VANCOUVER — Alexandre Burrows picked a good time to snap a lengthy scoreless drought.
On an emotional night that saw two of his former teammates — Kevin Bieksa and Ryan Kesler — back at Rogers Arena together with Anaheim, Burrows scored the only goal in the shootout as the Vancouver Canucks rallied to a 2-1 win over the Ducks on Friday.
"It’s been a while so it’s always nice to contribute a little bit," said Burrows, who hadn’t scored since Nov. 21. "I didn’t know what to do. I went in and saw a spot and as able to hit it."
Burrows, the first shooter in the tiebreaker, whipped a shot past Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen to the low blocker side. It proved to be the winner when Vancouver netminder Jacob Markstrom stopped all three shots he faced, including one from Kesler.
The victory marked the first time this season Vancouver has picked up a win when trailing after two periods.
Chris Tanev, who returned to the lineup after missing the Canucks’ previous two games with a foot injury, scored in regulation. He beat Anderson with a floater from the point at 10:24 of third period to tie the game. Burrows picked up an assist on the goal for his first point in 17 games.
Kesler, who was booed every time he touched, opened the scoring on the power play in the second period for Anaheim (15-15-7). The goal was his first against Vancouver since joining the Ducks last year.
"It felt good," said Kesler, who took a few extra seconds to celebrate his goal. "I was just savouring the moment there."
Markstrom earned his fourth win of the year after making 27 saves for the Canucks (15-15-9).
Vancouver’s Henrik Sedin had a breakaway in the dying seconds of overtime, but he lost the puck just in front of Andersen, who finished the game with 24 saves.
"We were playing a little bit more defensive," said Vancouver coach Willie Desjardins. "I like playing offensive. I don’t like sitting back as much as that. I’d rather get more aggressive, but we’ve gotten points out of games that we haven’t in the past, so it’s good."
Kesler opened the scoring for Anaheim when he tapped in a second period power-play chance at 7:24, giving the Ducks a 1-0 lead.
The former Canuck snuck behind Vancouver defenceman Matt Bartkowski and buried a cross-crease feed from Chris Stewart, who was back in the lineup after being scratched in the previous four games. Mike Santorelli sparked the goal with a slick cross-ice feed to Stewart.
Corey Perry nearly doubled Anaheim’s lead early in the third period, but his shot hit the left post, giving Tanev an opportunity to score the equalizer.
The Ducks came close to opening the scoring twice in the first period when both Santorelli and Rickard Rakell clanged chances off the post.
"We gave them nothing all night," Kesler said. "Even their goal was a wrist shot from the boards and it finds a way through traffic. That happens. Lucky goal. Lucky shot. I thought we played a pretty perfect game."
Canucks fans gave Bieksa a standing ovation after a video tribute was played inside the arena early in the first period.
"The video brought back some memories," Bieksa said. "It was humbling. It was flattering and I appreciate the support of the fans. I had a great time here in Vancouver and wouldn’t trade it for the world."
Notes: The Canucks host Arizona Monday. â€¦ The Ducks return to Anaheim to open a season-long eight-game homestand Sunday against Winnipeg. â€¦ Vancouver’s Brandon Prust left the bench late in the second period after colliding with Kesler. â€¦ Anaheim allowed a NHL-best 22 goals in the month of December.