Thursday, December 15, 2005


Canucks 5, Flyers 4
AP photo -- George Widman

[posted in full Fri ~9:28p]

The Vancouver Canucks had won three straight coming into the game, all against their first three Eastern Conference opponents on the schedule. They had beaten the Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators at home and were only the third team this season to come out of Madison Square Garden with a win over the Rangers. It was the second game for Alex Auld as the #1 starting goalie for Vancouver, and it was Matt Cooke's second game back from his jaw injury.

1st period
Alex Auld made a huge save from his back on Peter Forsberg in front of the net at the 9:15 mark. Michal Handzus shot from the right-wing boards, and Alex Auld stopped it, but Handzus followed up the shot and easily put it past Auld glove side.
»» 1, PHILADELPHIA, Michal Handzus 7 (Branko Radivojevic, Derian Hatcher) 10:28
Bryan Allen shot long from the left side, and it hit someone out in front and came out to the high slot, where Trevor Linden pushed it back to Allen, who had moved to the right side. Allen made a backhand pass back to Linden at the left faceoff dot, where the latter wristed a shot through traffic and past Robert Esche.
»» 2, VANCOUVER, Trevor Linden 4 (Bryan Allen, Richard Park) 13:40
With 3:42 left in the period, Mike Richards broke in on Auld, but the goalie gave him nothing to work with. On the play, Wade Brookbank ended up smashing Richards into the boards, but paid a price for it, ramming himself into the boards as well. Neither player returneed to the game. The Canucks were outshot 12-7 in the period. No penalties were called on the Flyers, who were 0-for-2 on the power play.

2nd period
The Flyers glided across center as Handzus made a cross-ice pass that Kim Johnsson controlled off his skate. Johnsson fired a quick wrister past Auld top corner glove side.
»» 3, PHILADELPHIA, Kim Johnsson 3 (Handzus) 5:52
Noloan Baumgartner had a shot from the blue line deflect and get through on Esche five-hole to tie the game.
»» 4, VANCOUVER, powerplay, Nolan Baumgartner 2 (Anson Carter, Henrik Sedin) 14:35
Mike Knuble and Peter Forsberg came across the right wing, and Knuble shot from the right-wing boards. It was a save you normally expect Auld to make, but somehow it got through him. Soft goal.
»» 5, PHILADELPHIA, Mike Knuble 14 (Sami Kapanen, Mike Rathje) 16:23
Vancouver intercepted a clearing pass with about five seconds left, and Daniel Sedin fired a shot from just inside the blue line that got past Esche. It got through cleanly, but was a couple tenths of a second too late. The Canucks were outshot 11-10 in the period (23-17 overall), but were 1-for-3 on the power play in the period and had zero penalties called on them.

3rd period
Markus Naslund along the end boards centered the puck and had it go in off of somebody in front. I had a reel that had a replay on it, and I've looked at it a billion times and couldn't tell who the puck bounced off of before going into the net.
»» 6, VANCOUVER, powerplay, Markus Naslund 17 (Todd Bertuzzi, Brendan Morrison) 3:29
Daniel Sedin flung a puck on the net from the high slot, which was stopped, but Anson Carter was right there waiting for the rebound, and he easily put it past a sprawling Esche, who was yanked for Antero Niittymaki.
»» 7, VANCOUVER, Carter 9 (Daniel Sedin, H Sedin) 4:06
Daniel Sedin and Anson Carter broke for a 2-on-1. Daniel made the perfect pass to the tape of Carter on the left side, who beat Niittymaki.
»» 8, VANCOUVER, Carter 10 (D Sedin, H Sedin) 9:23
Just as the Flyers had pulled Niittymaki for the extra attacker, Rathje put the puck on the net, which was stopped, but Kapanen scooped up the rebound and put it through.
»» 9, PHILADELPHIA, powerplay, Kapanen 3 (RJ Umberger, Rathje) 18:34
Auld atoned a bit for the previous soft goal(s) with a few huge stops in the last minute of play, not to mention stopping all but one of the many shots he faced in the period. The Canucks were badly outshot 20-9 in the period (43-26 total). They cashed in on their only power play of the period (2-for-4 overall), while Philadelphia was 1-for-3 (1-for-5). Auld stopped 39 shots.

Three stars -- (1) Carter, (2) D Sedin, (3) Philadelphia's Sami Kapanen

skater, goals-assists-points
Carter 2-1-3
H Sedin 0-3-3
D Sedin 0-2-2
Baumgartner 1-0-1
Linden 1-0-1
Naslund 1-0-1
Allen 0-1-1
Bertuzzi 0-1-1
Morrison 0-1-1
Park 0-1-1

The win was Vancouver's first this season when they trailed after two periods of play. They are now 1-8-1 in that situation. It was coach Marc Crawford's 389th career win as a coach.

Vancouver was 37-for-64 (58%) in the faceoff circle. Brendan Morrison was 8-for-16, Trevor Linden was 9-for-18, Ryan Kesler was a stellar 7-for-8, Henrik Sedin was 11-for-19, and Todd Bertuzzi was 2-for-3.

Markus Naslund and Anson Carter led the team with four shots apiece. Matt Cooke dished out four hits. Sami Salo blocked six shots. The second line was great, as Carter, Henrik Sedin, and Daniel Sedin were all plus-2. Plus-1 Canucks were Salo and Steve McCarthy. Minus skaters (minus-1) were Mattias Ohlund, Morrison, Naslund, Kesler, Matt Cooke, and Ed Jovanovski. The lone minus-2 Canuck skater was Bertuzzi. All other Canuck skaters were even.

The win pushed the Canucks to a 20-9-2 record (1-1 in shootouts, one overtime loss), good for 42 points and a two-point Northwest Division lead over second-place Calgary. They led Edmonton by four points and Colorado by seven points. The Canucks host the Oilers on Saturday night to kick off a six-game homestand that includes two home games against Calgary that roughly sandwich Christmas.

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