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Selanne scores twice, Ducks win battle of division leaders, down Canucks 4-2

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

The all-star scored two goals to become the first player to have two 40-goal seasons after turning 35, and the Anaheim Ducks beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-2 in a hard-hitting matchup of division leaders Sunday night.

Selanne, 36, has 41 goals this season after scoring 40 last season. He's reached 40 goals in seven seasons, tops among active players.

Andy McDonald also had two goals and an assist for Anaheim. Defenceman Francois Beauchemin had three assists and goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 22 saves for the Ducks, who have won five consecutive games and seven of eight.

"It was a great effort again, everyone did their jobs," Selanne said. "They're probably the hottest team in the NHL right now. It was almost like a playoff game, the intensity was there."

The Pacific Division-leading Ducks and Northwest-leading Canucks combined for 104 penalty minutes. The Ducks are 3-0-1 against the Canucks, who'd won five straight games and gone 13-2-2 in their last 17 road games.

Special teams were the difference Sunday, as Anaheim went 2-for-7 on the power play, while the Canucks were 0-7.

"We took too many penalties," Canucks forward Markus Naslund said. "They've got a lot of tough guys and they're going to play us physical. I think we obviously have to answer that, but we have to be smarter."

The loss prevented Vancouver's Roberto Luongo from becoming just the 20th goaltender in NHL history to record 40 wins in a season.

"They definitely got the bounces tonight and we didn't" said Luongo, who made 20 saves. "The last two goals were really lucky and on our side, three times the puck was behind their goalie and didn't find its way in the net."

Selanne scored his first goal 6:01 into the first period. With the Ducks working on a power play, Luongo made an initial save on a point-shot by Beauchemin, but the puck fell behind the goalkeeper where Selanne calmly tapped it in.

Alex Burrows tied the game for Vancouver 9:27 into the first with a wraparound goal following a scramble near the net.

McDonald netted his first goal on a wrist shot from the slot just as a Ducks' power play was ending at 15:44 of the first. He scored his second just 1:02 later off a goal-mouth feed from Selanne.

"Our first period was probably as strong a period as we've played in the last two or three weeks," Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said.

Brent Sopel swiped in a loose puck following a Vancouver power play to draw the Canucks within a 3-2 deficit 8:43 into the second.

Vancouver had a great chance to draw closer with a four-minute power play later in the second, but the Ducks did not allow a shot during the extended penalty killing effort. Anaheim has not allowed a power-play goal in its last five games.

"We could have built some momentum, but we just couldn't settle the puck down," Canucks centre Bryan Smolinski said. "You have to give them credit, they are a very good (penalty killing) team and have a very good goaltender."

Selanne secured the win for the Ducks, netting his second goal of the game, by scrambling to bank in his own rebound off Vancouver defenceman Lukas Krajicek during an early third period power play.

"He's a goal scorer, he can score them in a lot of different ways," Carlyle said.

Notes: With the victory, the Ducks franchise reached the 1,000 point plateau, now having a 423-444-155 all-time record, for 1,001 points ... Luongo had set the Vancouver franchise record Friday, with his 39th win this season, a 2-1 overtime victory at San Jose. ... The Ducks were playing their third game without star defenceman Chris Pronger, who broke his left toe during a post-game workout March 4. ... Linesman Vaughan Rody suffered a torn pectoral muscle and had to leave the game after the first period. He will have surgery this week and will be out four to six months.


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