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Ducks end Canucks' home run

THE Anaheim Ducks beat Vancouver 6-5 in a shootout on Thursday, handing the Canucks their first home loss since January 31.

Corey Perry scored in regulation and had the deciding goal in the shootout as the Ducks maintained their drive to secure a playoff spot with their eighth win in nine games.

Anaheim goaltender Jonas Hiller stopped the Canucks' third shootout effort.

The Ducks (40-32-6) are currently seventh in the Western Conference by a margin of one point with four games left, while Vancouver (42-25-10) clinched a playoff spot by virtue of the overtime loss and are tied for third.

"There were a lot of odd things going on out there," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle told reporters.

"I'm sure that both coaches won't be happy with the number of goals that were given up. We were trading chances. "We can't play that type of game."

In a matchup of two of the hottest teams in the NHL, both squads raced out to produce five goals apiece in the first two periods. Bobby Ryan and Teemu Selanne each scored twice for Anaheim, while five different players scored for the Canucks.

After taking a 2-0 lead in the first period, Anaheim surrendered four unanswered goals, capped by Daniel Sedin's 31st of the season that gave Vancouver a 4-2 lead at 5:18 in the second.

Henrik Sedin, Kyle Wellwood, Alexandre Burrows and Ryan Kesler also added goals for the Canucks, who lost for the first time in four games.

"Obviously Anaheim is a very good team offensively and they made us pay every time we made a mistake," said Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa.

In Detroit, David Backes scored a career-high four goals, including the go-ahead score with 4:07 left, in the surging St Louis Blues' 5-4 victory over the Detroit Red Wings.

Andy McDonald also scored, and Chris Mason made 34 saves to help the Blues jump from ninth to seventh in the Western Conference playoff race.

Two assists

Nicklas Lidstrom had a goal and two assists, and Pavel Datsyuk, Johan Franzen and Niklas Kronwall each had a goal and an assist for Detroit, which lost its third straight and fourth in five games. Ty Conklin stopped 28 shots.

Backes broke a 4-4 tie with his 30th goal of the season, scoring on a one-timer from the bottom of the left circle.

In Raleigh, North Carolina, Chad LaRose and Rod Brind'Amour scored 28 seconds apart late in the third period of Carolina's club-record 10th straight home victory - this time over the Rangers 4-2.

LaRose finished with two goals, and Eric Staal had a goal and an assist, and Cam Ward made 36 saves in his career-best 25th straight start.

The Hurricanes extended their season-best winning streak to seven while surpassing the nine consecutive home wins they had in 2005-06, when they went on to win their first Stanley Cup. They took another step toward wrapping up one of the eight Eastern Conference playoff spots, jumping past Pittsburgh and Philadelphia into fourth place.

Elsewhere, it was: Canadiens 5, Islanders 1; Flames 2, Stars 1; Sharks 2, Oilers 1; Bruins 2, Senators 1; and Coyotes 2, Kings 1.


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