The Anaheim Ducks looked a lot better at home than they did on the road.
The Ducks got goals 1:18 apart by Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan midway through the third period to win their home opener by beating the Vancouver Canucks 4-3 on Wednesday night for their first victory after three road losses.
Anaheim was outscored 13-2 in losses at Detroit, Nashville and St. Louis, but got a huge night from its big line of Perry, Ryan and Ryan Getzlaf, who scored the game's first goal and had the first assist on each of the Ducks' other three tallies.
"It was nice to be able to calm things down and play hockey," Getzlaf said. "It didn’t matter what the score was. We’re coming home where we’re comfortable. We love this building. The fans and everybody showed us what it’s going to be like all year. We’re excited about it."
Jonas Hiller made 36 saves for Anaheim. The 39 shots allowed marked the first time that the Ducks have surrendered fewer than 40 in a game.
"It wasn’t pretty," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "I don’t think we’re going to frame that one and say that is the way we want to play every night. But at least it’s a starting point for us. It’s been difficult for us over the first three games that we started on the road. We got our game going as this game went on. Our players are to be credited because they were frustrated."
Daniel Sedin had a goal and an assist for the Canucks, now 1-1-1 after losing their road opener.
“We have to relax out there,” said Sedin, who also had an assist and passed Thomas Gradin for fifth on Vancouver’s all-time scoring list. “We were probably squeezing our sticks a little bit too much, and that can happen at the beginning of the season. I think we need to play more relaxed and we’ll be fine, we have a lot of talent on this team."
Anaheim trailed 3-2 before Perry got his first of the season by slamming home a pass from Ryan at 8:54 of the third period. The goal came just seconds after Anaheim defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky swept the puck out of his crease after a shot hit the crossbar, bounced off Hiller and appeared to be headed over the goal line.
Ryan put the Ducks ahead to stay at 10:12 when he finished off a 3-on-1 break by blasting a perfect feed by Getzlaf behind Roberto Luongo, who had no chance on the 10-footer from the slot.
"This is a huge win. We beat a really good hockey team," said Anaheim forward Teemu Selanne, whose second-period power-play goal tied the game at 2-2. "It was not pretty, but the bottom line is you have to find a way to win the game. This was a great confidence boost for our club."
The Ducks came out energized by the sellout crowd of 17,174 and jumped to a quick 1-0 lead when Getzlaf, stationed below the left faceoff dot, took Ryan's pass from the corner and wristed it behind Luongo at 2:41, seconds after a 5-on-3 power play ended.
Vancouver tied it at 3:57 with a power-play goal of its own. Daniel Sedin took twin brother Henrik's pass in the lower left circle and put it high on the short side past Hiller. The Canucks tied it 23 seconds later when Raffi Torres' waist-high deflection of Dan Hamhuis' point shot sailed past a screened Hiller.
Selanne tied it at 15:09 of the second with a well-placed power-play wrister from the left circle after a feed from Getzlaf.
"Getzie made a great pass, and I didn't really see anybody open," Selanne said. "I've shot so many times from that spot. I must know where to put it. It's fun to see when the puck goes in and that I can help the team that way."
But the Canucks went back in front at 5:23 of the third when Christian Ehrhoff's power-play slapper from the right point hit rookie defenseman Cam Fowler 20 feet in front of the net and whizzed past a helpless Hiller.
Material from team media was used in this report
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