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Canucks outlast Ducks in 13-round shootout

by John Kreiser / NHL.com
The number 13 turned out to be a lucky one for Mattias Ohlund and the Vancouver Canucks.

In a wild Halloween night game against the Anaheim Ducks in which neither team had any difficulty putting the puck in the net during regulation, Ohlund finally lit the lamp in the 13th round of the shootout and gave the Canucks an exhausting 7-6 win at Honda Center on Friday.

Sent out as the 26th shooter in the tiebreaker, Ohlund skated in on Anaheim goalie Jonas Hiller and took a wrist shot that grazed off the inside of the left post and found the back of the net. It gave the Canucks a win in a game in which they trailed 2-0 and then blew 5-2 and 6-5 leads.

"It's two points regardless of how many goals we gave up," said Ohlund, who also had a power-play goal during a back-and-forth second period.

Kyle Wellwood scored in the first round of the shootout for the Canucks, but Ryan Getzlaf answered immediately for the Ducks. The next 22 attempts either were stopped by the goaltenders, missed the net or, in the case of Anaheim's Travis Moen in the 11th round, rang loudly off the post.

The shootout tied for the second longest in NHL history, matching a Rangers-Flyers contest on Oct. 7, 2006, in which Marcel Hossa won it for New York in the 13th round. The Rangers also won the League's longest shootout, a 15-rounder, when Marek Malik beat the Capitals on Nov. 26, 2005.

Winning goaltender Roberto Luongo, playing in his 500th game, stopped 31 shots during regulation and overtime before denying 12 of 13 shootout attempts.

"It would have been a tough game to lose, but we won," Luongo said. "After each save, you just close your eyes and hope you get one."

Said Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault: "You take it one shooter at a time. Roberto came up big. It was fun to see Mattias win it for the team."

Almost lost in the thrilling finish was all the offense that took place during the first 60 minutes. Corey Perry became the second Anaheim player in as many games to enjoy a five-point night (Ryan Getzlaf assisted on all five goals in an overtime win Wednesday against Detroit), adding to his four assists by scoring with 57 seconds left and Hiller pulled for an extra attacker to force overtime and earn the Ducks a point. Teemu Selanne, who had a hat trick on Wednesday, notched two goals and added two assists.

"It was back and forth," Perry said. "We were up two, down three. It had everything in the game. We just came up short in the shootout. We didn't have a solid game. Coming away with one point is good, but we always like to get two."

Steve Bernier had a two-goal night for the Canucks; his second goal was a power-play tally that gave Vancouver a 6-5 lead 8:39 into the third. Kevin Bieksa finished with a goal and a pair of assists.

Anaheim's power play clicked early in the game, as Scott Niedermayer opened the scoring on a man advantage at 8:28 with his first of the season, and Selanne followed at 12:24 with another 5-on-4 goal. But this was only the beginning of the fireworks.

Bernier answered 19 seconds later to get the Canucks within 2-1 heading to the second period, at which point each team's offense seemed to throw caution to the wind and the defenses and goaltenders just couldn't keep up.

 
 


Ryan Kesler tied the score at 7:57 and Alex Burrows' shorthanded goal at 11:23 sparked a three-goal burst by Vancouver in a span of under four minutes for a 5-2 lead. Ohlund sent Anaheim starting goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere to the bench with 5:22 left in the period and it took Bieksa all of 41 seconds to give Hiller a rude welcome by scoring on the Canucks' first shot against him.

But not only did the Ducks cut into that deficit before the second had ended, they completely erased it by putting on a scoring display of their own. Steve Montador, Chris Pronger and Selanne scored in a 1:50 span, with Montador's first of the season coming 18 seconds after Bieska's goal and Pronger following 23 seconds later. Selanne's eighth of the season was Anaheim's third power-play goal of the night.

"It seemed like every puck went in somehow," said Hiller, who finished with 14 saves. "I think we showed a lot of character in fighting back when we were behind a couple of goals. We deserved that point, too bad we couldn't get two in the shootout."

Vancouver swept two games in Southern California — the Canucks blanked the Kings 4-0 on Thursday — and returns home Sunday for a game against defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit. It's safe to say another barnburner is not in the game plan.

"The defense is a little concern," Ohlund said. "We have a lot to do, but we're happy about the road trip."

Added Vigneault: "This is a great teaching opportunity. We'll try to use it to get better."
   
Material from wire services and team broadcast and online media was used in this report.





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