VANCOUVER_”The Ducks dominating force in the Pacific division helped fade away the Canucks chance at the playoffs with six games left. Anaheim scored three unanswered before the close of regulation to win 6-1 at Rogers Centre on Saturday night.
After clinching the playoffs with a win against Calgary on Wednesday, the Ducks cruise controlled through the remaining games with their last meeting against Vancouver where they have won the last three with the recent being a 9-1 slaughter on January 15. This night would be much the same as the Ducks started a little late dealing with the Canucks competition that kept them from getting on the board. Their chance arrived 7:36 in the first period with Luca Sbisa scoring his first of the season on a drive from the blue line after the Ducks got the puck out from behind the Canucks net.
Matt Beleskey made it 2-0 just a minute later on a rebound from Richard Rakell where his sent a wrist shot on the side of Vancouver netminder Eddie Lack to record his sixth of the year. The Canucks fought on to break onto the scoreboard where Brad Richardson gave his team the hope on his 10th of the year, where teammate Ryan Stanton sent a drive that dropped in front of the crease for Richardson to jam the puck behind the Ducks Frederik Andersen. Vancouver’s lone goal came second to their penalty killing unit that knocked down three chances given to Anaheim through 20 minutes.
More would arrive for both, as the bad blood began to boil with the Ducks going on a power play 40 seconds into the second period. The Canucks once again held off Anaheim, as they rank 10th on the PK while the Ducks struggle with a 16 percent chance on the man advantage. The Ducks wouldn’t need help while they did well with their even strength game. Saku Koivu made it 3-1 midway into the game with a backhander that caught Lack slow to respond to give Koivu his 10th. Alex Burrows had enough of being nice while his team dropped farther back; he challenged Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf to a fight where their scuffle earned both fighting majors. It helped their offense as Andersen and the Ducks defense stopped 15 shots from the Canucks allowing them nothing in return.
The Canucks brought their final charge to the ice in the third period where winning a game would save their chances to make playoff. The Ducks weren’t ready to add another challenge to the growing list of competitors for the wild card spot in the West. Corey Perry made that clear six minutes in with his 38th of the season, as he fought the puck behind Lack to make it 4-1. Anaheim took Vancouver completely out of the game eight minutes later with a power play goal by Mathieu Perreault where his wrist shot went under the legs of the Canucks goaltender to give him his 18th and a three-game streak. The Ducks pulled off seven shots in the period showing ease at beating up struggling teams before the conclusion of the season.
It gave Andersen time to set up for the playoffs as he made 24 saves in his 17th victory this season. With two solid goaltenders for the Ducks to bring to the playoffs and eight games left on their schedule there is only time to rest up and keep ahead of San Jose, as they regained the lead in fine fashion.