VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Ryan Miller acknowledged an ovation from the crowd marking his return to Rogers Arena with a wave moments before the opening faceoff.
The veteran goalie then went out and stopped 31 shots for his second shutout of the season and the 41st of his career in leading the Anaheim Ducks to a 5-0 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night.
Signed by Anaheim during the summer to back up John Gibson after three seasons as the Canucks’ starter, the 37-year-old Miller was his usual solid self, making timely stops when Vancouver pushed as Anaheim picked up its fifth victory in the last six games.
“I enjoyed my time here immensely,” Miller said. “My wife and I have great memories up here. My son was born here, so it’s always going to have a big place in our heart beyond just the hockey.”
Ryan Getzlaf had a goal and two assists, Rickard Rakell added a goal and an assist, and Antoine Vermette, Adam Henrique and Derek Grant also scored for Anaheim. Josh Manson had three assists, and Hampus Lindholm had two.
Miller, who had a combined .914 save percentage with the Canucks, bumped his mark up seven points to .935 with the Ducks.
“It’s nice to come back,” he said. “I just tried to have fun with it.”
Anders Nilsson allowed four goals on 19 shots for slumping Vancouver, which has just two wins in its last 12 games, before getting pulled early in the third period. Jacob Markstrom came on and finished with seven saves.
Making his first start since a 7-5 home loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Dec. 19, Nilsson gave up a bad goal just 56 seconds into the game. Lindholm fired a clearing attempt from his own blue line that Nilsson steered into the path of a hard-charging Henrique, who swooped into the corner and fired a shot from below the goal-line that somehow caromed off the goalie’s stick and in for his ninth of the season.
“You’d like to make every save out there,” said Nilsson, who saw his save percentage dip to .900. “First one was definitely on me, that’s something I would like to have back.
“I wasn’t able to make…