VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -Roberto Luongo bought his Canucks enough time to get going offensively and avenge last season's playoff loss to Anaheim.
Luongo made 15 of his 26 saves in the first period, and Vancouver responded with three-straight goals in the second en route to a 4-0 win over the Ducks on Tuesday night. Ryan Kesler added his second of the game on a third-period power play as the Canucks improved to 8-1-2 in their last 11 games.
"Our first period was poor, but after that I thought we poured it on and dominated the game, said Markus Naslund, who had a goal and an assist.
Matt Cooke also scored, and Mattias Ohlund and Henrik Sedin each had two assists for the Canucks, but Luongo provided most of the early highlights. It was his second straight shutout after making 27 saves against Chicago on Sunday night.
"They were firing everything at the net and I was able to challenge the shooter every time," Luongo said. "Luckily there was no backdoor plays or stuff like that and no rebounds so it makes me much more comfortable knowing that I can focus on the shooter.
Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 23 saves before being pulled in the third period as Anaheim lost in regulation for the second time in nine games (5-2-2).
"They came out with a better resolve in the second period and we made some mistakes and it cost us, said Ducks captain Chris Pronger.
The game was hyped as the return of former Canucks forward Todd Bertuzzi for the first time since he was traded away from Vancouver in June 2006. But it quickly turned into a hard-fought contest between two teams that built up animosity in the playoffs last season, and featured plenty of post-whistle scrums, seven roughing penalties, one fight and three misconducts.
"It's out of the way and time to move on for everyone," said Bertuzzi, who played eight seasons in Vancouver and received a rousing ovation during a pregame tribute on the arena scoreboard.
"I thought we really came out in the first and played good for some reason in the second we backed off and ended up getting in penalty trouble. It's a frustrating game out there, I wish we came out a lot hungrier in the second."
The majority of the penalties were against Anaheim. After going without one in the first period, the Ducks took 16 penalties over the final 40 minutes. They were down two men four times and Vancouver converted two of 10 power plays overall.
"In my mind they could have got a penalty on every shift," said Canucks coach Alain Vigneault. "It's amazing the stick work and the cross checking that they do and get away with and their good players get away with."
As he did during the Ducks' five-game win in the second round of the postseason, Luongo starred for the Canucks. But unlike that series, the Canucks found a way to solve Giguere on this night.
The Canucks were outshot 15-5 in the opening period and Luongo kept the game scoreless by making a handful of highlight-reel saves. Vancouver turned the tables in the second, scoring three times before Anaheim managed its first shot on net with six minutes left.
Naslund opened the scoring 3:2O into the period with a perfect wrist shot off the post and in over Giguere's glove. Kesler doubled the lead just 10 seconds into a 5-on-3 power play, shoveling a rebound under the Ducks goalie.
Matt Cooke scored on a deflection four minutes later and Kesler added his second on a power-play breakaway five minutes into the third period.
Giguere played another three minutes before giving way to rookie Jonas Hiller.
"Last year in the playoffs we were pretty sour they knocked us out and we wanted to come out and not get dominated by them tonight," said Kesler, who was felled by a Pronger cross-check to the back while celebrating his first goal. "You can clearly see my hands were in the air already. He just wanted to get a lick in."
Pronger saw it differently.
I don t know I turned around and you go to the net and try to clear it, that s a defenseman s job, said Pronger.