Ryan Getzlaf sat this one out as a result of an upper-body injury sustained at the morning skate before the Buffalo game — which he of course played in — and Patrick Maroon drew back in to the lineup. Predictably, this prompted a pretty significant mixup in the forward lines. Bruce Boudreau started the game with these combinations:
An under-the-weather Jonas Hiller backed up Frederik Andersen, but stayed in the tunnel/dressing room all game instead of sitting on the bench, and Boudreau elected to sit Sami Vatanen in favor of Ben Lovejoy.
First Period Recap: Defense prevailed in the opening 20 — neither team scored and both teams played long stretches between good chances. The Canucks outshot the Ducks 13-5, and played a stronger game all around. The first great chance of the game came off the stick of Zac Dalpe, who found himself in alone thanks to poor positioning by both Bryan Allen and Francois Beauchemin. Andersen did not have to make a save, however, as Dalpe flubbed his backhander wide.
Shortly thereafter, Jason Garrison went to the box for high-sticking Corey Perry, and the Getzlaf-less power play proceeded to waste two minutes of everybody's time, not even bothering to get set up, much less threatening to score.
A few minutes later, Garrison attempted an ill-advised zone clear that Luca Sbisa intercepted and sent down low to Perreault. One nifty Perreault backhand pass later, Perry found himself face to face with Lack, but the Canucks goalie made the save.
Almost exactly a minute after the Perry chance, Alexandre Burrows tried a wraparound and he had Andersen beat, but Daniel Winnik made a great play to dive across and block the puck. Upon closer examination of the replay, it appears Burrows lost the puck a split second before Winnik showed up, so it wouldn't have gone in regardless.
Garrison partly redeemed himself for his penalty and turnover by blocking a Teemu Selanne shot that was made possible by a nice pass from Nick Bonino behind the goal line. Not long after that, Rickard Rakell wristed one wide off an Emerson Etem rebound.
The Ducks got away with one with under five minutes to go in the period when Burrows blocked a point shot from Sbisa and skated around the flat-footed defender. Sbisa slashed the stick out from Burrows' hands, but the refs somehow elected not to make a call. [Ed. Note: For the record, I disagree. I say fantastic no call by the refs. If the stick breaks, fine, but you can't go around giving penalties to everyone who drops their stick at the slightest touch. Especially Burrows, who has been known to draw the odd penalty by nefarious means. -CK]
In the final few minutes of the opening frame, the Canucks really went to work, controlling the puck deep in the Ducks' zone and generating a few quality chances. Their best came with 32 seconds left in the period. Dustin Penner turned the puck over to Kevin Bieksa at the Canucks' blue line, who carried it the other way and forced Andersen to make a good glove save. Bieksa, let the record show, was a big part of Vancouver's attack all night long, joining and occasionally leading the rush in all three periods.
Second Period Recap: Cam Fowler started this one off with what can be retrospectively categorized as a smart penalty by taking away an opportunity from the offensively-inclined defenseman Christopher Tanev. The penalty kill played a solid one minute and fifty-five seconds, right up until Beauchemin completely missed an admittedly bouncing puck and Bieksa skated right around him, beat Andersen's poke check, and shoveled a backhander into the Dane's blocker. The puck lay in front of the crease for what seemed to me a minute and must have seemed to Andersen an hour before Mike Santorelli got to it and inexplicably fired it wide. A How did that not go in? moment if I've ever seen one.
Soon after the resumption of even strength play, Hampus Lindholm turned the puck over in the neutral zone and added his name to the long list of Ducks who owe Frederik Andersen a beer. Jeremy Welsh made a nice move around Bonino and backhanded it into Andersen's pads. On the next shift, Lindholm almost scored. The top line executed two slick passes, Perry to Penner and Penner to Lindholm, but the rookie shot it wide on the backhand.
Eight and a half minutes into the period, the Ducks pulled off another impressive passing play, this time moving the puck from their goal line to the slot, completing six passes and attempting one more all within ten seconds. That attempted pass, which Lindholm directed at Perry, was the only one that could be considered "too cute", but it didn't matter because the puck found its way to Beauchemin at the point after that, and his slap shot hit Garrison's skate, Lack's shoulder, Perry's helmet, Perry's glove, Perry's stick, and finally the back of the net. 1-0 Ducks.
