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Ducks go down fighting in home opener

Penalties lead to power plays, which lead to goals in Vancouver's 5-0 victory

January 25, 2013|By Lance Pugmire
  • Vancouver's Kevin Bieksa (3) and Anaheim's Matt Beleskey (39) fight during the third period.
Vancouver's Kevin Bieksa (3) and Anaheim's Matt Beleskey (39)… (Harry How / Getty Images )

The Ducks returned to Honda Center for their home debut Friday, but the scoring prowess they flashed in Canada was exchanged by a nasty habit of penalties.

After scoring 12 goals in two victories to start the season, the Ducks were done in by 12 penalties, giving up three power-play goals while losing to the Vancouver Canucks, 5-0.

Less than a week after surrendering five goals in 14 shots against the Ducks, Vancouver goaltender Cory Schneider stopped all 30 shots he faced.

And the Ducks (2-1) now have a clear flaw to address, with seven power-play goals surrendered through three games.

"We never got anything going, never found a flow," said Ducks wing Matt Beleskey, slapped with three penalties — two for fighting. "It was one of those games. We were frustrated and got away from our game."

Less than halfway through the first period, the Ducks were down a goal because of a Vancouver two-man advantage.

A second power-play goal followed in the first and the Ducks failed to muster a serious threat when they had their only short-handed chance in the second — a wide Luca Sbisa slap shot just in front of the blue line qualifying as the nearest miss.

"We've got to find a way not to let our emotions get the best of us," Ducks winger Bobby Ryan said. "We generated some chances, but we didn't get those second or third chances," due to the limited even-strength opportunities.

Vancouver (2-1-1) kept the Ducks on their heels in the second period.

A fifth Ducks' penalty — holding on Nick Bonino — further delayed a rally, and then at even strength Vancouver's Aaron Volpatti left-handed an unassisted goal through goaltender Jonas Hiller's legs for a 3-0 lead.

The evening's enthusiasm emptied when Ducks front-line winger Corey Perry was slapped with four minutes' worth of charging and roughing penalties, when it appeared he was in nothing more than mutual combat with the Canucks.

Perry achieved a small measure of satisfaction later in the third, pounding Vancouver's Keith Ballard with right uppercuts — and drawing a five-minute fighting penalty in the process.

The night began with promise and appreciation for fans touched by the NHL lockout.

Following pregame introductions, Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf thanked the crowd for turning out so strongly after 34 games were scrapped by the labor fight.

"We thank you for sticking by us," Getzlaf said to the standing-room-only crowd of 17,529.

But when Daniel Winnik was called for holding and Getzlaf was whistled for cross-checking, Vancouver's Daniel Sedin set up near the crease and fired a pass from his brother Henrik past Hiller with 10:47 remaining in the first.

Vancouver's Mason Raymond added a second power-play goal after Ducks defenseman Bryan Allen was sent to the penalty box on an interference call.

Raymond scored again in the third.

Saturday

VS. NASHVILLE

When: 7:30. Where: Honda Center.

On the air: TV: FS West. Radio: 830.

Record vs. Predators (2011-12): 0-4.

Etc.: Nashville seeks to extend its dominance over the Ducks. Martin Erat has two goals and Patric Hornqvist has three assists thus far for the Predators, who are 2-0 on the road.

lance.pugmire@latimes.com

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