VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- Vaclav Prospal and Jean-Sebastien Giguere
used Anaheim's winning playoff formula from last season to get the Mighty Ducks
their first win of 2004.
Prospal scored the go-ahead goal midway through the second period and
Giguere stopped Daniel Sedin on a penalty shot eight minutes later, leading the
Mighty Ducks over the Vancouver Canucks 2-1 Saturday night.
Todd Simpson also scored and Giguere finished with 24 saves for the Mighty
Ducks, who are 1-5-3-0 since last winning on New Year's Eve.
"That's the hockey we played last year in the playoffs," said Giguere, the
playoff MVP after leading Anaheim to within a win of the Stanley Cup last
season. "We played good defensively and capitalized on our chances."
Prospal also showed signs of a return to his form of last season, when he
scored a career-best 22 goals and 79 points with the Tampa Bay Lightning before
signing a five-year, $16.4 million contract in Anaheim as a free agent.
He ended a 17-game goal drought by snapping home a cross-crease pass from
Joffrey Lupul after a three-on-three break at the Canucks' blue line turned
into a two-on-one down low.
"We don't really gave too many hot guys on this team right now so whoever
can score a goal it's a huge plus," said Prospal, who scored his seventh of
The win was the Mighty Ducks' first in Vancouver since Feb. 20, 1999, ending
a 0-6-2 road run against the Canucks. It was also just the second win for
Anaheim all season after giving up the opening goal. The Mighty Ducks remain
last in the Pacific Division and 13th in the Western Conference with just 40
"For us to score two or three goals takes a lot of shots so this is a big
step for us confidence-wise to win a game on the road," Prospal said.
Vancouver hasn't won a game in regulation since Nov. 8. Henrik Sedin scored
and Dan Cloutier made 29 saves for the Canucks, who are 0-4-2-0 in their last
six home games.
All six have been the first game back after a road trip for Vancouver, which
will play consecutive contests in the same city for the first time in more than
a month when it hosts Dallas on Monday.
"A lot of us are tired," captain Markus Naslund said. "I've said before
the first game back is tough. Hopefully now we can get that feeling of having
home-ice advantage. Right now, we're not feeling that."
Henrik Sedin opened the scoring on a brilliant individual effort midway
through the first period. After picking up the puck behind his own net and
skating untouched through center, he slipped the puck between the legs of
defenseman Niclas Havelid and moved around him just inside the Anaheim blue
Sedin then beat Giguere one-on-one with a backhand deke to the far side.
After going 31 games between his first and second goals of the season, Sedin
has five goals and five assists in his last 10 games.
The streak didn't rub off on his brother, however. Daniel Sedin was awarded
a penalty shot when Henrik's pass sent him in alone and Vitaly Vishnevski
hauled him down with 1:59 left in the second.
Daniel faked a wrist shot from the slot on the penalty shot and tried a deke
to his backhand, but Giguere was waiting with his left pad at the side of the
"I didn't want to give him anything to shoot at," Giguere said. "I just
wanted him to deke and I thought he made a great move, but I had good momentum
and I was able to cover the bottom of the net."
Simpson tied it from a bad angle just 2:16 into the second period, when his
shot from the corner along the goal line hit Cloutier as he hugged the near
post and trickled in off his equipment.
Simpson has scored all four of his goals in the last six games to set a new
Lupul hit the post behind Cloutier 30 seconds later, then set up Prospal's
winner midway through the period as Anaheim outshot Vancouver 27-16 through 40
"It's a break, but you've got to take advantage of it," Anaheim coach Mike
Babcock said of Simpson s goal. "They got a break on a called penalty shot and
they didn't take advantage of it."
Both teams also failed to take advantage of three power plays as they
continued to struggle with the man advantage.
The Canucks didn't even manage a shot in their three chances and are
2-for-27 in the last eight games. Anaheim is 0-for-20 in its last six