Throughout most of the second period, however, Vancouver outplayed the Ducks pretty badly. Shots were 16-11 in favor of the Canucks, but it looked worse than that. Most of the Ducks' shots were from the perimeter, and they had trouble exiting their zone. The breakout that led to the Perry goal was almost picture-perfect, but it was also an anomaly, at least in the middle twenty.
After Perry's goal, Rakell was the only Duck to generate a good scoring chance for a long time. He picked off a Ryan Stanton pass in the Canucks' zone, and Lack made a good pad save to stop his quasi-breakaway.
The second half of the period was the best ten minutes of play from a Vancouver perspective. Lots of possession for them, lots of time in the Anaheim zone. With just under six minutes to play, Tom Sestito put the Canucks on the board by burying a cross ice pass from Brad Richardson. Richardson had to beat Allen to the puck in order to make the pass, but Sestito didn't have to beat anyone except Andersen to make the shot because Sbisa was nowhere near him. Not much Andersen could do here.
A couple minutes later, the refs stuck Beauchemin with a high-sticking penalty, but apparently forgot which team he played for because they let the Ducks play with the puck for a little while before blowing the whistle. Again, the Ducks looked solid on the penalty kill. As Beauchemin's penalty expired, Fowler rushed the puck up the ice and created two pretty good chances, but the Ducks would have to wait another minute before taking the lead again.
Lindholm had the puck in his zone at the one-minute-left mark, and free of any pressure, he hit Perry at the Canucks' blue line with a good outlet pass. Perry slowed down after gaining the zone, giving Etem time to jump ahead before he passed it to the Long Beach native. Etem then found Bonino wide open on the right wing, and Bonino did not miss. No chance for Eddie Lack, and somehow the Ducks carried a one-goal lead into their dressing room.
Third Period Recap: 22 seconds in, Tanev sent the puck over the glass from his own zone, giving the Ducks their second power play of the night. Both teams finished 0/2 with the extra man, and this last power play was particularly bad. Teemu Selanne started it off with an ugly neutral zone turnover to Ryan Kesler, who couldn't make it past Cam Fowler, Shutdown Defender Extraordinaire.
Five and a half minutes into the period, Dustin Penner put the puck between Alexander Edler's legs, but he couldn't squeeze it through Lack. A couple shifts later, Selanne put together a couple of nice passes, but nothing really came of it. Chris Higgins and Perreault both had good opportunities after that, but Andersen and Lack stopped them. Perreault's opportunity came off of a good skating and passing play by Lindholm.
Just past the halfway mark of the period, Ben Lovejoy lost his stick while the Canucks had possession in the Ducks' zone, and Smith-Pelly handed him his. They managed to hold on until the next whistle, almost 30 seconds later, but Vancouver had their chances. A minute or so after that, Henrik Sedin (Very relieved that I haven't had to type that name until now.) delivered a typically perfect pass onto the Burrow's stick, but Andersen made the save on the ensuing shot.
The teams swapped scoring chances after that, including an Etem shot from the perimeter whose rebound Selanne may have gotten to if not for some good defense by Dan Hamhuis. Less than a minute later, Santorelli found himself wide open in the slot with the puck, but he missed high, marking the second time in the game that the hometown boy had a golden opportunity but didn't even force Andersen to make a save.
Despite controlling the puck in the Ducks' zone for most of the last few minutes, Vancouver wouldn't come any closer to tying the game, and Cogliano finished off the night with an empty net goal.
The Good: Despite playing without their captain and best player — not to mention the laundry list of other injured guys — the Ducks found a way to get two points out of this one, improving to 8-0 at home. Now that Vancouver is in the Pacific Division, this is really one of those four-point swings. Could be important down the road.
The Bad: It would have been nice to continue with the recent power play breakthrough, but without Getzlaf and facing the league's best PK, this one was an uphill battle. Not worth dwelling on, because Getzlaf shouldn't be out for long and the PP has looked good lately.
The Ugly: For the first time in what seems like a long time, the Ducks had a lot of trouble moving the puck across the Vancouver blue line in such a way that they maintained possession and gave themselves opportunities. For long stretches, their only shots came from the perimeter because they just weren't able to get into dangerous positions. Part of this is on the D for not always making the best outlet passes, but most of the blame falls on the forwards who either weren't attacking with enough speed or weren't making the right decision with the puck — skate, pass, shoot, or dump.
Next Game: Tuesday November 12 at 4:30 pm @ Florida Panthers