ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Michael Grabner scored three goals and the Vancouver Canucks clinched a Western Conference playoff spot with a 5-4 shootout victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Friday night.
The Canucks came out on top in a matchup of backup goalies for teams trying to secure places in the postseason. Vancouver, the Northwest Division leader, earned its berth once the game was extended to overtime.
Grabner had never scored more than one goal in a game and had only two this season. Andrew Raycroft started in place of Roberto Luongo, who gave up eight goals in an 8-3 loss at Los Angeles on Thursday, and made 30 saves.
Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu both scored two goals each for the Ducks, who were beaten 3-1 in the shootout and are long shots to qualify for the playoffs. Selanne moved into 17th place on the NHL career goal list with 603.
Selanne moved ahead of Jari Kurri, who along with Jaromir Jagr, are the only European-born players with at least 600 NHL goals.
Anaheim is 11th in the West, six points below the playoff cutoff with five games to play. Curtis McElhinney got the start in goal for the Ducks because Jonas Hiller was out due to back spasms. He made 36 saves.
The Canucks appeared to be on their way to a regulation win after Jannik Hansen's goal made it 4-3 with 6:27 remaining, but Koivu's second of the night tied it with 1:24 left.
Selanne and Bobby Ryan were stopped by Raycroft in the shootout. Pavol Demitra scored what proved to be the winning goal before Ryan's attempt.
Neither team got much going in the first period. McElhinney stopped 17 shots in the frame, and Raycroft made 12 saves at the other end.
The offense picked up in the second. Koivu gave the Ducks a 1-0 lead at 3:01. He circled back after taking a pass from Jason Blake behind the Canucks net and lifted a shot over Raycroft's right shoulder.
Grabner tied it 7:06 later. The unlikely scorer received a pass from Ryan Kesler just past his blue line, got by the last Ducks defender, and skated unimpeded up ice before beating McElhinney.
Selanne put the Ducks back in front when he put in a rebound from in close with 5:9 left in the second.
Grabner scored at 1:22 and 3:55 of the third to give the Canucks a 3-2 lead, but Selanne's 24th of the second lifted Anaheim back into a tie.
NOTES: The Ducks are 7-2-1 in their last 10 and 21-12-2 in the past 35. ... Grabner hadn't scored a goal since Oct. 25 against Edmonton.