VANCOUVER – Max Lapierre is filling in nicely for the injured Daniel Sedin on the Vancouver Canucks ‘ top line.
Lapierre had the tying goal and later the shootout winner to lift Vancouver to a 5-4 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday night, giving the Canucks their seventh straight win.
“I wasn’t expecting it,” said Lapierre of his shootout opportunity. “But I had to go there and try to do a job. I tried to go glove side and got lucky on that one.”
Western Conference-leading Vancouver moved three points ahead of St. Louis and remained tied with the new York Rangers for tops in the NHL with 109 points.
Lapierre now has three goals and the shootout score in three games since moving up to Vancouver’s top line in place of Sedin, who missed his seventh straight game with a concussion.
Linemate Alex Burrows had two goals and a shootout score, and Chris Higgins had the Canucks’ other goal. Henrik Sedin, the other member of the top line, and defenseman Dan Hamhuis each had two assists as the Canucks rallied from two goals down in the second period.
“It was entertaining,” Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. “It had, obviously, its moments, both offensively and defensively. I thought we made some real good plays offensively. I thought we made some uncharacteristic mistakes defensively from a couple of our guys that ended up in the back of our net.”
Ryan Getzlaf, Cory Perry, Rod Pelley and Devante Smith-Pelly scored for the Ducks.
Vancouver outshot Anaheim 39-34. the Canucks were 0 for 5 on the power play, while the Ducks were 1 for 3.
“We had a chance to win until the shootout,” Anaheim goalie Jonas Hiller said. “Their moves were better than ours went.”
The score was tied 2-2 after the first period and 4-4 after the second.
Vancouver had a scare about midway through the second period as Smith-Pelly inadvertently backed into Burrows’ legs, and the Cancuks star was helped off the ice, unable to put weight on one leg.
However, Burrows soon returned and swept in Hamhuis’ rebound for his second goal of the game with 8:39 left in the period, pulling the Canucks to 4-3.
Lapierre tied it 1:27 to go as he whacked the puck near the Anaheim blue line and the puck went in off Ducks winger Sheldon Brookbank’s glove as he tried to block the shot.
“It was a good screen from Mason (Raymond) and a lucky bounce,” Lapierre said. “We’ll take them.”
The Canucks outshot the Ducks 12-1 in the third period and had three power plays while the Ducks did not have any. However, Vancouver still couldn’t beat Hiller.
In overtime, Vancouver goalie Cory Schneider – who replaced starter Roberto Luongo after Smith-Pelly put the Ducks up 4-2 at 7:03 of the second period – stopped Ducks defenseman Luca Sbisa on a hard slap shot from right wing.
Pelley gave the Ducks a 3-2 advantage 2:24 into the second period as he one-timed Bobby Ryan’s pass. Ryan was the set-up man again at 7:03 as Smith-Pelly, left all alone in front, one-timed his pass from the corner through Luongo’s legs.
After the goal, Vigneault replaced Luongo with Schneider, who drew a loud cheer as he skated into the crease.
Schneider stopped all nine shots he faced, but the backup was reluctant to take credit for the win that went on his record. He dismissed the idea that the Canucks play differently in front of him.
“The score indicated the way we played,” he said. “When it’s 4-2 you have to start pressing and play better. There’s nothing Lou can do when guys are sitting alone untouched in front of the net like that. It was more the circumstance than who was in net.”
Schneider also took exception to the way fans responded when he came on for Luongo.
“It’s getting old,” said Schneider. “I’m glad they like me and support me, but he’s a guy that has done a lot for this team and this city – and he deserves a lot better than that.”
But Luongo was not impressed with his own effort after surrendering four goals on 15 shots.
“I’m disappointed in myself that I didn’t play up to my expectations – and I don’t have a reason for it,” he said.
Canucks winger David Booth got a chance to break out of his scoring slump as he was awarded a penalty shot 3:38 into the game after he was tripped by Sbisa on a breakaway. However, Hiller got a pad on his forehand attempt.
Getzlaf opened the scoring at with 6:42 to go in the period as he fired a drop pass from Perry through Luongo’s legs. the goal was Getzlaf’s first in 10 games and only his second in 33.
Burrows tied it 59 seconds later after Henrik Sedin skated in a tight space in the Anaheim corner and fed him a behind-the-back pass that Burrows one-timed past Hiller.
Less than 2 minutes later, Perry put the Ducks ahead 2-1 on a power play as he skated out of the corner, cut towards the net and roofed a backhand over Luongo. just over 2 minutes after that goal, Higgins deflected Hamhuis’ point shot through his legs and behind a surprised Hiller.
NOTES: Vancouver lost winger Zack Kassian to an undisclosed upper-body injury late in the second period. … Booth was benched for the second straight game after he lost a battle for the puck with Ryan before Pelley’s goal. but Booth returned in the third as a result of Kassian’s injury. … Injured Canucks winger Daniel Sedin (concussion) missed his seventh straight game. … Vancouver D Kevin Bieksa missed his fourth straight game with an undisclosed health issue, but he took part in the morning skate. D Aaron Rome also remained out with a knee injury. … Anaheim goaltender Dan Ellis (groin) and defencemen Tony Lydman (upper) and Nate Guerin (fractured orbital bone) were sidelined with injuries.