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Ducks end skid with OT win against Canucks

by Brian Compton
Anaheim Ducks general manager Bob Murray looked like one sharp individual on Wednesday night.

Scott Niedermayer scored at 3:37 of overtime, but recent acquisitions Petteri Nokelainen, Erik Christensen and Ryan Whitney all played huge roles in the Ducks' 4-3 win against the Vancouver Canucks at the Honda Center.

With the win, the Ducks put an end to their three-game skid.

Nokelainen, Teemu Selanne and Ryan Getzlaf also scored, while Christensen and Whitney each had two assists. Jonas Hiller made 32 saves for the victory.

The win gives the Ducks 70 points, tying idle Minnesota and Dallas for ninth place in the Western Conference, one point behind Edmonton and Nashville for the final playoff spot. The Canucks, who have lost two in a row after winning 12 of their previous 14, are fifth in the conference with 77 points.

"It's a good win. Two points. For sure, we're happy about that, but we've got a long way to go," Niedermayer said. "It's nice to get back on the winning way. The fans deserve it. They deserve better than what they've got."

Alex Burrows, Kyle Wellwood and Ryan Kesler scored for the Canucks, who won the previous meeting 7-6 in a 13-round shootout on Oct. 31 in Anaheim. Luongo made 37 saves, the first time he allowed more than three goals in his last 12 starts.

"We wanted this win. We did a lot of good things to fight back. We battled twice to tie it up. And then to give up a breakaway at the end is pretty frustrating," Burrows said. "Right now, it feels like we gave up a point."

Kesler got the equalizer with 4:58 left in the third period, poking the puck past Hiller after Pavol Demitra's pass from behind the net caromed off Mats Sundin and right to Kesler. Burrows and Kesler reached the 20-goal plateau on the same night, giving Vancouver three 20-goal scorers for the fourth straight season.

Hiller stopped all 12 shots he faced during Vancouver's first four power plays, and the first 22 overall by the Canucks, before they tied it at 2 at 10:37 of the second period on shots by Burrows and Wellwood 50 seconds apart.

The Ducks regained the lead at 13:21 of the period when Nokelainen converted a rebound after Luongo stopped Christensen's wrist shot from the top of the right circle. The goal ended a 42-game drought going back to last season for Nokelainen, acquired from Boston on March 4 for defenseman Steve Montador.

Selanne opened the scoring at 17:35 of the first period with his 21st goal and 573rd of his career, tying Mike Bossy for 18th place on the career list. Henrik Sedin attempted a backhanded clearing pass from the left corner and put it right onto the stick of Selanne, who carried it into the low slot and beat Luongo between the pads.

The Ducks made it 2-0 at 6:26 of the second period with Getzlaf's 21st goal and first in eight games. Whitney's wrist shot from the left point hit traffic in front of the net and Christensen pushed the puck over to Getzlaf, who had plenty of daylight to shoot at with Luongo out of position.

"It's obviously exciting for me to get that off my back now," Getzlaf said of ending his personal slump. "Hopefully I can keep rolling. The last little bit has been a tough battle. We need this down the stretch."

Demitra was sent off for hooking Getzlaf 2:13 into OT, but a penalty to Selanne for holding Mattias Ohlund negated the power play. The teams were skating 3-on-3 when Chris Pronger gave the puck to Niedermayer at the Anaheim blue line, and he outskated Daniel Sedin before beating Luongo to the stick side.

"He's one of the only guys that has that kind of speed at the end of the game," Getzlaf said of Niedermayer. "He was able to get it past Luongo, and that's not an easy task."

Senators 3, Lightning 2 (OT) | Video

With girlfriend Carrie Underwood watching from a luxury box, Mike Fisher scored 2:38 into overtime on Wednesday night, lifting Ottawa to a victory against Tampa Bay at Scotiabank Place.

The win was the fourth in a row for the Sens, who finished an eight-game homestand in dramatic fashion. Fisher won it off a rebound in front after Karri Ramo made an initial save against defenseman Chris Phillips.

"We've felt like we've upped our game and we're finding little ways to win and trying to be patient regardless of the circumstance in the game," Fisher said. "I think we've done a good job of not panicking and tonight we stuck it out and got a big win."

Brian Elliott made 22 saves for his fourth straight victory, and Ryan Shannon and Chris Kelly scored in regulation. The Senators were 5-2-1 on the homestand.



"I was just trying to crash the net and Philly got a good shot on net and I was able to get the rebound," Fisher said. "It was nice to get that one in overtime. I don't think we played our best game and we have to be better in certain areas."

The Lightning, coming off a 9-3 home loss to Carolina on Saturday night, have lost four straight and 15 of 19. Cory Murphy and Adam Hall scored for Tampa Bay.

"We played hard," Lightning coach Rick Tocchet said. "I don't think we gave them much and the goals that they did get they were opportunistic. I thought we played good and I was happy after our last game that they came out with this effort.

"You can tell the guys played a lot harder than Saturday, but it was still a tough one because you want to win these types of games."

Ottawa's Jason Spezza appeared to score with just under 5 minutes to play, but the goal was immediately waved off because Spezza kicked the puck into the net. After a video review, the call on the ice stood.

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


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