It was a mean-nothing game and that's exactly how the Vancouver Canucks seemed to treat it. For two periods, anyway. Despite lots of talk following Thursday morning's game-day skate about trying to build off Monday night's big 3-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks and carrying some momentum into the playoffs, the Canucks instead went through the motions for 40 minutes against a team masquerading as the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks, playing without Ryan Getzlaf, Teemu Selanne, Saku Koivu, Bobby Ryan and Bryan Allen, beat the Canucks 3-1 in a game at Rogers Arena that had very little excitement until the third period. This one felt a lot like a pre-season game as neither team had much to play for. The Ducks have the No. 2 seed wrapped up and the Canucks will finish third. Both teams are simply waiting to find out who their first-round opponent will be when the playoffs start next week. "We weren't very happy with the way we were playing," defenceman Dan Hamhuis said of the talk the players had among themselves after the second period, when the Canucks trailed 2-0 and had been outshot 25-9. "Sometimes these games are hard to play when it's end of the season and you are not moving anywhere in the standings. And they took a lot of their players out of the lineup, so that kind of adds to that. But it's still no excuse. "We didn't have the mindset we needed those first two periods. We weren't happy with it, but I think we showed a lot of resolve coming out in the third and playing a hard period and we ended up outshooting them 20-5, so that was a good sign." After a scoreless first period, the Ducks pretty much sealed the deal with two goals less than two minutes apart in the second period. The first one came on a power play at the 6:44 mark when Matt Beleskey tipped a Cam Fowler slap shot from the top of the left circle past Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo. If this was indeed Luongo's final start at Rogers Arena as a Canuck, he won't want to be remembered for the Ducks' second goal. Brad Staubitz beat Luongo short side from the far edge of the right circle at 8:21 of the second. "Our d-man put his stick in front so I didn't see the release and it kind of handcuffed me a little bit," Luongo said. "But that's no excuse. I have to make that save 100 times out of 100."
Ducks down Canucks, 3-1
Vancouver Sun | Apr 26