Assist, Aaron Rome.
The Ducks may have been fairly exhaustive in their team meeting the other day to discuss ways out of the current abyss. But it's doubtful they could have imagined the scenario behind their 4-3 win over Vancouver on Friday night at Honda Center.
First, they watched the Canucks' Rome take an incredibly lame five-minute major for elbowing Ducks rookie Devante Smith-Pelly, next they scored twice on the following power play and built a four-goal lead by the end of two periods. Then they hung on for their hockey lives. It was the first win in seven games for the slumping Ducks.
Apparently, the Ducks, who did not have a shot on goal in the final 13:52 of the game, have an intense aversion to the word "easy." Little has been straightforward for them in this roller-coasterish season, and the game against the Canucks was a textbook example.
"We had to get the monkey off our back," Ducks Coach Randy Carlyle said. "We were really floundering along here. We got two points and we moved forward."
They led 4-0 after two periods on goals by Saku Koivu, Andrew Cogliano, Corey Perry and rookie Peter Holland, who scored his first NHL goal, the game-winner. Then it was white-knuckle time in the third when Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa and Jannik Hansen went to work.
Bieksa ruined the shutout bid of Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller with a power-play goal at 4:32 of the third period and the hard-driving Hansen scored twice to cut Anaheim's lead to one. Vancouver outshot the Ducks, 22-2, in the third period.
"It seemed like they had puck possession 20 minutes in our own zone," said Hiller, who had the second assist on Cogliano's goal.
"My legs were sore about five minutes into the period. I thought we gave them too much. They had lots of speed coming through the neutral zone and our defensemen had no chance to stand up or do anything. At the end, we found a way and that's definitely something we can build on and get that confidence we can win against one of the best teams in the league."
Carlyle may have had the best summation of the third period, calling it "more of a paralyzing thing."
So much for the Canucks being a road-weary team.
The Canucks had played, and won, Thursday night against the Kings at Staples Center. They started to get untracked in the final 20 minutes, making a goalie switch at the start of the third. Cory Schneider entered in relief of Roberto Luongo, who allowed four goals on 19 shots.
The Ducks' second-period domination was startling. They had not even scored four goals in their last three games. The last time they scored four goals in a period was on April 6 last season against San Jose.
It was made possible by Rome crashing hard into Smith-Pelly and giving the rookie a bloody nose. Rome was given the five-minute major, an automatic game misconduct and will probably get some form of communication from league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan.
"There was a lot of lot of blood," Smith-Pelly said. "I remember just getting it, dumping it or kicking it and getting ready to turn and getting hit right in the face. I don't know if he was trying to do that. It happens.'
Notes: Center Ben Maxwell, who was picked up on waivers Thursday from the Jets, was still trying to sort out visa issues and is expected to arrive in Anaheim early next week.