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Canucks win Halloween Marathon

by John Kreiser /
A few thoughts as we enter the new month following a wild night in Anaheim.

Haunted house — Halloween was the perfect night for the kind of game the Vancouver Canucks and Anaheim Ducks played Friday night.

How else to explain a game in which two of the NHL's most offensively challenged teams combined for 12 goals in regulation. A game in which one team blew a two-goal lead, only to see the other blow a three-goal lead? And a game that ended in a marathon shootout that saw 22 consecutive attempts stopped or missed before defenseman Mattias Ohlund scored to give the Canucks a 7-6 victory.

It was a game unlike any the Honda Center crowd — or the players — had ever seen.

"It took forever," said Anaheim goaltender Jonas Hiller, who replaced Jean-Sebastien Giguere after Vancouver took a 5-2 lead in the second period and wound up losing the shootout marathon. "That is probably one of the few games you’ll have in your whole career. It’s sad to lose it at the end."

"Roller coaster" can only begin to describe the ups and downs both teams went through.

"We went from two goals down to three goals up to one goal up to losing the lead in the last minute (of regulation)," Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said. "This is a great teaching opportunity. We'll try to use it to get better."

Anaheim's Corey Perry had a goal and four assists — the second five-point night by a Duck in as many games — and tied the game with 57 seconds left in regulation. Vancouver's top scorers, the Sedin twins, were held off the scoresheet — but the Canucks got two goals from Steve Bernier and a goal and two assists from defenseman Kevin Bieksa.

"It would have been a hard game to lose, but we won," said Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo, who wasn't great during regulation but made up for it with 12 saves in the shootout. "After each save (in the shootout), you just close your eyes and hope you can get one."

All in all, a game that perfectly matched the night it was played on.

"The game fit the day, I guess," Vancouver center Ryan Kesler said. "It was definitely a strange one. It was a fun game to play."

The Ducks saw their five-game winning streak ended in a game coach Randy Carlyle won't want to watch any time soon.

"Every game is not a Mona Lisa that you try to paint," Carlyle said. "Tonight was one of those games. I’m sure both coaches are not going to keep the DVD of this one. Either way, I look at it that we did some good things from a standpoint that we battled back when we were down and executed on power play to provide some offense. We’ve been on a pretty good string here, so we’ll just take the point and move forward."

Picking up where he left offPatrick Kane outscored all NHL rookies last season on the way to winning the Calder Trophy. His scoring touch hasn't disappeared in his sophomore season.

Kane had a goal and two assists in Chicago's 5-2 victory over Dallas. He now has 6 goals and 12 points in the Hawks' first 10 games this season after going 21-52-72 as a rookie.

Kane's goal came when he finished off a 2-on-1 break with Martin Havlat by burying a short wrist shot. He said he has to get close to the net to be a goal-scorer.

"The goalies here are so much better than juniors," the No. 1 pick in the 2007 Entry Draft said. "You're not going to beat them from 40 feet. My whole life has been scoring from 10 feet; I've got to get back to that."

Dallas coach Dave Tippett would like his team to get back to playing the kind of defense that carried the Stars to the Western Conference Finals last spring. Dallas has allowed a League-high 45 goals in 11 games — more than four per contest.

"We made too many mistakes to win the game," Tippett said. ''We wanted to play a sound road game. We weren't close to playing a sound road game.

"You just can't give them outnumbered breaks," he added. "That's just brain cramps and turnovers by us."

Material from wire services and team online and broadcast media was used in this report

Contact John Kreiser at

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