Sunday, October 16, 2005


Canucks 5, Stars 2
Reuters photo -- Andy Clark

[posted in full Mon ~3:19p]

Would the Canucks come back from four-game road trip and be sluggish for the first game of the homestand? Would the Canucks succumb to Marty Turco's crazy-good record against Canadian teams?

1st period
It was a pretty good start. Anson Carter was called for a hook just 32 seconds into the game, though Stephane Robidas dove to sell it, which wasn't called. However, the Canucks would later be the beneficiary of two quick Dallas penalties -- one on Robidas for hooking to pull down Brendan Morrison, and one on Mike Modano for hooking Markus Naslund, who had just put a shot off Todd Bertuzzi's skate in the crease. On the two-man advantage, Henrik Sedin was stopped, but Daniel Sedin pounced on the rebound.
»» 1, VANCOUVER, powerplay, Daniel Sedin 1 (Henrik Sedin, Ed Jovanovski) 5:47
Before you knew it, Sami Salo was letting fly with a slapshot. Money.
»» 2, VANCOUVER, powerplay, Sami Salo 2 (unassisted) 6:16
Lee Goren knocked down Dallas goalie Marty Turco, except Turco completely sold it. Nonetheless, Goren went to the box. Vancouver killed the penalty, and as soon as Goren left the box, Philippe Boucher wanted a piece of him. Boucher paid the price, losing the fight and getting penalized for 19 minutes in one shot (2 for instigating, 2 for unsportsmanlike conduct, 5 for fighting, 10 for game misconduct). Goren simply took the five. Turco kicked out his right leg to trip Bertuzzi, but Dallas was able to kill the subsequent two-man advantage. Alex Auld made a splendid stop on a shot by Bill Guerin, set up by Brenden Morrow. Carter was called once again in the period, this time for holding the stick, though the Canucks killed that penalty as well. Vancouver outshot Dallas 13-6 in the period.

2nd period
The middle frame was less kind. Ryan Kesler was stopped on a 2-on-1, and Matt Cooke's attempt on the rebound was foiled as well. Auld made a good glove save on a backhand by Jason Arnott. However, it wasn't so good for Vancouver when Mike Modano had the puck behind the net, moved Auld the wrong way, and passed to Jere Lehtinen out front, who beat Auld.
»» 3, DALLAS, Jere Lehtinen 3 (Mike Modano, Jussi Jokinen) 5:00
The Finn struck again, though this time Auld wasn't fully set for the shot. Lehtinen scooted the puck through Auld's five-hole to tie the game. That was quick.
»» 4, DALLAS, Lehtinen 4 (Brenden Morrow, Trevor Daley) 8:35
Jon Klemm was called for interference shortly after the goal, putting the Canucks on the power play, which was killed. Of course, this helped the Canucks not let the momentum completely go the Stars' way. Shortly after the scoreless power play, Richard Park put up a shot that was stopped, and Turco robbed Cooke on the rebound. The Sedins and Carter had a good shift, maintaining pressure in the Dallas zone, but the shift lasted nearly two minutes, so they were pretty gassed afterward. Goren was stopped by Turco's blocker on a give-and-go from Trevor Linden. Vancouver outshot Dallas 10-7 in the period and led 23-13 on shots after 40 minutes.

3rd period
It didn't take long. Goren broke for the net but shot wide. The puck went out to Jarkko Ruutu, who held it at the blueline and simply threw it toward the net, where Goren redirected the puck into the net. Good timing, and a Vancouver lead. This obtained by the fourth line, no less.
»» 5, VANCOUVER, Lee Goren 1 (Jarkko Ruutu, Bryan Allen) 3:47
Ed Jovanovski went to the box for holding a stick, and Auld had to make a couple stops on Boucher, and watched a Robidas one-timer go over the goal. Mattias Ohlund had a puck go under his stick to thwart a promising four-man rush for Vancouver. With the Canucks slow on a backcheck, Auld had to make a huge post-to-post save on Morrow in close. Antti Miettinen went to the box for Dallas after hooking Park from behind. Carter was tripped up soon after to give Vancouver a short two-man advantage. Goren nearly put a rebound into the net, but definitely was in the mix for Bertuzzi putting the puck in from the right circle. There had to be a deflection off of a Dallas stick or something, because Goren somehow didn't get an assist on the play despite being right in front of the net.
»» 6, VANCOUVER, powerplay, Todd Bertuzzi 2 (Markus Naslund, Jovanovski) 14:31
Cooke hit Arnott while he was getting the puck, then Arnott retaliated by cross-checking Cooke, which put Vancouver on the power play once again. The power play expired without a Vancouver goal, but the Canucks didn't have to wait long for Park to take a nice feed from Jovanovski and fire a wrister from the left circle to beat Turco up high.
»» 7, VANCOUVER, Richard Park 3 (Jovanovski) 17:40
Vancouver outshot Dallas 12-7 in the final period and 35-20 for the game.

Three stars -- (1) Goren, (2) Dallas' Jere Lehtinen, (3) Morrison

skater, goals-assists-points
Jovanovski 0-3-3
Bertuzzi 1-0-1
Goren 1-0-1
Park 1-0-1
Salo 1-0-1
D Sedin 1-0-1
Allen 0-1-1
Naslund 0-1-1
Ruutu 0-1-1
H Sedin 0-1-1

The Canucks got early powerplays and took full advantage of them. They nearly let the game get away from them, but they mounted some good pressure after Jere Lehtinen's second goal. Alex Auld let in another soft goal for his second straight game, but the good thing is that he's not collapsing after letting in the fluky goals. Auld stopped 18 of 20 for the game.

The fourth Vancouver goal, originally given to Ed Jovanovski, was given to Todd Bertuzzi after the game. Though none of the in-game announcements reflected it, that was Bertuzzi's 200th career goal.

Vancouver improved on faceoffs to the point where they won a majority of them, winning 31 of 61. Brendan Morrison, who had his best game of the year [this part used to say he was the only scoreless Canuck left this season, which is untrue; he is one of three without a goal along with seven other Canucks. He has only two assists on the season], was 10-for-22. Trevor Linden was 4-for-8. Ryan Kesler was 4-for-12. Henrik Sedin was 7-for-12. Todd Bertuzzi won all three of his faceoffs.

You won't see it in the point list above, but Jarkko Ruutu was a plus-2 to go along with his assist. Plus-1 skaters included Bryan Allen, Trevor Linden, Richard Park, and Lee Goren. Oddly, Matt Cooke was a minus-2. Sami Salo got a boatload of ice-time once again, getting 26:52, with Mattias Ohlund (21:43) and Ed Jovanovski (21:16) being the nearest competitors. A five-minute gap is big, and I guess I just hope Salo isn't spent in March and April.

Next for Vancouver are the three remaining games left on the homestand -- Tuesday against Chicago, Thursday against Phoenix, and Saturday against Colorado (big game).

The Canucks are 4-1-1 (shootout loss in the third column), good for nine points in the standings and a three-point Northwest Division lead over the Edmonton Oilers.

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