Raycroft gets hook in Anaheim
Ducks erase 2-0 deficit with 7 unanswered goals against Canucks
Andrew Raycroft and the Vancouver Canucks donned their scariest costumes a few hours before Halloween on the West Coast.
After carrying the momentum from Thursday night's 2-1 shootout win over the hometown Los Angeles Kings with two goals in the opening five minutes of Friday's tilt at Anaheim, the Canucks proceeded to allow seven answered goals.
Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan paced the Ducks' attack with two goals and an assist each in a 7-2 waxing of Vancouver to snap a four-game losing skid.
Cory Schneider took over in net for the Canucks to start the third period and gave up three goals after Raycroft surrendered four goals on 22 shots. Less than 24 hours earlier, he was the toast of Vancouver following a 30-save performance in his first start of the season in place of the injured Roberto Luongo.
With their fifth loss in seven road starts, the Canucks saw their record slip to 7-7-0 for 14 points, eight behind the Northwest Division-leading Colorado Avalanche (10-2-2), who visit Vancouver on Sunday at 7 p.m. PT.
The Canucks were full of energy to start Friday's contest and opened the scoring 66 seconds after the opening faceoff, courtesy Steve Bernier. After some solid forechecking, he got position on Ducks all-star blue-liner Scott Niedermayer and tipped home a Willie Mitchell point shot past goaltender Jonas Hiller.
Less than four minutes later, Mason Raymond upped the lead to 2-0. Niedermayer's clearing attempt found Christian Ehrhoff, who fed Raymond in the slot and watched his teammate skate wide and wait for Hiller to commit before shooting the puck off the netminder's glove and over the goal-line.
From that point, there was little urgency in the visitors' special teams play as the power play failed on three other chances while former Canuck Mike Brown burned his old team for a short-handed goal late in the second period to give Anaheim a 3-2 lead.
Rounding out the Ducks' scoring was Joffrey Lupul and George Parros, who scored his first goal of the season and first in 21 games.
The Brown and Parros markers were set up by Ryan Carter, who missed the previous three games because of a bruised left foot.
"They were our best line early, in staying with the structure that we tried to create," Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle said. "What we asked of them — specifically Brown and Carter — was to be as aggressive as they possibly could down ice on the puck and let George be the guy laying back in some situations.
"Any time that your energy line can make a contribution on the offensive side, plus play their normal energy game, it's a huge boost for your club. These guys are happy to see a George Parros and a Mike Brown score goals, because it's not like they've filled the net historically in their career."
James Wisniewski collected three assists while Ryan Getzlaf added a pair for Anaheim, which improved to 4-6-1 on the season with its second win in seven home starts.
Niedermayer had an assist on Perry's second goal late in the second period to become the 24th defenceman in NHL history to reach 700 points.
The Ducks were trailing 2-0 before Perry got Anaheim on the board at 16:31 of the first period, beating Raycroft from the edge of the crease after Lupul carried the puck down the slot with two defenders draped all over him.
"I felt like we came out with the hustle and determination that we talked about," Ryan said. "A lot of times lately, a couple of early goals has kind of taken the wind out of our sails. But we stayed together as a group tonight and we made sure that we showed some resilience."
Before the game, the Canucks sent rookie right-winger Sergei Shirokov back to Manitoba of the American Hockey League and recalled Mario Bliznak to replace fellow centre Alexandre Bolduc, who injured his shoulder in Thursday's game.
With files from The Associated Press