VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- If the Anaheim Ducks are going to defend their Stanley Cup championship, they might start by cutting down on the penalties.
Daniel Sedin and Matt Cooke each scored, and the Vancouver Canucks took advantage of several opportunities presented by the NHL's most penalized team in a 2-1 victory over the struggling Ducks on Sunday night.
With George Parros and Sean O'Donnell in the box for consecutive interference penalties, the first coming in the offensive zone and the second while already down a man, Henrik Sedin found Daniel Sedin in open ice for his team-leading 17th goal of the season and fifth in five games.
"We are taking a few too many penalties at times," said Ryan Getzlaf, who had the Ducks' lone goal off an assist from Scott Niedermayer. "Tonight it wasn't that we took too many, it was a matter of taking a couple at the wrong time, and they were able to score a goal."
Vancouver took a 2-0 lead four minutes into the second period when Cooke finished off a 3-on-2 rush with a wrist shot from 25 feet that slipped past Jonas Hiller.
Hiller got the start in net for Anaheim in place of Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who gave up four goals in a 5-3 loss to Calgary on Saturday.
The win moved the Canucks into sole possession of first place in the Northwest Division, two points ahead of the idle Minnesota Wild. Vancouver has gone 12 games at home without a loss in regulation.
Anaheim, which has lost all three meetings with Vancouver this season, cut the lead to 2-1 midway through the third period with both teams playing a man short.
Niedermayer, playing his seventh game since coming out of retirement, put a no-look backhand pass right on the stick of Getzlaf in the high slot. Getzlaf's one-timer got past Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo for his 13th goal of the season.
"We are an aggressive team, and we are a physical team. The more that we can check with our legs instead of our sticks the more we will benefit in the long run," said Getzlaf, who now has 13 goals on the season.
"The aggression penalties we will kill off," he added. "It's the stick fouls that we need to cut down on. I think we have done a better job of that in the last little while. We were taking four or five a period there for a while and tonight I think we were able to limit it to four."
- Canucks defenseman Mattias Ohlund missed his third straight game since waking up a week ago with neck spasms and is doubtful for Monday's game in Calgary.
- Center Ryan Kesler returned to the Canucks lineup after missing one game due to a concussion.
- Anaheim center Samuel Pahlsson missed his third straight game with an abdominal inflammation. Pahlsson missed the first five games of the regular season after undergoing sports hernia surgery but the Ducks are unsure if his recent injury is related.
- Anaheim center Doug Weight, recently acquired in a trade with St. Louis, played his 1,100th game in the NHL on Sunday.