Vancouver scored twice on the power play Monday night as they rallied from an early deficit and then held on for a 4-3 win over the Ducks.
Anaheim showed why they are the most penalized team in the NHL, giving the Canucks 10 power-play opportunities and spending the last 30 minutes of the game having to play catch up after Vancouver scored twice on the man-advantage and built a three-goal lead.
Even captain Scott Niedermayer can't figure how why the Ducks keep digging themselves these holes.
"If we had an answer we wouldn't have to answer those questions," said Niedermayer, who had a goal and assist. "It was tough because they moved it around on the power play well and made us pay. Teams are going to do that when you are in the box as much as we were tonight."
Spending that much time short-handed takes its toll on a hockey club, causing it to lose momentum.
"The flow, when you are going to the box one after another, is tough because you are wearing out certain guys and others aren't getting on the ice at all," Niedermayer said. "Frustration starts to build and that is not the recipe for winning hockey games."
The two sides battered each other from the start.
"It was definitely a playoff-style atmosphere," said Vancouver center Ryan Kesler, who had one of the Canucks' two power-play goals. "We definitely have a heated rivalry out there, I don't know what it is but we really don t seem to like each other very much."
The Canucks felt the Ducks were guilty of some questionable play at times, trying to take out their frustration with their sticks.
"I don't know if you can call them dirty but they were off their game and this is why they were taking cheap shots," Kesler said. "It seems every game that they want to continue to take cheap shots on us and that's why they were in the box most of the night."
Vancouver took a 4-1 lead on Sedin's second of the game early in the third period before the Ducks finally began to rally.
Niedermayer and Sammy Pahlson scored third-period goals but Anaheim couldn't tie the score despite pulling goalie Jonas Hiller for the extra attacker in the final minutes. Bobby Ryan also scored for Anaheim.
"I didn't think we really engaged in the hockey game emotionally until the third period," Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said. "And then we got desperate and started to play more of the type of hockey that is required to have success on the road.
"It seemed like any time that we got some momentum going, had some good shifts from our grind line and started to cycle like you have to do on the road, then they got a power play. It took all the momentum away from us."
The Canucks, who took just over 10 minutes to get their first shot of the game, were outshot by Anaheim 27-26.
- Anaheim C Brendan Morrison played his first game at GM Place since leaving Vancouver to join the Ducks as an unrestricted free agent in the offseason. Morrison, a native of nearby Pitt Meadows, scored 393 points in 543 games with the Canucks.
- Anaheim C Todd Marchant played his 1,000th NHL game.
- The Ducks were without LW Teemu Selanne, who will miss at least four weeks after cutting his thigh in Friday's win over Edmonton. An MRI on Saturday revealed no damage to any tendons or other connective tissue.
- G Jean-Sebastien Giguere returned to the Ducks after missing two games following the death of his father on Dec. 15.
- Vancouver captain and starting goalie Roberto Luongo, out since Nov. 22 with a groin injury, missed his 13th straight game.