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Bonino, Canucks defeat Ducks in shootout

by Curtis Zupke

ANAHEIM -- The storybook ending came true for Nick Bonino and turned cruel for Ryan Kesler.

Bonino scored the only goal in a shootout that ended with Kesler hitting the goal post, giving the Vancouver Canucks a 2-1 win Sunday against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center.

Ex-Duck Bonino deked and slipped the puck under the right pad of Anaheim goalie Frederik Andersen in the first round of the tiebreaker. Kesler, playing against his former team for the first time since he was traded from Vancouver during the summer, needed to score in the third round to extend the shootout but wristed a shot off the metal.

Bonino, who was part of the package the Canucks received in the Kesler deal, also played his first game against his former teammates.

"It's pretty well-written if it's a movie," Bonino said. "I didn't really know what to do on Freddie. I had an idea in my mind, and I stuck to it this time, and he was with me the whole way. It just snuck under his legs. He played a great game for them, and obviously I'm happy about the outcome."

Vancouver finished 3-1-0 on its four-game trip and got two points after a 5-1 loss Saturday to the defensively shorthanded Los Angeles Kings.

Anaheim has points in five straight games (2-0-3), but Kesler's post shot summed up the Ducks' recent offensive struggles. Jakob Silfverberg also beat Canucks goalie Eddie Lack in the second round; he hit the crossbar.

"I had him beat," Kesler said. "Obviously shooting against him so much in practice in years before, I knew my move going down. The difference is we hit two pipes and they have one trickle over the line. That's the difference. I've said it before, I'm not big on shootouts. I'd rather play 3-on-3, 2-on-2 until we find a winner… you've got to give them credit. They fought hard. They're on a back-to-back and they played well."

Lack got his first win of the season (1-3-0), and the relief was evident on his face. He made seven of his 28 saves in overtime and also stopped Ryan Getzlaf in the first shootout attempt as Vancouver snapped a six-game losing streak to Anaheim.

"Huge, huge," Lack said. "When you get three losses to start the season, you kind of start thinking a little bit. But I feel like I've been able to focus on the right stuff here."

Lack acknowledged he was fortunate against Kesler.

"He made a good shot, I was just lucky it went post and out," Lack said. "He's a really good player and I felt I had to watch where he was all game. Obviously it's a really big game for me."

Vancouver carried the play for most of the third period, but Andersen kept Anaheim in it with 11 saves. He also made a breakaway stop on Jannik Hansen late in the second to preserve a 1-1 tie.

Vancouver forced overtime on Alexandre Burrows' deflection of Dan Hamhuis' throw-it-on-net floater at 11:49 of the second, and the game settled into a standoff with lots of compelling play but no scoring.

Kesler's emotions were evident early with his back-to-back hits on Daniel Sedin and Hansen. Then he got a faceoff win against Bonino to set up Sami Vatanen for a wrist shot that beat Lack to the glove side at 2:37 of the second.

"I liked it. It was fun," Kesler said of playing Vancouver. "I'm an intense guy, and I'm a competitor. I was trying my hardest out there."

Anaheim played two defensemen with a combined five games of NHL experience, Josh Manson and Mat Clark, because top-four defensemen Cam Fowler (lower body) and Francois Beauchemin (flu) were out; Perry (flu) was placed on injured reserve earlier in the day and is eligible to return Wednesday against the Kings.

Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau didn't use that as an excuse. Anaheim has scored more than two goals once in its past eight games, and Boudreau said their shootout was a microcosm of that.

"That's just the way our goal scoring is going," Boudreau said. "We're missing by just a tad here and a tad there. It wasn't like they just nicked the goal posts. They hit them head on. But, hey, that's the breaks of the game."

Vancouver also played without a trio of injured regulars; second-leading goal-scorer Radim Vrbata (lower body), right wing Derek Dorsett (undisclosed) and defenseman Luca Sbisa (undisclosed) were out.

Canucks left wing Brandon DeFazio made his NHL debut.

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