VANCOUVER, B.C. – Saku Koivu’s power-play goal at 15:48 of the third period gave the Anaheim Ducks a 3-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday.
Koivu converted a goalmouth pass from rookie Kyle Calder while Canucks defenceman Kevin Bieksa was serving a tripping penalty. Surprising rookie Dan Sexton had the second assist on the winner.
Sexton, who began the season in the ECHL and also spent time in the AHL, recorded two assists, extending his points streak to four games. He now has seven points in six career NHL games.
The Ducks (13-13-7) posted their third win in the past four games. The Canucks (19-15-1) saw their win streak end at three games. They have yet to record four straight victories this season.
The Ducks outshot the Canucks 34-30, incliding 13-2 in the first period and 24-13 after 40 minutes. Vancouver came alive in the third while trying to overcome a 2-1 deficit.
Bobby Ryan, in the first period, and Ryan Getzlaf, in the second, also scored for Anaheim
Henrik Sedin and Steve Bernier replied for the Canucks, who were blanked on five power play chances while the Ducks scored on one of four.
Ryan opened the scoring at 11:48, beating Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo through the legs after Canucks defenceman Shane O’Brien turned the puck over in the neutral zone.
Henrik Sedin tied it 1-1, beating Jonas Hiller on Vancouver’s second shot of the game at 17:07 of the first period. Henrik Sedin took a cross-ice pass from twin brother Daniel after the puck bounced over Ducks defenceman Scott Niedermayer’s stick near the Anaheim blue-line.
Henrik Sedin leapfrogged New York Rangers sniper Marian Gaborik into second place in the NHL scoring race behind Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks.
The Sedins helped each other extend their point streaks to eight games apiece. It was Henrik’s first goal in the streak.
The Canucks did not get their third shot of the night until about seven minutes had expired in the second period. But Luongo held the Ducks at bay until Getzlaf beat him on a rebound midway through the second period.
Fans protested the goal because, moments earlier, Kyle Calder tangled with Luongo and sent him to the ice momentarily. He still managed to dive across his crease and make a sensational save on Sheldon Brookbank, but Getzlaf easily fired the rebound into an open net.
O’Brien then fought Kyle Chipchura and Darcy Hordichuk squared off with fellow tough guy George Parros. The fights seemed to jolt the Canucks to life.
Bernier tied the game at 2-2 at 2:03 of the third. Hiller failed to snare a Tanner Glass shot from a sharp angle and Bernier poked in the rebound.
It was Bernier’s first goal in nine games
The Canucks had a chance to take the lead a few minutes later, but Hiller robbed Alex Burrows – ensuring there was no rebound this time – as he one-timed Daniel Sedin’s backhand pass from behind the net. He robbed Burrows again later on back-to-back chances before Koivu scored the winner.
Notes-Ducks winger Joffrey Lupul, who missed his third straight game, is due to undergo back surgery and will miss six to eight weeks . . . Canucks centre Kyle Wellwood returned to the press box as he was scratched for the third time in four games . . . The Ducks will play almost half their season on consecutive nights. Wednesday’s contest marked the beginning of their sixth of 17 sets of back-to-back games . . . Anaheim winger Mike Brown played his 100th career game. He broke into the league with the Canucks.