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Ducks' mistakes are costly in 3-0 loss to Vancouver

The Canucks' Manny Malhotra scores two goals after turnovers by the Ducks, and Anaheim's three-game winning streak ends.

March 06, 2011|By Austin Knoblauch
  • Ducks right wing Corey Perry makes a pass as he falls to the ice by after Canucks right wing Jannik Hansen deliverd a hit in the second period Sunday at Honda Center.
Ducks right wing Corey Perry makes a pass as he falls to the ice by after Canucks… (Mike Blake / Reuters )

Their ability to capitalize on scoring chances is one of the reasons the Vancouver Canucks are sitting on top of the NHL.

And it's a characteristic the Ducks will have to work on if they are going to be playing in the postseason next month.

The Ducks on Sunday night failed to replicate the energy that carried them during their three-game winning streak, falling to the Canucks, 3-0, in front of 16,356 at Honda Center.

Manny Malhotra scored goals for Vancouver in the opening minute of the first and second periods, and goaltender Cory Schneider, who started to give Roberto Luongo the night off, made 26 saves for his first career shutout. With the loss, the Ducks slipped to 10th behind Minnesota in the incredibly tight Western Conference playoff race.

"The bottom line is we have to play at a higher level in order to have success," said Ducks Coach Randy Carlyle, whose team was 0 for 4 on the power play. "We just didn't play well enough to give ourselves a chance to win the hockey game."

Despite struggling to set up an effective forecheck, the Ducks had their share of scoring opportunities. Most came in the second period, when the Ducks peppered Schneider with 10 shots. Ryan Getzlaf fanned on a shot while gliding through the slot, Lubomir Visnovsky rang a shot off the post and Toni Lydman put a shot off the crossbar.

"This the way it goes some nights," Getzlaf said. "We were a little too satisfied with just chipping the puck and not actually going to get it."

But going down a goal less than a minute into the game did not help the Ducks, either.

The Malhotra-Jannik Hansen combination caused problems for the Ducks' defense throughout the game, and the Canucks did not hesitate to pounce on the Ducks' mistakes.

Malhotra scored his 100th career goal — from the right faceoff circle — 42 seconds into the game after Hansen took control of the puck after a Ducks turnover near the blue line. He added another 17 seconds into the second period when he took advantage of a turnover over by Cam Fowler near the Ducks' net. It was a mistake by the rookie defenseman, who tried to flick the puck behind himself to a teammate who wasn't there. Hansen took possession and quickly shoveled it to Malhotra, who snapped it past Dan Ellis.

"We turned the puck over far, far too many times," Carlyle said.

Daniel Sedin scored the Canucks' final goal after his power-play shot deflected off defenseman Andreas Lilja's stick and into the net. Sedin, who is an early front-runner for the league's most-valuable-player award, leads the NHL with 81 points.

Dan Ellis stopped 13 shots for the Ducks, who fell to 3-2-1 on their seven-game homestand, which ends Wednesday against the New York Rangers.

"We have to reevaluate, sit back and take a look at the things we did wrong and right," Carlyle said. "We have been on an emotional roller coaster and have played lots of hockey.

"Every game is important."

austin.knoblauch@latimes.com

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