Vancouver Canucks Win 2-1 In Shootout: Beat Ryan Kesler, Ducks


Nov 9, 2014; Anaheim, CA, USA; Vancouver Canucks goalie Eddie Lack (center) celebrates with right wing Jannik Hansen (36) and left wing Alex Burrows (14) after the game against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center. The Vancouver Canucks defeated the Anaheim Ducks in a shootout with a final score of 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Perhaps it was inevitable when the game went into overtime that the Vancouver Canucks were going to get the two points against the Anaheim Ducks, after all Anaheim had lost their last two games in overtime and the shootout leading into Sunday night’s highly anticipated clash of Pacific Division opponents. However it didn’t change the fact that the Canucks shootout win ended a road trip that will have excitement remaining for a team that has defied expectations all season so far under new head coach Willie Desjardins.

Following a blowout loss to the Los Angeles Kings, the Canucks rebounded on the tail end of a back to back in Anaheim to beat the Ducks 2-1 in the shootout, earning six out of eight points on their road trip that included wins over the Colorado Avalanche and San Jose Sharks before a full 65 minute effort on Sunday put an emphatic end to a road trip that affirms the belief that this Vancouver team could exceed preseason expectations.

Alex Burrows game tying goal as well as an excellent game in between the pipes from backup Eddie Lack, winning his first game of the season for the ‘Nucks, earned the Canucks two more points on a road trip that brought worries about a potential crash down to earth before the team headed off on the road to face a gauntlet of division rivals. On Sunday it was clear that a focused Canucks team was driven to make sure that wasn’t going to happen, outshooting a rested Anaheim team in their third game in four nights while missing Radim Vrbata and Zack Kassian from the lineup.

Even better for the Canucks, the shootout win game after a Nick Bonino goal and a final shootout miss from Ryan Kesler, who missed his second straight shootout attempt for the Ducks in back to back games to give his new team in Anaheim a loss in the skills competition the NHL likes to use to decide winners and losers.

Even though Vancouver failed to get the win in regulation, it was one that the Canucks deserved based on their effort in Anaheim. After having struggles in back to back games this season, there was an added effort into everything the team did even after conceding the first goal to Anaheim. Outshooting Anaheim 25-11 in the final two periods, it took an impressive showing from Frederik Andersen in goal to even get the Ducks the single point in a game in which the Canucks bounced back from a poor performance in Los Angeles to make their road trip an outstanding success.

In overtime Lack was at his best searching for his first win, making seven saves as the Ducks had a flurry of late chances before the shootout including one a 2-on-1 for Kesler, who couldn’t beat his former teammate as a flash of the glove denied a game winning goal before Lack stopped all three shooters in the shootout to earn the two points. With Ryan Miller off to a hot start, Lack getting into the win column on the tail ends of back to back games is something that the Canucks need if they are to continue to remain near the top of the Pacific Division, making the 28 save night for the Swedish goalie an important one for Desjardins who has been searching for answers on how to get wins in these spots early in the season.

Next up for Vancouver will be a two game homestand against the Ottawa Senators and the Phoenix/Arizona/Glendale/Relocation City to be Named Later Coyotes at the Rogers Arena where the Canucks will look to continue to push for an early Pacific Division lead. One point behind the Ducks (whose three OTL points have them slightly ahead of Vancouver) through 16 games, it might be finally time to get excited for a Canucks team to push the toughest division in the NHL all season long.