ANAHEIM, Calif. – It should be easy for Roberto Luongo to remember his 500th NHL game.
When it mattered most, Luongo stopped 12 of 13 Anaheim attempts in the shootout and Mattias Ohlund scored the deciding goal in the 13th round as the Vancouver Canucks beat the Anaheim Ducks 7-6 after blowing a three-goal lead. Ohlund sent a wrist shot past Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller to end a roller-coaster game and Anaheim’s five-game winning streak.
“It would have been a hard one to lose, but we won,” said Luongo who allowed a goal to Ryan Getzlaf with the Ducks’ second shot in the shootout, before stopping the next 11 shots until Ohlund secured the win.
“You are in the flow of the game and you just focus on not making the first move. After a while you just close your eyes and hope that we can get one.”
Hiller was equally tough for the Ducks, matching Luongo nearly save for save in the extended shootout after both teams had little difficulty scoring most of the night.
“It was a weird game, it seemed like every puck went in somehow,” said Hiller who replaced Ducks starter Jean-Sebastien Giguere in the second period.
“There were lots of goals and penalty shots. It took forever. That is probably one of the few games you’ll have (like that) in your career. It’s sad to lose it at the end.”
After spotting the Ducks a 2-0 lead early in the first period, the Canucks scored five times to take a 5-2 lead. But the Ducks roared back with three goals in 100 seconds in the second period to draw even.
“It was a little sloppy – obviously, a lot of goals, there was some suspect defence from both teams,” Ohlund said. “I’m sure both teams would like to have it back.”
Ducks forward Corey Perry scored with 57 seconds remaining to send the game into overtime after Steve Bernier put the Canucks ahead 6-5 with his second goal of the game 8:34 into the third period. Perry also had four assists for the Ducks.
“We were up two, down three – it had everything in the game, we just came up short in the shootout,” Perry said.
His five-point effort was a career best and extended a career-best assist streak to six games.
Ryan Kesler, Alex Burrows, Ohlund and Kevin Bieksa also scored for Vancouver.
Teemu Selanne had two goals, moving him into a tie with Guy Lafleur for 20th place with 560 career goals. Selanne also had two assists, and has seven goals and nine assists during a nine-game point streak against Vancouver – helping the Ducks to a 7-0-2 record against the Canucks since Feb. 10, 2006.
Scott Niedermayer, Steve Montador and Chris Pronger also scored for Anaheim.
Luongo had given up just one goal in his past two starts. He made 28 saves while shutting out the Kings 4-0 on Thursday and stopped 29 of 30 shots in a 1-0 loss to Boston on Tuesday but was quickly in trouble Friday.
Selanne stole the puck from Luongo behind the Vancouver net and passed it to Niedermayer for the Ducks’ first goal during a power play eight minutes into the first period. Less than four minutes later, Selanne tipped in a shot by Pronger giving Anaheim an early 2-0 advantage.
Bernier started the Canucks comeback, netting Vancouver’s first goal just 17 seconds after Selanne scored. Kesler tied it, flipping a one-handed shot over Giguere on a partial breakaway 7:57 into the second.
Vancouver took a 3-2 lead with a short-handed goal by Burrows. Ohlund then scored a power-play goal with 5:22 left in the second. Bieksa scored with the first shot against Hiller 42 seconds later for a 5-2 lead.
But the Ducks quickly responded with three goals in a 1:40 span to tie it.
Montador fired in a rebound 18 seconds after Bieksa’s goal and Getzlaf deflected in a shot by Pronger 23 seconds later bringing Anaheim to 5-4. Selanne followed with his second of the game 1:17 later.
“Every game is not a Mona Lisa that you try to paint, tonight was one of those games,” Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said. “I’m sure both coaches are not going to keep the DVD of this one.”
Notes: With Friday’s appearance, Luongo became the 51st goalie to play in 500 NHL games. … Ducks winger Brad May will be out two weeks after spraining his knee in Wednesday’s 5-4 victory over Detroit. … Anaheim centre Brendan Morrison played his first regular-season game against the Canucks since signing with the Ducks in July. Morrison played in Vancouver for eight seasons.