|Jason Jaffray (l.) and Mason Raymond celebrate Raymond’s first NHL goal on Wednesday night (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)|
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The two fresh faces in the Vancouver Canucks dressing room were easy to spot. Lockers displaying pucks with a piece of tape that said: "1st NHL goal" gave Mason Raymond and Jason Jaffray away.
The pair of injury fill-ins assisted on each other’s goals, and the Canucks — without forward Brendan Morrison — beat the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 on Wednesday night.
"It was a great feeling to see the look on Mason’s face when he got his first one out of the way," Jaffray said. "And when that puck went in for me, I could have jumped five, six feet in the air. It’s definitely a moment I’ll always remember."
"They called two young players up from the [AHL] and both of them made a contribution," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "That’s huge when you can have young guys step in and get on the score sheet for you."
Morrison’s 542-game playing streak, the longest current run in the NHL, ended when the 32-year-old center was forced out of the lineup by a wrist injury that will require surgery.
"It’s not great for the Canucks to hear that he’s going to be out for a while," Jaffray said. "I’m definitely not a guy who’s going to fill his shoes, but I’m a guy that’s been brought in to maybe soften the blow a little bit. If I can provide offense and create scoring chances, that’s kind of what I do."
Jaffray, making his NHL debut, chipped the puck past defenseman Francois Beauchemin in the neutral zone and threw a cross-ice pass to Raymond, who snapped a one-timer past Jean-Sebastien Giguere at 17:35 of the first period.
"It’s always nice to get that first one under your belt. There was a little bit of relief there," Raymond said. "Jaffray made a great pass to me, and all I had to do was put it in the net. It’s something I’ll always cherish."
"He has amazing speed and an NHL shot. It was just a matter of time for him," Sanford said. "Maybe going back to Manitoba got him geared up to get back here, as it always does to all of us who have been through it. But by no means did he look out of place the first time he was up here."
Jaffray, a Second Team AHL All-Star in 2006-07, gave Vancouver a three-goal cushion at 4:54 of the second period.
"That far exceeds my expectations, to get regular shifts with Taylor Pyatt and Mason Raymond and also get a chance to play on the power play," Jaffray said. "It couldn’t have happened any better for me, to get a goal and an assist. It seemed like all the waiting was definitely worth it."