Back in June, Ryan Kesler wanted to be traded away from a Vancouver Canucks team that he thought was years away from contending. He was dealt to Anaheim, but at least on this night, the Canucks were the better squad. To add insult to injury, one of the players Vancouver got in the exchange was part of the reason for that as Nick Bonino scored the deciding goal in the 2-1 shootout victory over Anaheim.
“It doesn’t get much better than that, getting the win in a shootout was something,” Bonino said, per the Canucks’ Twitter feed.
Kesler had a chance to even the shootout in the third round, but he hit the post.
That isn’t to suggest that Kesler had a bad game. He had an assist, won 67% of his faceoffs, and logged 22:09 minutes of ice time. He also had some good scoring opportunities.
Rather than blame Kesler, Canucks goaltender Eddie Lack deserves a lot of credit for tonight’s victory. The backup got off to a rough start this season and he was winless coming into Sunday’s contest. He turned aside 28 of 29 shots tonight though to keep the Canucks alive.
“Huge for me, getting my first win of the year. I’ve just tried to focus on the right stuff,” Lack said.
Vancouver has improved to 11-5-0 this season, but Anaheim still has a narrow hold on the Pacific Division with its 10-3-3 record. Kesler and the Ducks will have an opportunity to get revenge on Vancouver on Nov. 20.