VANCOUVER - The last time the Vancouver Canucks beat the Anaheim Ducks in regulation, Eddie Lack was in the minors and Bo Horvat had yet to be drafted.
Both played an integral part in snapping that ugly streak on Monday.
Horvat opened the scoring in the first period before taking a key faceoff on a 6-on-4 penalty kill late in the third, and Lack made 29 saves as the Canucks held on to beat the Ducks 2-1.
"I thought the whole team played really well," said Horvat, a 19-year-old rookie who has gained the trust of head coach Willie Desjardins. "The whole team was contributing tonight — goaltending all the way through. We were doing the little things, playing well defensively. That was a huge win for us. We need those points."
Zack Kassian buried the winner from the slot with 3:59 left in the third for Vancouver (38-24-4) — which sits second in the Pacific Division, three points up on the Calgary Flames — after Emerson Etem tied it for Anaheim (42-19-7) with his fifth of the season at 8:40 of the final period.
"I think it showed the character of our team," said Kassian, who scored his 10th of the campaign. "We bounced back and our hardest push was in the third."
The Canucks had not beaten the Ducks in regulation since Jan. 13, 2013, and also handed Anaheim its first one-goal loss in regulation this season.
"I'm feeling good right now, I'm not going to lie," said Lack. "It's fun playing right now, playing these hard games, tough games. I feel like everyone is standing up for each other. It's a huge team game right now."
Vancouver had 10 shots through two periods and managed just six more in the third on Frederick Andersen, but the Canucks made their few chances count.
"They're a tough team. I think we played hard all night," said Desjardins. "You just don't generate a whole lot against them. I thought the guys were focused right from the start. I thought we had lots of energy. I think whenever you play them you're going to have a battle. You look at all their one-goal games, that's just how they play."
Anaheim — which entered play first in the NHL standings and was 26-0-7 in games decided by one goal — lost its second straight after winning four in a row.
"It's a crappy feeling, you don't like to lose at all, but they took advantage of a mistake we made and we don't make a lot of them," said Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau, whose team was 9-0-1 over its last 10 against Vancouver. "We felt if we stayed the course we were eventually going to score a goal and then once we scored we let our foot off the gas and they came on a bit and started to play with a little desperation."
After allowing the first goal in six straight games, and having gone down 2-0 in each of their last four, the Canucks got on the board at 9:57 of the opening period when Horvat jumped on a loose puck in the slot and ripped his 11th of the season, and second in as many games, shortside on Andersen.
"You don't want to try and come from behind against that team," said Desjardins. "I thought we responded well. Once they tied it I thought we came back and started to play hard. It was a good effort all the way around."
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