Final Score: Ducks 9 (yes, seriously), Canucks 1
First Period Recap: Fresh off a bitter 1-0 defeat to the Los Angeles Kings that featured a boatload of penalties and bad blood, the Vancouver Canucks were clearly looking to redeem themselves. Mere seconds into the game, they almost set themselves on the right foot. After a lazy turnover from Francois Beauchemin, Ryan Kesler rang a shot off the crossbar behind Anaheim Ducks starter Frederik Andersen.
But this wasn't your typical Ducks first period that we've come to know and... hate over the past couple months. The Ducks came out and played arguably their best opening period since October. Spurned onward by some stellar goaltending from Freddy Andersen, the Ducks quickly jumped into the lead on what would be the first of many, many goals tonight.
A neutral zone turnover led to a speedy break into the Canucks zone where Jakob Silfverberg found Andrew Cogliano alone streaking to the front of the net. Cogliano pulled his favorite move to the forehand and buried it behind Eddie Lack to make it 1-0 just under five minutes in.
Vancouver shook it off and kept coming after Anaheim, but Freddy Andersen stood tall and kept the Ducks ahead, making some stellar saves, including a big one point-blank late in the period on Ryan Kesler, who had snuck into a seam between all four Ducks on the ice and ripped a slap shot from the low slot.
The Ducks were able to double their lead not long after that. On the power play, Sami Vatanen ripped a slap shot from the top of the left circle that Teemu Selanne tipped over Eddie Lack's pad and into the corner of the goal. 2-0 Ducks.
That would be all for the first period with the shots finishing even at 11 each.
Second Period Recap: And then... all hell broke loose.
Just under four minutes into the frame, the Ducks established a harmless looking cycle in the Canucks zone. Corey Perry threw the puck from the corner to the front of the net where Canadian Olympian Dan Hamhuis tipped it past his own goaltender. 3-0 Ducks. This would spell the end of the evening for Eddie Lack.
On the six-minute mark, Nick Bonino got the Ducks second power play goal of the night. A long rebound caromed its way out to the high slot where Bonino recovered it, turned, let a shot go through a 405-at-rush-hour amount of traffic that burned debutante Joacim Eriksson. 4-0.
You gotta feel bad for this kid. At the age of 23 this was his first appearance in the NHL, and Vancouver Coach John Tortorella left him in for the rest of this game.
Bonino would get his second of the night (also on the power play, only this time in a 5-on-3) with just over five minutes remaining in the frame. A pretty passing play found captain Ryan Getzlaf all alone in the slot, but rather than shoot when everyone thought he was going to, he dished a pass off to Bones sitting wide open at a sharp angle. 5-0.
Not even a minute later Jakob Silfverberg got back in the goal column by banging a rebound behind a sprawled Eriksson after a big shot from Matthieu Perreault. 6-0 Ducks.
Vancouver did manage to get on the board at this point, however to say the goal was questionable... oh who the hell am I kidding there's no way it should have counted.
David Booth got a step on the Anaheim defense and tried to shove a puck through Andersen, who made the initial save. Booth then plowed straight into Andersen, knocking him out of the play, allowing Zach Kassian to tap a rebound into the empty net.
I swear I thought this type of thing was only legal if you're Iceland playing against the USA in the Junior Goodwill Games. However, even after a pow-wow of the referees, they still allowed it to stand. So let it be known that apparently it's legal to ruin shutouts by running over a goalie in his crease.
The period ended with the Ducks leading 6-1, despite remarkably being outshot in the period 12-10.
Third Period Recap: And the wheels of the Canuck train proceeded to keep falling off and rolling further and further away.
Though predictably it took a little while for the action to pick up again in this period.
It wasn't until the 10:54 mark that Corey Perry got his second of the night, and arguably one of the prettiest he's scored all year. With a defenseman draped all over him, Perry spun around and stuffed the puck between the pads of Eriksson with one hand on his stick. Just goes to show when he wants the goal, Corey Perry will not be denied.
Then chaos took over. A massive scrum in front of the Vancouver net at the end of the play saw Tom Sestito and Jannik Hansen each earn themselves fighting majors with instigator add-ons, meaning they were also given 10-minute misconducts to end their nights. Somehow, despite dropping the gloves and throwing punches, resident honey badger Sami Vatanen escaped without any penalties (don't ask me how that happened). This gave the Ducks a whopping seven minutes of five-on-three power play time. I have never seen this before in my life and will likely never see it again because that kind of discipline is just horrendous and coaches normally don't allow that.
Seconds after this, the Ducks extended their lead with Teemu Selanne's second power play goal on the night. A loose rebound squirted its way to Teemu waiting at the side of the net who ripped it top shelf like it was nothing.
No celebration from Teemu. No high-fives. In fact he looked like he couldn't have cared less about this becoming his first multi-goal night since January 13th, 2013... the season opener of LAST YEAR.
The Ducks scored again when Sami Vatanen finally got a goal of his own. Off a won faceoff, his shot pass looking for Bonino got tipped past the Eriksson by Chris Tanev. Three own-goals on the night for the Canucks.
The Canucks discipline continued to spiral out of control as they took two more minor penalties for slashing late, but it wouldn't matter. The Ducks set a franchise record for most goals in a single game, dismantling the Canucks by a score of 9-1. The final period saw the Ducks put 23 shots on the Vancouver net, for a game final total of 44 to Vancouver's 32.
The Good: We got to see what happens when the Ducks put together a full 60-minute game. For the sake of the hopes of the entire league I think I now know why they were so bad in first periods. They weren't lazy or just slow starters... they were sandbagging just to give the other team a chance.
The Bad: The Canucks came into this game with the league's best penalty kill. They surrendered six power play goals on a whopping ELEVEN attempts, which leads me to...
The Ugly: Vancouver's discipline was atrocious. A whopping 73 penalty minutes (two nights removed from putting 69 [heh] up on the board against LA), including an entirely unnecessary scrum at the end of the night that left Anaheim with a whopping seven minutes of 5-on-3 power play time.
Tweets of the Night:
I think the @AnaheimDucks just clinched the 2015 playoffs.— Chris (@HabsLions) January 16, 2014
@BuckyHermit That wasn't an earthquake. It was the Canucks hitting rock bottom.— Chris (@HabsLions) January 16, 2014
Next Game: Friday, January 17th at 5PM at the Chicago Blackhawks.