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Niedermayer's overtime goal gives Ducks 4-3 win over Canucks

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

ANAHEIM, Calif. - Scott Niedermayer scored at 3:37 of overtime, and the Anaheim Ducks got vital contributions from newcomers Erik Christensen, Ryan Whitney and Petteri Nokelainen to beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-3 on Wednesday night.

Nokelainen, Teemu Selanne and Ryan Getzlaf also scored, Christensen and Whitney each had two assists, and Jonas Hiller made 32 saves to help the Ducks snap a three-game losing streak.

Anaheim had two other goals disallowed, one by Whitney because the puck went in through the side of the net, the other by Christensen because of a penalty against Ryan Getzlaf for goalie interference.

Alex Burrows, Kyle Wellwood and Ryan Kesler scored for the Canucks, who won the previous meeting 7-6 in a 13-round shootout on Oct. 31 in Anaheim. Roberto Luongo made 37 saves.

The Ducks' victory gave them 70 points, tying idle Minnesota and Dallas for ninth place in the Western Conference, one point behind Edmonton and Nashville for the final playoff spot. The Canucks, who have lost two in a row after winning 12 of their previous 14, are fifth in the conference with 77 points.

Pavol Demitra was sent off for hooking Getzlaf 2:13 into OT, but a penalty to Selanne for holding Mattias Ohlund negated the Ducks' power play. The teams were skating 3-on-3 when Chris Pronger gave the puck to Niedermayer at the Anaheim blue-line, and he outskated Daniel Sedin before beating Luongo to the stick side.

The overtime goal was Niedermayer's second in a 3-on-3 situation in the last 12 games. On Feb. 11 at Anaheim, he also did it to beat Calgary 3-2. Niedermayer, has 12 regular-season overtime goals, the most among defencemen.

Kesler tied the game with 4:58 left in the third period, poking the puck past Hiller after Demitra's pass from behind the net caromed off Mats Sundin and right to Kesler. Kesler and Burrows reached the 20-goal mark on the same night, giving Vancouver three 20-goal scorer for the fourth straight season.

Hiller stopped all 12 shots he faced during Vancouver's first four power plays, and the first 22 overall by the Canucks, before they tied it at 2 at 10:37 of the second period on shots by Burrows and Wellwood 50 seconds apart.

The Ducks regained the lead at 13:21 of the period when Nokelainen converted a rebound after Luongo stopped Christensen's wrist shot from the top of the right circle. The goal ended a 42-game drought going back to last season for Nokelainen, acquired from Boston on March 4 for defenceman Steve Montador.

Selanne opened the scoring at 17:35 of the first period with his 21st goal and 573rd of his career, tying former Islanders star Mike Bossy for 18th place on the career list. Henrik Sedin attempted a backhanded clearing pass from the left corner and put it right onto the stick of Selanne, who carried it into the low slot and beat Luongo between the pads.

The Ducks made it 2-0 at 6:26 of the second period with Getzlaf's 21st goal and first in eight games. Whitney's wrist shot from the left point hit traffic in front of the net and Christensen pushed the puck over to Getzlaf, who had a wide-open net to shot at with Luongo out of position.

Notes: Bossy played in 752 regular-season games - 366 fewer than Selanne. ... Over the previous three seasons, the Ducks were a combined 50-17-8 during the final 25-game segment of the regular season. They have begun this season's final 25-game stretch 4-6-1. ... This was the 19th time Vancouver has played the Ducks and Kings in back-to-back road games, and the fourth time the Canucks lost both of them. They won both the last time they were in Southern California on Oct. 30-31. ... Anaheim D Bret Hedican, who spent parts of six seasons with Vancouver, missed his fifth straight game because of back spasms. ... Anaheim is 20-1-0 when leading after two periods. The only blemish came against Detroit on Jan. 14, when the Ducks took a 3-2 lead into the third period at home and lost 4-3. ... Anaheim is 1-for-24 on the power play over its last seven games. ... Sundin has seven goals and 10 assists in 25 games for Vancouver since signing a one-year free agent deal Dec. 18.


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