Corey Perry scored on a power play early in the third period as the Ducks took a 2-1 lead in their NHL Western Conference semifinal. The Ducks almost had their wings clipped with four penalties in the first period, but battled back for the victory.
“We had to weather the storm in the first five or 10 minutes,” said Perry, who also assisted on Dustin Penner’s first-period goal. “We have to stay out of the penalty box. We have to stay sharp when they come that hard.”
Perry scored on a shot from the top of the faceoff circle with Chris Kunitz screening Canuck goaltender Roberto Luongo. The goal came just 11 seconds after Vancouver’s Alex Burrows was sent off for delay of game after chipping the puck into the crowd.
“It was a great screen, he couldn’t see anything,” said Perry. “I just shot the puck. Thank God it went in.”
The best-of-seven series continues with Game 4 at GM Place Tuesday.
Francois Beauchemin, on the power play, also scored for Anaheim. Chris Pronger had a pair of assists.
Markus Naslund, with a rare Canuck power-play goal, and Daniel Sedin scored for Vancouver.
The Canucks had plenty of chances to put the game away but fired blanks on the power play. Vancouver went 1-8 with the man advantage and twice couldn’t find the net during 5-on-3 situations. The one power-play goal Vancouver did score came when Duck goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere didn’t get his glove on a shot from the point.
The Ducks were 2-5 on the power play. After a slow start the bigger, faster Ducks gained momentum as the game progressed. Anaheim created a lot of traffic in front of Luongo and outshot Vancouver 22-13 over the last two periods.
“We have to be disappointed they got two power-play goals and that’s the difference,” said Naslund. “If we can skate like we did early and play them 5-on-5 most of the game, I think we’ve got a great chance.”
Giguere made a big save off Taylor Pyatt in the game’s dying seconds with Luongo on the bench for an extra attacker.
Daniel Sedin tied the game 2-2 at 14:31 of the second period but it was some hardnosed work by Pyatt that was the catalyst of play. The big forward shook off a hit behind the net, got the puck, then managed a shot. Giguere made the save but the puck bounced to Sedin who scored his first goal in eight games.
Beauchemin had given the Ducks a 2-1 lead, scoring from a scramble on a power play at 9:35.
The Canucks outshot the Ducks 13-2 in the first period but needed Naslund’s power-play goal with just 48 seconds remaining to escape with the score tied 1-1.
A massive brain cramp from the usually steady Luongo resulted in the Ducks taking a 1-0 lead with the game just over three minutes old. The Canuck goaltender fired a puck into the corner right onto the stick of a surprised Perry. He slide the puck back to Penner in the slot who easily beat Luongo as he tried to scramble back into position. It was the Ducks’ first shot on goal.
The Canucks were foiled on three first-period power plays, including 37 seconds of 5-on-3, before Naslund finally scored on the fourth.
Mattias Ohlund unleashed a blast from the blue-line that skipped of Giguere’s glove. Naslund swooped in from the side of the goal and poked the puck into the net.
It was Vancouver’s fourth power-play goal in 54 attempts during the playoffs and first in 16 man-advantages against Anaheim.
The revolving door at the Canucks blue-line continued. Sami Salo returned to the lineup after missing the first two games with an injury but Rory Fitzpatrick was a scratch.
Brad May, a former Canuck, returned to the Anaheim lineup after serving a three-game suspension for the sucker punch he threw at Minnesota’s Kim Johnnson in the first round of the playoffs.
Notes-The Canucks called up defenceman Yannick Tremblay from the AHL Manitoba Moose. Tremblay played 12 games with Vancouver this year, recording one goal and two assists. ….Vancouver’s Trevor Linden has played 1,326 career games without winning the Stanley Cup, the longest of any active player. …Each Canuck forward had at least 22 shifts and more than 13 minutes of ice team in Game 2 while the Ducks stuck with just three lines. …During the regular season Luongo had a record of 9-2-1 after games where he allowed four or more goals.