Dec 1, 2016; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Anaheim Ducks forward Ondrej Kase (86) moves the puck against Vancouver Canucks goaltender Ryan Miller (30) during the second period at Rogers Arena. (Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports)
Anne-Marie Sorvin/Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Spor
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Randy Carlyle didn't know much about Ondrej Kase when the Anaheim Ducks promoted the rookie forward from the minors.
He is learning a lot more about him right now.
Kase scored his first NHL goal, John Gibson made 27 saves and the Ducks beat the Vancouver Canucks 3-1 on Thursday night.
The 21-year-old Kase was a seventh-round selection back in 2014, but the Czech forward has found his way to the Ducks' roster after starting the season with the San Diego Gulls of the AHL.
“It's always good to see when you have a young kid that has kind of never been on your radar screen,” said Carlyle, who is in his second stint as Anaheim's coach. “We didn't even have him for training camp because he was injured and then he comes in and he's been an every-game player for us since we got him.”
Jakob Silfverberg and Andrew Cogliano also scored for Anaheim (12-8-4), which has won three in a row.
“We're getting better at playing as a group night in and night out,” captain Ryan Getzlaf said. “Our guys are doing a great job surrounding our net and not giving a whole lot up.”
Henrik Sedin had Vancouver's only goal, and Ryan Miller stopped 21 shots. The Canucks (10-12-2) had won two in a row.
After dominating a scoreless first period, the Ducks took the lead 3:19 into the second when Cam Fowler weaved into the offensive zone before dishing off to Silfverberg, who converted a one-timer for his eighth of the season.
Vancouver then had a great opportunity with 58 seconds of a 5-on-3 power play, but Gibson, who was coming of a 39-save performance in Tuesday's 2-1 victory over Montreal, stopped Daniel Sedin on two point-blank chances before Brandon Sutter fanned on a loose puck in the slot.
“Sometimes you work your butt off and you lose, but when you lose knowing you could have given a bit more it's very disappointing,” Vancouver defenseman Luca Sbisa said. “I don't know why it happened. We had a lot of momentum going into this game, putting two wins together. I think it's something with our heads mentally.
“Obviously we didn't go into this game giving 100 percent.”
Anaheim opened a 2-0 lead with 5:25 left in the period when Kase caught Miller out of position before throwing a puck in front that caromed off Vancouver defenseman Nikita Tryamkin, the post and finally Erik Gudbranson before crossing the line for his first goal in his eighth NHL game.
“It's unbelievable,” Kase said. “It was a little bit lucky.”
Ryan Kesler, the former Canucks forward who gets booed every time he touches the puck at Rogers Arena, then ripped a shot off the post behind Miller that stayed out in the final seconds of the second.
Vancouver got one back with seven minutes left in regulation when Henrik Sedin finished off a pass from Loui Eriksson at the side of the net after Fowler's clearing attempt took a bad bounce off the glass.
The Canucks continued to press in the final moments, but Cogliano beat Miller for his sixth with 2:35 left as Anaheim closed out a successful opener to its three-game road trip through western Canada.
NOTES: Kase was the 205th pick in the draft.
Ducks: Visit Edmonton on Saturday night.
Canucks: Conclude a three-game homestand Saturday against Toronto.