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Anaheim Ducks dump Vancouver Canucks, seal playoff spot

By
Monte Stewart, The Sports Xchange
Corey Perry and Patrick Eaves scored the decisive goals in the game's first 1:37 as the Ducks cruised to a 4-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI
Corey Perry and Patrick Eaves scored the decisive goals in the game's first 1:37 as the Ducks cruised to a 4-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- The Anaheim Ducks managed to clinch a playoff spot without injured captain Ryan Getzlaf on Tuesday night.

Corey Perry and Patrick Eaves scored the decisive goals in the game's first 1:37 as the Ducks cruised to a 4-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night.

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"We know what's at stake," Perry said. "We've been building for this all season and that was the goal, to make the playoffs and we did that tonight, and now it has to snowball from here."

The Ducks (42-23-11) also retained sole possession of first place in the Pacific Division as they posted their fifth straight win. The Canucks (30-37-9), who already were eliminated from postseason contention, took their ninth loss in 11 games.

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"We gave them three goals and then we started playing," Canucks captain Henrik Sedin said. "It's too good of a league to do that against a great team."

Getzlaf, who has 20 points in his last 12 games, was a surprise scratch after taking part in both the pregame warmup and the morning skate. He is listed as day-to-day.

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"He's just got a lower-body injury," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "That came about, actually, (Monday) evening. He didn't feel right this morning and couldn't get it loosened up, so we just made the decision we're not gonna sacrifice a guy who's been our best player in the situation we were presented with tonight."

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Carlyle said his club started well after he challenged his players to excel in Getzlaf's absence.

"It's a big hole," said Perry. "He has been playing some of his best hockey all season, and guys stepped up early on and (goaltender Jonathan) Bernier shut the door back there. Some nights it's not pretty, but we got a good start."

Bernier made 34 saves on 35 shots while posting his 10th victory in 12 games since March 3. Vancouver netminder Ryan Miller took the loss while stopping 35 of 39 shots.

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Perry extended his points streaks to three games, while Eaves has three goals in the past two games. Nick Ritchie and Brandon Montour also scored for the Ducks, who built a 4-0 lead, and Antoine Vermette had two assists.

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Rookie Brock Boeser scored for the Canucks in his home debut. It was his second NHL goal in three games after he signed on Saturday.

"We just didn't execute the way we needed to early," said Canucks coach Willie Desjardins, adding his team's intensity was not good enough.

Perry opened the scoring just 23 seconds into the game. Antoine Vermette took the puck off Canucks defenseman Alex Edler behind the net and Ritchie sent it out to Perry in the slot.

Eaves put the Ducks ahead 2-0 just 1:14 later after taking a cross-ice pass from Rickard Rakell.

"We ended the first period well and we took the wind out of their sails by (scoring) those first couple goals," said Eaves." We maintained the lead and I thought we managed the puck all right."

Montour increased Anaheim's lead to 4-0 at 3:44 of the second period as he scored on a shot from the blue line before Boeser completed the scoring with a long on-ice shot between Bernier's legs 2:34 into the third.

Vermette said the Ducks knew what they had to do regarding the playoff berth and "got it done," but he indicated they have set their goals much higher.

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"We've got a pretty good roll right now, and this is just a step," he said. "We can be satisfied to some extent, but it's not what we aim for."

NOTES:

-- Ducks LW Andrew Cogliano, the NHL's current active ironman, played his 780th consecutive regular-season game since starting his career with Edmonton on Oct. 4, 2007.

-- The Canucks signed F Griffen Molino to a two-year-entry level contract earlier Tuesday. Molino, 23, who spent the past two seasons at Western Michigan University, was not drafted. He signed as a free agent.

-- Canucks rookie RW Brock Boeser, Vancouver's top 2015 draft pick (23rd overall) signed on Saturday and played in two road contests over the weekend. He suited up for his fourth game in five nights, including the final contest of his collegiate career with the University of North Dakota.

-- Anaheim G John Gibson dressed as the backup after being out since March 10 with undisclosed injuries.

-- Canucks rookie D Troy Stecher missed the game with an undisclosed upper-body injury after leaving Sunday's game in Winnipeg.

-- Vancouver coach Willie Desjardins said injured backup G Jacob Markstrom (lower body) could be shut down for the season.

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