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Quick start, Gibson help Ducks defeat Canucks

by Abbey Mastracco /

ANAHEIM -- Shawn Horcoff, Rickard Rakell, Jakob Silfverberg and Corey Perry scored and John Gibson earned his third career shutout in the Anaheim Ducks' 4-0 win against the Vancouver Canucks at Honda Center on Monday.

It was this type of effort that Anaheim center Ryan Kesler felt was coming when he expressed his belief earlier Monday that the Ducks would reach the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"Every aspect of our game was good tonight," Kesler said. "We're going to win games that we shouldn't, coming down to the last 60 or so games, but we're going to win if we play like we played tonight. We need to keep playing that way."

Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau was especially impressed with rookies Gibson and Nick Ritchie.

Gibson, who had a shutout against the Canucks in his NHL debut on April 7, 2014, made 25 saves in his third straight start.

"He made the saves he had to make," Boudreau said. "I didn't think they had an awful lot of scoring chances, but he controlled the rebounds. We won faceoffs, which was great because he was holding on to the puck and I think he did a good job."

Ritchie earned his first NHL point with the primary assist on Silfverberg's third-period goal. It helped to further solidify his role on the checking line with Kesler and Silfverberg.

"That was a great play he made to [Silfverberg]," Boudreau said. "He's finishing his checks all the time and he's becoming defensively responsible. I think he has the odd mistake here and there, but I think he's done a really good job for a 19-year-old kid."

Horcoff scored 1:19 into the game on a shot from the right circle.

Anaheim (9-11-5) went up 2-0 at 19:57 in the first period on Rakell's power-play goal. Canucks goalie Ryan Miller was forced out the net on a scramble and Rakell scored off a rebound from a shot by Ryan Getzlaf.

"There've been a few other goals where our situational play is not good enough," Canucks captain Henrik Sedin said. "We know when there's a minute or two left in the period and being down 1-0 is a big difference from being down 2-0."

Turnovers in the neutral zone doomed the Canucks in the third period. Silfverberg capitalized on one exactly a minute into the third period and Perry scored on a breakaway at 8:39 after Canucks defenseman Dan Hamhuis turned the puck over in the neutral zone. Perry's goal gave Anaheim a 4-0 lead.

"We didn't have a good first period, but we were there until the last 10 seconds of that period," Canucks coach Willie Desjardins said. "That was a big goal. We found a little bit of legs in the second and then they scored to start the third. We played a better second, but that early one in the third hurt us."

Miller was then removed from the game in favor of Jacob Markstrom. Miller finished with 25 saves.

The Canucks' (9-9-7) streak of eight straight games with a power-play goal ended.

Vancouver right wing Jake Virtanen left the game at 14:02 of the first period after taking a hit from Josh Manson. He did not return and is unlikely to play against the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday.

"It's upper-body. I don't expect he'll be in tomorrow," Desjardins said. "No, I don't think it will be serious, but I don't know exactly how long. It's not serious."

Anaheim left wing Patrick Maroon limped off the ice late in the third period after taking a skate to the leg during an altercation between Getzlaf and Vancouver center Jared McCann.

"It's just more of a big raspberry," Boudreau said.

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