Thursday, December 9, 2010

Canucks rally to beat Ducks

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -Ryan Kesler scored his second goal in a scramble with 21.5 seconds left to tie it, Jeff Tambellini had the only shootout goal and the Vancouver Canucks came back twice for a wild 5-4 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night.

Tambellini, who also scored in regulation, fired a perfect shot over the right shoulder of Anaheim goalie Jonas Hiller, who was forced into action after starting goalie Curtis McElhinney was cut by a high slap shot to the mask with 8:18 left in regulation.

Joffrey Lupul, Corey Perry and Teemu Selanne scored in regulation for the Ducks, but Roberto Luongo stopped them all the shootout, squeezing the legs on Perry's final shot to seal the win.

Rookie defenseman Cam Fowler, who scored the winning goal in the 10th round of a 3-2 shootout win in Edmonton the night before, put the Ducks up by two midway through the third period.

McElhinney took Christian Ehrhoff's hard point shot off the mask and collapsed to the ice as Daniel Sedin put in the rebound to make it 4-3. The goalie had to be helped off the ice and went to the locker room bleeding from the face as Hiller took over.

Hiller made a couple great saves, but Kesler banked the tying goal in off his stick while lying on the ice below the goal line.

Kesler, on a power play tip, and Tambelini scored 11 seconds apart early in the first period, and Luongo made 16 saves in regulation and overtime as the Canucks bounced back from a loss to St. Louis on Sunday for their fifth win in six games.

Perry and Selanne each had a goal and an assist, and Lupul scored his first goal in exactly a year for the Ducks.

McElhinney, who was making his first start since Nov. 17, made several brilliant stops among 24 saves before leaving. Hiller, who was supposed to have the night off after making 36 saves in his ninth straight start Tuesday, made 12 saves, including a great left pad stop off Keith Ballard with 3:15 left.

Shut out two straight games before the Edmonton win, Anaheim is benefiting from the return of Lupul and Selanne, who has scored in consecutive games after missing five of the previous seven contests with a groin strain.

Lupul was out a lot longer. The 27-year-old scored his last goal on Dec. 8, 2009, and then missed nearly a year and lost 40 pounds after a pair of back surgeries — the second left him with in an infection — before returning three games ago.

A three-time 20-goal scorer, Lupul tied it midway through the second period, firing a shot past the blocker of Luongo on a 3-on-1 rush created by a turnover that caught Vancouver defenseman Dan Hamhuis chasing his lost stick.

Selanne put the Ducks ahead for good after Perry came out of the box to create a Ducks power play and odd-man rush 17 seconds left in the second period. Perry opened the scoring on a power play as Anaheim went 2-for-4 against Vancouver's third-ranked penalty kill after failing to score in its last four games.

NOTES: Perry's goal was his 300th career point and came in his 399th NHL game. ... Vancouver RW Jonas Andersson played his first NHL game since 2002 with Nashville after being called up from the AHL on Tuesday. The 29-year-old Swede spent the last six seasons in Europe. ... Canucks D Keith Ballard played despite losing teeth and needing 25 stitches after being hit in the face with a puck in practice Tuesday. ... Anaheim LW Aaron Voros came off injured reserve after missing four games with the flu, but was given a game misconduct after a second-period fight with Kevin Bieksa. The Ducks sent LW Matt Belesky to the AHL to make room for Voros.

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