Silfverberg scores twice as Ducks stop Canucks
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Jakob Silfverberg scored two goals in the first 15 games of the season for the Anaheim Ducks.
On Thursday night, the right winger scored two goals 35 seconds apart at the start of the third period to lead the Ducks to a 4-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks at Honda Center.
Silfverberg, along with defenseman Hampus Lindholm (goal) and center Rickard Rakell (three assists), was one of three Swedes to get on the score sheet for Anaheim.
“I’ve been feeling better as the games have been coming in the season,” Silfverberg said. “I’ve been having chances, just not managing to get the puck in. I had two shots and both went in. That’s a good feeling. It was a big win tonight. We needed this one as a team.”
Anaheim (7-6-3) is battling a slew of injuries and owns an anemic power play that ranked 30th in the NHL at 5 for 47 entering the game, but rode contributions from all over the lineup and three power-play goals to snap a four-game winless streak (0-2-2).
Ducks goaltender Ryan Miller, who spent the last three seasons in Vancouver before signing a two-year, $4 million deal with Anaheim in July, made 13 saves to help beat his former team.
Miller was replaced by Reto Berra (six saves) late in the third period with the Ducks ahead 4-1 after Miller stretched awkwardly while making a save. After another shift, he skated off, went to the dressing room and did not return.
After the game, coach Randy Carlyle said Miller had a lower-body injury and would be further evaluated Friday. Miller was starting in place of John Gibson, who was hit the head and face during a shootout loss to the Los Angeles Kings Tuesday night and was not dressed Thursday night.
Vancouver (8-6-2) saw a four-game road winning streak snapped after being outshot 35-20 and getting severely outplayed most of the second period and during a crucial stretch of the early third. The Canucks failed to score on five power-play chances.
“It’s all on us,” Vancouver center Bo Horvat said. “For the most part, it’s us executing. It’s us getting pucks to the net and getting bodies in front. We are trying to make the pretty play or the pass ... in front we should be putting pucks in the net and getting guys there.”
Thirty seconds into the the third, Silfverberg beat goalie Jacob Markstrom (31 saves) for a power-play goal after taking a slick pass from Rakell, who was behind the net when he made it.
Silfverberg then gathered a rebound from directly in front of the Vancouver net and snapped home his fourth goal of the season. On both goals, Silfverberg was able to make his way to the front of the Vancouver goal area untouched before getting off clean shots.
It was an unusually sloppy display for a Vancouver team which had outscored opponents 14-6 during its road winning streak.
“We weren’t very good with the puck,” Canucks coach Travis Green said. “Against that team, they want to play a territorial game, a lot like us. They broke out of their end a lot easier than we broke out of ours.”
The game started well for Vancouver, which was coming off a 5-3 victory at Calgary on Tuesday night and facing a Ducks team missing several key players such as Gibson and center Ryan Getzlaf, who is expected to miss up to two months after undergoing surgery for a cheekbone fracture Monday.
Canucks left winger Sven Baertschi opened scoring at 12:12 of the first when Anaheim defenseman Kevin Bieksa tried to clear a loose puck from in front of the net but instead pushed it to Baertschi, who snapped it past Miller.
Lindholm made it 1-1 at 17:11 of the first when he scored a power-play goal by angling a shot off the leg pads of Markstrom.
The Ducks’ power-play clicked again at 16:58 of the second period when right winger Corey Perry slipped a pass from the above the left circle into the slot where defenseman Brandon Montour gathered it and snapped a wrister to beat Markstrom to his glove side, giving the Ducks a 2-1 lead.
Why did the Ducks all of sudden find a groove on the power play?
“It’s been a long wait for our power play to awaken,” Carlyle said. “Tonight, we were more determined to get pucks back on our entry. We moved the puck effectively and got the puck directed on the net. We were more tenacious and hungrier for the puck.
“We need to bottle that and maintain that as we go forward. You have to credit the power play, but also the penalty killing for keeping them off the score sheet. Good special teams, that’s how you win hockey games.”
NOTES: Canucks D Christopher Tanev returned to Vancouver (upper-body injury) and will miss the remainder of the road trip. ... Canucks D Alexander Edler returned after missing 12 games with a sprained knee. ... Anaheim LW Kevin Roy made his NHL debut after being called up from AHL San Diego. ... Anaheim RW Jared Boll (lower-body injury) was placed on injured reserve Thursday morning. ...Ducks Coach Randy Carlyle tied Art Ross (802) for 38th on the all-time coaching games list.