The Vancouver Canucks seem to be finding different ways to win every night. On Wednesday, it required a couple of rallies and a shootout.
Ryan Kesler scored his second goal in a scramble with 21.5 seconds left to tie it, Jeff Tambellini had the only shootout goal and the Canucks came back twice for a 5-4 victory against the Anaheim Ducks at Rogers Arena.
Tambellini, who also scored in regulation, ripped a shot over the right shoulder of Anaheim goalie Jonas Hiller, who was forced into action after starting goalie Curtis McElhinney was cut by a high slap shot to the mask with 8:18 left in regulation.
Vancouver (15-8-3) has won five of its last six games and moved three points ahead of Colorado atop the Northwest Division.
"We went into that third knowing that we hadn't come back after going into the third when being down, so we knew we wanted to get that one," said Kesler, who finished with three points on the night.
Joffrey Lupul, Corey Perry and Teemu Selanne scored in regulation for the Ducks, but Roberto Luongo stopped them all the shootout, squeezing the legs on Perry's final shot to seal the win.
Rookie defenseman Cam Fowler, who scored the winning goal in the 10th round of a 3-2 shootout win in Edmonton on Tuesday, put the Ducks up by a pair midway through the third period.
McElhinney took Christian Ehrhoff's hard point shot off the mask and collapsed to the ice as Daniel Sedin put in the rebound to make it 4-3. The goalie had to be helped off the ice and went to the locker room bleeding from the face as Hiller took over.
Hiller made a couple great saves, but Kesler banked the tying goal in off his stick while lying on the ice below the goal line.
Kesler, on a power play tip, and Tambellini scored 11 seconds apart early in the first period, and Luongo made 16 saves in regulation and overtime as the Canucks -- who outshot Anaheim 15-2 in the third period -- bounced back from a loss to St. Louis on Sunday.
"My teammates bailed me out with two goals in the third," said Luongo, who made 16 saves through regulation and overtime. "We haven't come back from behind once in the third period at all this year, so we were due for one."
Perry and Selanne each had a goal and an assist, and Lupul scored his first goal in exactly a year for the Ducks.
McElhinney, who was making his first start since Nov. 17, made several brilliant stops among 24 saves before leaving. Hiller, who was supposed to have the night off after making 36 saves in his ninth straight start Tuesday, made 12 saves, including a great left pad stop off Keith Ballard with 3:15 left.
"It's the worst thing that can happen to you as a backup, especially in a one-goal game," Hiller said. "It was not easy, but I thought I had a couple of good saves."
Shut out two straight games before the Edmonton win, Anaheim is benefiting from the return of Lupul and Selanne, who has scored in consecutive games after missing five of the previous seven contests with a groin strain.
Lupul was out a lot longer. The 27-year-old scored his last goal on Dec. 8, 2009, and then missed nearly a year and lost 40 pounds after a pair of back surgeries -- the second left him with a blood infection -- before returning three games ago.
A three-time 20-goal scorer, Lupul tied it midway through the second period, firing a shot past the blocker of Luongo on a 3-on-1 rush created by a turnover that caught Vancouver defenseman Dan Hamhuis chasing his lost stick.
"It's huge when you put a 40-goal scorer and Lupul can score at will," Perry said. "Put those guys back in the lineup and it takes a lot of pressure off us and puts a lot of pressure on the other team which line to check."
Selanne put the Ducks ahead after Perry came out of the box to create a Ducks power play and odd-man rush 17 seconds left in the second period. Perry opened the scoring on a power play as Anaheim went 2-for-4 against Vancouver's third-ranked penalty kill after failing to score in its last four games.
"It was a good challenge for our group," Tambellini said. "We came in here after two down one and I don't think we’d come back this year and we wanted to know that can do it and we have a solid group of guys and there was no panic on our bench, so a lot of credit goes to our group."
Material from wire services and team media was used in this report.
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1 - 0 ANA
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1 - 1 Tie
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