Ducks capitalize on two-man advantage to beat Canucks

The Canadian Press
By: The Canadian Press
Dec 1, 2006
The Hockey News

Ducks capitalize on two-man advantage to beat Canucks

The Canadian Press
By: The Canadian Press
Dec 1, 2006

Especially when they have a two-man advantage late in the game and Ryan Getzlaf poised to tee up the game-winner Thursday night in a 2-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer created the play and the space for Getzlaf and he delivered his second winning goal in as many games.

"He set up the whole play," Getzlaf said of Niedermayer's room-service pass to the top of the face-off circle. "They kind of respect (Pronger) on the back end there quite a bit and it opened up a little space for me."

The goal was Getzlaf's fourth in six games and 11th of the season for the 2003 first-round (19th overall) pick from Regina.

"It's good to get rolling a little bit now and find that groove," said Getzlaf, whose team boasts a 19-2-6 record and is first overall in the NHL. "It's nice to contribute when you can in the third period like that.

"I try to contribute as much offensively with the minutes I'm getting. Power plays are a big part of my game. That's where I get a lot of my minutes and I've got to capitalize on them."

Andy McDonald gave the Ducks a first-period lead when he recovered a puck in the Vancouver zone, went to the net to take Sean O'Donnell's pass and beat Luongo with a sharp-angled shot.

Rookie Alexander Edler tied the game in the third period when his blast from the blue-line eluded goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who was screened by Canuck forward Daniel Sedin.

But the Canucks, who fell to 12-13-1, then took three consecutive penalties.

Goalie Roberto Luongo was partly the author of his own misfortune when he created the decisive two-man advantage on a delay-of-game penalty for shooting the puck out of the rink.

"It was a tough break," Luongo said. "I went to shoot it and as I did the puck rolled up a little on me.

"There's no way I could get it that high in a normal situation."

Anaheim, which embarrassed the Canucks 6-0 here on Nov. 9 and have won six straight games in Vancouver, took command with a strong forecheck.

"We have to be a forechecking team to be effective," said coach Randy Carlyle. "When we started to forecheck, that turned the momentum of the game."

Carlyle said Getzlaf is becoming a more complete player in his second NHL season and he doesn't worry about who he is playing against on the ice.

"What we've asked him to do is play solid defensively first and foremost," Carlyle said of the former junior star with the Western Hockey League's Calgary Hitmen.

"He has to provide energy at times for us and thirdly he gets those offensive minutes so he has to have some form of contribution in that respect and he's delivered on all accounts so far."

Niedermayer said first overall is great but that presents other challenges.

"When you get in this situation it can become a challenge to keep pushing and playing well and not let in bad habits and that's what we're focusing on now."

Giguere, who stopped 23 shots but just missed his third shutout in November, said hard work is has been the key to the Ducks' best start in franchise history.

"The reason we have so good a record is not because we're so good on paper," Giguere said. "We work hard every night.

"When we're down a couple of goals (like Tuesday in Edmonton) we never quit. We keep going ahead and that makes for a good hockey team."

The Canucks, meanwhile continue to struggle to score with only two goals or less in 12 of their last 14 games.

"It was a tough loss," said Canucks captain Markus Naslund. "I thought we worked hard and again took too many penalties.

"You watch a good team like Anaheim and with their discipline ... it's no fluke that they only took two penalties (to seven for Vancouver)."

Edler scored in just his seventh NHL game.

"It feels good that I can help," he said. "It was great to get my first goal ... it will also boost my confidence."

NOTES: Marc Chouinard was back in the Vancouver lineup in place of Josh Green who suffered a foot injury in practice ... Scott Niedermayer leads all Western Conference vote-getters in all-star balloting but Pronger had more points and a better plus-minus going into Thursday's action ... Luongo was hit in the throat in practice Wednesday by a Mattias Ohlund shot.

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Ducks capitalize on two-man advantage to beat Canucks