Joshua scores twice as Vancouver Canucks win 3-2 over Ducks

Dakota Joshua scored twice and his Vancouver Canucks held on for a 3-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday.

Brock Boeser added a first-period power-play goal for the Canucks (46-20-8) and J.T. Miller contributed a pair of assists.

The Ducks (24-47-4) got third-period tallies from Olen Zellweger and Mason McTavish.

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

Lukas 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.

The Canucks remain atop the Pacific Division standings, four points up on the Edmonton Oilers.

After giving up a pair of third-period goals, the Canucks smothered the Ducks through the second half of the final frame.

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Garland set up the game-winning strike with two minutes and 13 seconds left on the clock, sending a blind backhanded pass to Joshua from the end boards. The big winger fired it in past Dostal for his second goal of the afternoon to put Vancouver up 3-2.

Anaheim got a prime opportunity to score the game winner when Noah Juulsen was called for tripping 14:09 into the third period, a call that drew loud boos and chants of “ref you suck!” from the crowd.

The Canucks killed off the penalty without the Ducks registering a single shot on goal.

Vancouver was 2-for-4 on the power play Sunday while Anaheim went 0-for-4 with the man advantage.

Zellweger beat Silovs 3:37 into the final frame, sending a shot over the netminder’s glove from the bottom of the faceoff circle for his first NHL goal.

Seventy-one seconds later, Gustav Lindstrom tried to wrap a shot around the Vancouver net and an unmarked McTavish was there to pick up the puck. The Ducks centre slammed a wrist shot in behind Silovs to knot the score at 2-2.

Silovs has spent much of the season with the Abbotsford Canucks of the American Hockey League. The 23-year-old Latvian netminder 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.

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A highlight-reel worthy power-play goal from Joshua gave the Canucks a 2-0 cushion at the 9:34 mark of 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 Dostal stick side.

Joshua’s goal — his 14th of the season — came in his second game back after missing nearly seven weeks with a hand injury.

The Canucks came into Sunday’s 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.

Vancouver opened the scoring 11:26 into the game with a power-play tally after Ben Meyers put a puck over the glass and was handed a delay-of-game penalty.

Dostal stopped a big shot from Hughes but the rebound popped out to Boeser, who swept in a backhanded shot to put the Canucks up 1-0.

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Boeser leads the team with 38 goals on the season.

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