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Raymond and Jaffray score first NHL goals, leading Canucks over Anaheim 3-2

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

ANAHEIM, Calif. - The two fresh faces in the Vancouver Canucks dressing room were easy to spot. Lockers displaying pucks with a piece of tape that said: "1st NHL goal" gave Mason Raymond and Jason Jaffray away.

The pair of injury fill-ins assisted on each other's goals, and the Canucks - without forward Brendan Morrison - beat the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 on Wednesday night.

"It was a great feeling to see the look on Mason's face when he got his first one out of the way," Jaffray said. "And when that puck went in for me, I could have jumped five, six feet in the air. It's definitely a moment I'll always remember."

It was the first time teammates scored their first NHL goals in a game since Ducks forwards Drew Miller and Petteri Wirtanen also did it in Anaheim on Oct. 17.

"They called two young players up from the minors and both of them made a contribution," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "That's huge when you can have young guys step in and get on the score sheet for you."

Morrison's 542-game playing streak, the longest current run in the NHL, ended when the 32-year-old centre was forced out of the lineup by a wrist injury that will require surgery. The streak that began on Feb. 27, 2000, is the 11th-longest in league history. Calgary defenceman Cory Sarich now has the longest current consecutive-game streak at 419.

Morrison, who played the first eight games of his streak with the New Jersey Devils before getting traded to Vancouver, jammed his wrist on Sept. 26 when he was checked into the boards during a pre-season game against San Jose. He kept playing through the pain until the team sent him back to Vancouver on Tuesday to get his wrist evaluated.

"It's not great for the Canucks to hear that he's going to be out for a while," Jaffray said. "I'm definitely not a guy who's going to fill his shoes, but I'm a guy that's been brought in to maybe soften the blow a little bit. If I can provide offence and create scoring chances, that's kind of what I do."

Brad Isbister also sat out because of a groin injury sustained during Monday's 4-2 loss at Los Angeles. The Canucks were also missing goalie Roberto Luongo, who sat out his second straight game because of a rib injury sustained Nov. 2 at Minnesota.

Jaffray, making his NHL debut, chipped the puck past defenceman Francois Beauchemin in the neutral zone and threw a cross-ice pass to Raymond, who snapped a one-timer past Jean-Sebastien Giguere at 17:35 of the first period.

"It's always nice to get that first one under your belt. There was a little bit of relief there," Raymond said. "Jaffray made a great pass to me, and all I had to do was put it in the net. It's something I'll always cherish."

Raymond played in nine games his first time up with the Canucks this season before he was sent back to the minors.

"He has amazing speed and an NHL shot. It was just a matter of time for him," goalie Curtis Sanford said. "Maybe going back to Manitoba got him geared up to get back here, as it always does to all of us who have been through it. But by no means did he look out of place the first time he was up here."

Daniel Sedin made it 2-0 just 65 seconds after Raymond's goal, beating Giguere after stealing the puck from Chris Kunitz in the slot.

Jaffray gave Vancouver a three-goal cushion at 4:54 of the second period .

"That far exceeds my expectations, to get regular shifts with Taylor Pyatt and Mason Raymond and also get a chance to play on the power play," Jaffray said. "It couldn't have happened any better for me, to get a goal and an assist. It seemed like all the waiting was definitely worth it."

Sanford stopped 34 shots, including a breakaway by Todd Marchant with about 10 1/2 minutes left in the second period and Vancouver leading 3-1. Sanford is 4-1 in five games with the Canucks.

"It feels good just to be able to contribute and to be relied upon to make big saves," said the former St. Louis Blues goalie, who signed a one-year, US$600,000 contract in July.

Chris Pronger and former Canucks forward Todd Bertuzzi scored for the Stanley Cup champion Ducks, who were beaten 4-0 by Luongo on Nov. 27 at Vancouver.


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