VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -The Anaheim Ducks aren't impressed by their start. Finishing well is the important thing.
Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 20 saves as Anaheim beat the Vancouver Canucks 6-0 Thursday night and remained unbeaten in regulation for an NHL-record 16th game.
"Nobody expected this kind of a start, this is pretty amazing, but we have bigger goals than this. Our goal is all the way at the end," Giguere said. "It's nice to have this, but it should just be a confidence builder more than anything."
Ryan Getzlaf netted two goals, and Shane O'Brien, Chris Kunitz, Samuel Pahlsson and Todd Marchant also scored as the Ducks improved to 12-0-4 - topping the league's previous best start of 15 games by the 1984 Edmonton Oilers (12-0-3).
"Obviously the Oilers were an unbelievable team and they won a few championships so it's an honor to break their record," O'Brien said of the Ducks, who have benefited from the new standings and the elimination of ties.
Anaheim has lost once in overtime and three times in shootouts. That's still enough for the Ducks to lead the NHL with 28 points. They also top the Western Conference with 59 goals scored.
"We're only at game 16 gentlemen, there's a long way to go," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "We're in a marathon, not a sprint here."
The Ducks didn't start at full speed against a Vancouver team that has been hurt by injuries on defense and has lost four of five. Anaheim only managed four shots in the first 15 minutes, but two went in after good bounces.
O'Brien's pass from the point bounced in off the skate of Vancouver's Matt Cooke at the side of the net just 5:34 in. Kunitz beat Roberto Luongo on a 2-on-1 from a sharp angle to make it 2-0 about 10 minutes later.
That was it for the Canucks, who were already missing defensemen Sami Salo (knee sprain) and Willie Mitchell (post-concussion symptoms) before announcing earlier Thursday they will be without Rory Fitzpatrick for four to six weeks with a broken left foot.
While the Ducks defense was anchored by Norris Trophy winners Scott Niedermayer and Chris Pronger, the Canucks countered with Nathan McIver and Patrick Coulombe - a pair of 21-year-old players making their NHL debuts - and 20-year-old Alexander Edler in his third game.
Carlyle said an inexperienced lineup made it hard for the Canucks to recover, but Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault was more upset with an early no-show from several of his veteran forwards.
"The kids were fine," he said. "It wasn't the kids. Our top guys just didn't play. I don't know if they thought they had a built-in excuse because of the depleted lineup, but that s no excuse.
Samuel Pahlsson ended Luongo's night with a goal 5:33 into the second. Luongo, who had played 15 of the first 16 games, made just six saves before being pulled for the first time since joining the Canucks during the offseason. Dany Sabourin took over and stopped 11 of the final 14 shots.
"It doesn't matter whether I was surprised to be pulled or not. I mean three goals on nine shots, it was one of those nights," Luongo said. "I don't think I'll look at this game as a bad outing. Sometimes stuff happens in a game and you can't control when a puck goes in off a guy's skate."
Getzlaf scored in the third on a 2-on-1 with Scott Thornton, who had two assists, and again on a deflection to round out the scoring. In between, Marchant banged a loose puck over the goal line after Pronger's point shot trickled past Sabourin.
Giguere's best saves came early in the second period, and he got some penalty killing help from Pronger and Niedermayer as Vancouver failed to register a shot during a lengthy 5-on-3. He only made seven stops in the third to post his second shutout of the season and break the Oilers record.
"I was seeing the puck really well and my focus was good, but when guys score six in front of you it makes your job easier," he said. "Our goal this year is bigger than this record, but it's nice to have it, it's been a long time, so we'll take it and hopefully keep building on it."
Notes: O'Brien also had two assists, matching his total through the first 15 games. ... Salo is practicing and could return Saturday against Calgary. Mitchell has resumed skating on his own, but continued to experience headaches this week. ... Marchant was taken to the locker room after being hit in the face by Mattias Ohlund's dump-in early in the first period. He later returned.
|Shane O'Brien (2) ASST: Joe Dipenta (1), Shawn Thornton (1)|
1 - 0 ANA
|Chris Kunitz (8) ASST: Teemu Selanne (11)|
2 - 0 ANA
|Samuel Pahlsson (3) ASST: Rob Niedermayer (6), Shane O'Brien (3)|
3 - 0 ANA
|Ryan Getzlaf (6) ASST: Shawn Thornton (2), Corey Perry (8)|
4 - 0 ANA
|Todd Marchant (3) ASST: Chris Pronger (12), Travis Moen (2)|
5 - 0 ANA
|Ryan Getzlaf (7) ASST: Shane O'Brien (4)|
6 - 0 ANA
|Andy McDonald Slashing|
|Travis Moen Fighting (maj)|
|Nathan McIver Fighting (maj)|
|Lukas Krajicek Hooking|
|Kevin Bieksa Interference|
|Daniel Sedin Holding|
|Too many men/ice - bench|
|Travis Moen Tripping|
|Trevor Linden Interference|
|Scott Niedermayer Hi-sticking|
|Nathan McIver Hi-sticking|
|Shane O'Brien Elbowing|
|Alexandre Burrows Boarding (maj)|
|Alexandre Burrows Game misconduct|
|Mattias Ohlund Slashing|