Message sent. Message received. Three days after a lopsided defeat at home to Calgary, the Ducks made sure it wouldn't happen again. They jumped out to an early three-goal lead and never looked back in a 5-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena on Sunday afternoon.
Adam Henrique delivered a multi-goal performance and reached the 20-goal mark for the fifth time in the past seven seasons, and John Gibson delivered a strong 37-save performance in goal to give the Ducks their fifth win in the past nine games (5-2-2). They improved to 7-3-2 in their past 12 overall, and have earned points in six of their past seven (4-1-2).
It wasn't all pretty, but the Ducks delivered when given the opportunity today. They went 2-for-2 on the power play with goals from Henrique and Derek Grant to give them a 3-0 cushion. Then, five minutes into the third period, Sam Steel delivered a crucial insurance marker to make it 4-1.
"I thought we did a pretty good job for the most part," said Grant, who finished with a goal and an assist. "Gibby was great when we needed him to be. They have a good team over there. They seem to come in waves throughout the game, and he was sharp when he had to be. We were able to get him some goals to help him out."
The Ducks have owned the Canucks as of late, improving to 22-5-4 in the past 31 meetings. They've also remained strong when leading after two periods this season, boosting their record to 20-2-2 when holding a lead into the final frame.
Anaheim also gave Canucks goaltender (and San Diego native) Thatcher Demko his first regulation loss at home this season (7-1-1), and Vancouver just its seventh home loss in regulation (19-7-3).
With the victory today, the Ducks have earned points in six straight road games (4-0-2). "We've been playing good hockey on the road," said Steel. "Desperate for points is what it comes down to. Not all of them are pretty, but we're finding ways to win."
Henrique opened the scoring at the 5:38 mark of the first period when his intended pass caromed off Canucks defenseman Troy Stecher's stick and past Demko. It marked Henrique's team-leading 19th goal of the season, and it came off a nice cross-seam pass from Nick Ritchie, who spotted the veteran center sneaking backdoor.
Video: ANA@VAN: Henrique nets fortuitous goal off stick
Anaheim doubled its lead with 7:38 remaining in the opening frame when Grant finished a nice feed from Ryan Getzlaf on the power play for his 14th goal of the season. The beat kept on going for the veteran center, whose previous single-season high in goals was 12.
Video: ANA@VAN: Grant buries Getzlaf's pretty feed for PPG
"With a player like Getzy, you always have to be ready because he'll find you," said Grant. "I had an idea he'd try that when he went behind the net. Tried to get myself available. He made a great play."
Henrique potted his second goal of the game at the 7:25 mark of the middle frame when he buried a superb pass from Troy Terry, who threaded the needle to find the veteran center stationed at the left faceoff dot for his team-leading fifth power-play goal of the season.
Video: ANA@VAN: Henrique pots Terry's pretty feed for PPG
Vancouver's lone goal came from Elias Pettersson, whose one-timer from the top of the right dot sailed over Gibson's right shoulder for his 24th goal of the season with nine minutes remaining in the second period.
Steel gave the Ducks a 4-1 lead early in the third when he crashed the net and sent a shot into the top corner for his fifth goal of the season. If you go back to the last time these two teams met (March 26, 2019), Steel has four goals in two games at Rogers Arena, including his first career hat trick.
Video: ANA@VAN: Steel one-times Shore's feed past Demko
"I thought we did a good job finishing," said Steel. "We've been getting chances, but pucks haven't been going in. Whenever you can put up five, it's a big night for the team."
Brendan Guhle made it 5-1 with 6:15 left on the clock when he finished a silky backhanded pass from Grant for his second career NHL goal.
Video: ANA@VAN: Guhle taps Grant's feed home in front
The Ducks will seek revenge tomorrow afternoon as they close out this two-game road trip against the Flames (1 p.m. PT).