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Ducks top Canucks in OT for another win by one goal

by Curtis Zupke

ANAHEIM -- A night full of frustration for the Anaheim Ducks ended in Cam Fowler's ignorant bliss.

Fowler didn't realize he scored the overtime goal that gave Anaheim a 2-1 win against the Vancouver Canucks until the sellout crowd of 17,374 at Honda Center was in full roar Sunday.

"It was kind of a weird play," Fowler said. "It was kind of stuck in someone's feet. So I just gave it a good whack, and by the time I stood up, I saw people celebrating. That's how I knew."

Fowler put in a rebound at 2:42 of overtime after Vancouver goalie Ryan Miller kicked out the puck on Devante Smith-Pelly's redirect attempt off a pass from Ryan Getzlaf.

The Ducks (24-8-6) are an NHL-best 18-0-6 in one-goal games after they erased a 1-0 deficit in the third period. Fifteen of Anaheim's past 17 wins have been by one goal.

"You don't go through the playoffs with too many games where there's more than three or four goals on any given night, so you have to be comfortable playing in these one-goal games," Fowler said. "We've certainly had a lot of them this year. You have to be able to overcome those deficits and you have to be able to hold the lead. We're learning how to do that and growing as a team."

The Ducks, who lead the NHL with 54 points, will play eight of their next nine games at home, including seven in a row. With their lone road game over that stretch against the Los Angeles Kings, they won't play outside of Southern California until Jan. 27 in Vancouver.

The Canucks (20-11-3), who had not played since a 7-1 win against the Arizona Coyotes on Dec. 22, had two shots in the third period and six in the final 40 minutes of regulation.

Miller made 29 saves for Vancouver.

"Not good enough," Canucks coach Willie Desjardins said. "If we want to win in this league, we've got to take the puck to the net. We can't rely on our goaltender. If we're just going to sit back, rely and hope we get points, we're not going to get points. As a group we know we have to get better."

Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin's first goal this season at 6:52 of the third tied the game 1-1. Getzlaf won a faceoff against Bo Horvat cleanly to Beauchemin, who was playing his second game since returning after missing nearly a month with a broken finger.

"It was a big relief," Beauchemin said. "When you haven't scored by Christmas, you're a little worried. I missed a lot of games, but it was a pretty big goal for me."

Canucks defenseman Yannick Weber scored his third goal on a long, seeing-eye wrist shot from the right side that found the corner of the net 2:04 into the second period. Vancouver dumped the puck in, and Jannik Hansen threw it back out to Weber, who has two goals in the past three games.

Anaheim controlled much of the second period and got two great scoring chances. Emerson Etem stripped Canucks defenseman Luca Sbisa near the goal line and set upPatrick Maroon on the doorstep, but Miller made the save. Andrew Cogliano took a no-look pass from Jakob Silfverberg and hit the crossbar just before the horn.

Cogliano also hit the post with about two minutes left in regulation. This came after he hit a post Saturday in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Arizona Coyotes.

"It [stinks], to be honest," Cogliano said. "But … we're in first place. That's the bottom line. All that matters is the team wins, and we're doing that. For myself, I put the most pressure on myself, as an individual. No fan, no media, no one on the outside can put more pressure than I do myself. I'm trying as hard as I possibly can to score a goal and help the team."

Vancouver's missed golden chance came when Daniel Sedin lost the puck on a breakaway in overtime.

Henrik Sedin said it might have been a detriment to have five days off. Vancouver was one of four teams that did not play Saturday.

"I think on a day like this, maybe the only time, it benefits you to play the day before," Henrik Sedin said. "You could tell our heads weren't there. We didn't make the right plays all the time. A little bit sluggish, and that's enough, against a good team, to not look good."

The Ducks had three full power plays and had one shot total. They are 0-for-16 with the man advantage over the past six games.

The return of forward Corey Perry, who is out with a sprained knee, would help on the power play, but Boudreau said, "We've been talking about realistic for him coming back for two-and-a-half weeks. He'll come back when he comes back. I don't even know anymore. There's no set timeline. He'll be back at least for April 1. I'm giving him a little bit of leeway."

Anaheim goalie Frederik Andersen, who made 13 saves, set a Ducks record for wins in a month with 10. He made his 23rd start in 24 games.

Getzlaf's two assists give him 20 points in December, breaking the Ducks' previous record for the month, according to Elias Sports Bureau. Paul Kariya (1996) and Teemu Selanne (2006) each had 19.

Ducks forward Max Friberg made his NHL debut after he was recalled from the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League.

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