NHL

Dakota Joshua scores twice as Canucks claw out 3-2 win over slumping Ducks

Dakota Joshua scores twice as Canucks claw out 3-2 win over slumping Ducks

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Dakota Joshua scored twice and the Vancouver Canucks held on for a 3-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday, a day after clinching a playoff berth.

Brock Boeser added a first-period power-play goal for the Canucks and J.T. Miller contributed a pair of assists.

The Ducks got third-period tallies from Olen Zellweger and Mason McTavish.

Vancouver goaltender Arturs Silovs made 20 saves in his first NHL action since March 6, 2023.

Lukas Dostal stopped 27 of 30 for the Ducks, who were coming off a 6-1 loss to the Oilers in Edmonton and lost their fifth straight game.

“I thought overall we put some pressure on them. I thought the whole game was pretty competitive from us,” said Zellweger, who had his parents in the stands. “Not where we wanted at the end, but I’m sure we’ll continue to build on our effort and competitiveness here.”

The Canucks remain atop the Pacific Division standings, six points up on the Oilers. Vancouver was idle Saturday when it clinched its first playoff spot since 2020.

Earning a spot in the post-season is only part of the team’s plan, Miller said.

“We need to focus on the next game more importantly right now and not look ahead because, if we play like we did tonight we’re going to lose most games,” he said. “So we need to make sure that we’re focused on the present, not worried about (playoffs.)”

After giving up a pair of third-period goals, the Canucks smothered the Ducks through the second half of the final period.

Conor Garland set up the game-winning strike with 2:13 left on the clock, sending a blind backhanded pass to Joshua from the end boards. The big winger fired it in past Dostal for his second goal of the afternoon to put Vancouver up 3-2.

Ducks coach Greg Cronin called the result “a shame.”

“We get a power play with five minutes to go in the game and we don’t get a shot on net. You get some good fortune there and we don’t capitalize on that, and then it’s a cardinal sin — you don’t leave the front of the net when the puck is behind your net,” he said.

“You just can’t give those goals up and it just cost us the game.”

Anaheim got a prime opportunity to score the game winner when Noah Juulsen was called for tripping 14:09 into the third period. The Canucks killed off the penalty without the Ducks registering a single shot on goal.

Vancouver was 2 for 4 on the power play Sunday while Anaheim went 0 for 4 with the man advantage.

Zellweger beat Silovs 3:37 into the final period, sending a shot over the netminder’s glove from the bottom of the faceoff circle for his first NHL goal.

Just over a minute later, Gustav Lindstrom tried to wrap a shot around the Vancouver net and an unmarked McTavish was there to pick up the puck. The Ducks center slammed a wrist shot in behind Silovs to knot the score at 2.

Sunday wrapped a nine-game homestand that saw the Canucks go 5-3-1. Vancouver boasts a 25-9-4 record at Rogers Arena.

UP NEXT

Ducks: Take on the Flames in Calgary on Tuesday.

Canucks: Visit the Golden Knights in Vegas on Tuesday to kick off a three-game road trip.

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AP NHL: https://www.apnews.com/hub/NHL

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