his Canucks' debut on Sunday taking the lineup spot of Chris Higgins. Ferrerio, recalled earlier in the day from Utica (AHL), had not played an NHL game in nearly one full year prior to Sunday with his last game action coming with the New York Rangers back on February 2, 2013. He finished with 5:09 of ice-time and an even-rating. He became the fourth player in Canucks history to don jersey No. 42 joining Josef Beranek, Bill Sweatt and Kyle Wellwood.
LAURIE'S STORY: The late scratch of Roberto Luongo meant the Canucks had to turn to professional tryout route for an emergency back-up. Getting the call to join the Canucks for one night was 43-year-old Rob Laurie a former pro hockey netminder who played primarily in the ECHL. Laurie last played for the CHL's El Paso Buzzards in 2001.02 before retiring but did serve as an emergency back-up for the Ducks in a game last season. This is the second season in a row the Canucks have had to sign a goaltender to a PTO to use as an emergency back-up. Last season in a game in Calgary, the Canucks signed University of Calgary goaltender Dustin Butler to serve as Luongo's back-up after ex-Canuck Cory Schneider was unable to dress.
26 FOR 31: Eddie Lack celebrated his 26th birthday on Sunday with one of his finest performances of the season despite the loss. He shares a birthday with Ducks' forward Mathieu Perreault, who also turned 26 on Sunday but had to celebrate as a healthy scratch. Other notable birthdays on this day include the late Superman actor George Reeves and award-winning actress Diane Keaton.