Skip to main content


Joshua scores twice as Canucks claw out win over slumping Ducks

Brock Boeser Vancouver Canucks Brock Boeser - The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER — It's not often an NHL player is disappointed when his team wins.

Sunday might be the exception for the Vancouver Canucks.

“It wasn't a great performance by our group," said Dakota Joshua, who scored twice as his Canucks snuck out a 3-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks.

"I guess you can be upset after a win. If there was a case, that was probably it. But it was nice to still persevere and get the two points.”

The game started well for the Canucks (46-20-8).

Brock Boeser scored his 38th of the season on a first-period power play and Joshua followed suit with a highlight-reel worthy goal midway through the second.

With Jakob Silfverberg in the box for tripping, Pius Suter sent a hard pass to Joshua down low. The big winger pulled the puck back up to the top of the crease with his backhand and got a shot off from between his legs, sending it up and over Ducks goalie Lukas Dostal stick side.

“It was awesome. I told him I’ve never tried that. So it was a heck of a play, big time play for us," said J.T. Miller, who contributed a pair of assists.

Early in the third, though, the slumping Ducks (24-47-4) found the back of the net twice in 71 seconds.

Olen Zellweger scored his first NHL goal, then the Canucks left Mason McTavish unmanned at the side of the net and he slammed home his 18th of the campaign.

Joshua rescued the win with two minutes and 13 seconds left on the game clock.

Conor Garland sent him a backhanded pass from the end boards and Joshua, stationed alone in front of the Anaheim net, fired it in past Dostal to put Vancouver up 3-2 with his second of the game.

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."

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

The 23-year-old Latvian netminder has spent much of the season with the Abbotsford Canucks of the American Hockey League. He saw action in five NHL games last season, posting a 3-2-0 record with a .908 save percentage and a 2.75 goals-against average.

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 Edmonton 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.)”


Vancouver was 2-for-4 on the power play Sunday while Anaheim went 0-for-4 with the man advantage. The Canucks came into the matchup with their power play ranked 14th in the league, capitalizing on 21.8 per cent of their man advantages. Vancouver has struggled recently, though, going 3-for-22 across the first eight games of a nine-game homestand. The Ducks entered averaging the most penalty minutes per game in the league (14:03) and with the second worst penalty kill, having held opponents off on 73.2 per cent of their penalties across the season.


Canucks defenceman Nikita Zadorov sat out Sunday's contest and Noah Juulsen took his spot in the lineup. "Whether it's a rotation or a reset, a couple of guys are banged up," coach Rick Tocchet said before the game. "When you have seven or eight healthy (defencemen), this is the way to go."


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


Canucks: Visit the Golden Knights in Vegas on Tuesday to open a three-game road swing.

Ducks: Visit the Calgary Flames on Tuesday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 31, 2024.