ANAHEIM, Calif. – Cory Schneider made 26 saves for his first career shutout, Manny Malhotra scored two goals and the NHL-leading Vancouver Canucks won consecutive games for the first time in four weeks, beating the Anaheim Ducks 3-0 on Sunday night.
NHL scoring leader Daniel Sedin got a power-play goal in the third period for the Canucks, who had alternated wins and losses for a full month before back-to-back victories in Southern California to kick off a five-game trip.
Dan Ellis stopped 13 shots in his first regulation loss in five appearances with the Ducks, whose three-game winning streak ended.
Malhotra scored his 100th career goal in the opening minute before adding another goal 17 seconds into the second period. Jannik Hansen assisted on both goals as Vancouver moved seven points ahead of East-leading Philadelphia in the Presidents' Trophy race.
After third-period comebacks led to overtime victories over Detroit and Dallas in their past two games, the Ducks missed a chance to leapfrog back into the top eight in the crowded West playoff picture. Anaheim dropped to 3-2-1 on a key seven-game homestand that ends Wednesday against the New York Rangers.
Schneider capitalized on a rare chance to play in place of starter Roberto Luongo, earning his first shutout in 29 career appearances.
One day after Luongo picked up his 300th career victory against the Kings, his extremely capable backup picked up a historic shutout in just his second appearance in the past nine games. Schneider's stats are nearly identical to the totals of Luongo, the Canadian Olympic hero.
Backed by several hundred blue-jerseyed Vancouver fans making an organized winter trip to sunny California, the Canucks beat Los Angeles 3-1 on Saturday. The same fans were at Honda Center, jeeringly chanting Ellis' name and yelling "M-V-P!" for Sedin.
Malhotra put the Canucks ahead just 42 seconds in, beating Ellis with a stoppable shot on an odd-man rush. The veteran center then created his own goal on the first shift of the second period, disrupting Ellis behind the net and forcing a turnover by rookie Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler before banging home a one-timer from Hansen.
Malhotra is a journeyman center who specializes in defense, but his two-goal game was his third of the season, albeit the first since Nov. 6.
The Ducks twice hit Schneider's post in the second period, but failed to capitalize on four power plays.
Sedin, who scored the tiebreaking goal in Vancouver's win at Los Angeles, capitalized in the third period with accidental help from Ducks defenseman Andreas Lilja, whose stick redirected Sedin's slap shot between Ellis' legs.
NOTES: Ducks C Saku Koivu sat out his sixth straight game with a strained groin, and LW Jason Blake missed his second game with a cut on his right hand. All-Star G Jonas Hiller still hasn't been cleared to return from an apparent bout of vertigo that has kept him out of nine straight games ... Anaheim scoring leader Corey Perry limped to the locker room with 4 minutes left after getting hit along the boards, but quickly returned. ... The Ducks donated every inch of advertising on the rink boards to the Children's Hospital of Orange County.