Wednesday, January 04, 2006


Stars 3, Canucks 1
Reuters photo -- Jeff Mitchell

[posted in full Fri ~7:04p]

After losing to the lowly Saint Louis Blues just two nights earlier, one would have to figure that the Canucks would have to respond to such a loss with a spirited effort, a win, and maybe even sixty minutes of good hard-working play. After all, the Canucks had lost seven of eight games coming into this game in Dallas, the front end of a back-to-back. A win would have been nice, since the Canucks had an 0-4 record this season on the tail end of back-to-back sets.

1st period
Seven minutes into his second NHL game, Alexandre Burrows took a puck to the end boards and was stapled to said boards by John Erskine. With 2:37 left in the period, Jon Klemm let a blast fly from the right point which got through Alex Auld but leaked wide of the net. Dallas outshot the Canucks 11-7 in the period. Vancouver was 0-for-2 on the power play while Dallas was 0-for-1.

2nd period
With the Stars trying to kill off a Niko Kapanen interference minor, Brendan Morrison beat Dallas goalie Marty Turco with a slapshot from the back of the left circle thanks to the nearby traffic created by Todd Bertuzzi, Matt Cooke, and their associated defenders.
»» 1, VANCOUVER, powerplay, Brendan Morrison 8 (Nolan Baumgartner, Markus Naslund) 8:31
With just over eight minutes remaining in the period, Sergei Zubov from the blue line centered a pass toward the slot which was deflected by Mike Modano toward the crease to Jussi Jokinen, whose shot was stopped by the alert Alex Auld in net. Dallas outshot the Canucks 13-8 in the period (24-15 overall). The Canucks were 1-for-1 on the power play (1-for-3) while Dallas was 0-for-3 (0-for-4).

3rd period
The Canucks sat on the one-goal lead and had it through most of the third period though their play was deteriorating. With Vancouver down a man for an early Matt Cooke hook, Stephane Robidas from the left point passed to Stu Barnes, who skated away from the crease before centering to Jason Arnott in front of the net. Auld remained sharp, stopping Arnott's jabs. Not long after, Bill Guerin shot from the right point and had it deflected by Mathias Tjarnqvist onto the net, where Auld kicked it away. With 8:33 left in regulation, Erskine appeared again, throwing Jarkko Ruutu onto his teakettle with a stiff left arm as he was trying to leave his defensive zone. Vancouver's top line failed to get the puck out of its own zone, and Dallas finally capitalized. A Guerin shot from the high slot was kicked out by the pad of Auld to the right-wing boards. Bryan Allen's clearing attempt was held in at the blue line by Sergei Zubov, who immediately blasted a shot from the blue line that got through Auld. The goal was originally credited to Zubov, but the NHL scoresheet leads me to believe the puck was double-deflected by Tjarnqvist mid-slot and Steve Ott in front of the net.
»» 2, DALLAS, Steve Ott 4 (Mathias Tjarnqvist, Sergei Zubov) 12:17
The game stayed tied for 85 seconds. With about three Canucks and two Stars in front of the net, Jason Arnott held the puck behind the net, walked out in front untouched, and fired a shot through Henrik Sedin's legs and past Auld. That's what it looks like on the goal reel.
»» 3, DALLAS, Jason Arnott 12 (Brenden Morrow, Stu Barnes) 13:42
Sami Salo tried to pass from his own blue line to one of the Vancouver forwards, but the puck was picked off by Mike Modano, who skated behind the right circle and unleashed a perfect wrister that beat Auld high inside the far post.
»» 4, DALLAS, Mike Modano 16 (unassisted) 17:34
Vancouver was outshot 13-6 in the period (37-21 overall). The Canucks had no power plays and finished the game 1-for-3. Dallas was scoreless on their only chance of the final period and finished 0-for-5. Auld stopped 34 shots.

Three stars -- (1) Dallas' Jason Arnott, (2) Dallas' Sergei Zubov, (3) Dallas' Stu Barnes

skater, goals-assists-points
Morrison 1-0-1
Baumgartner 0-1-1
Naslund 0-1-1

Here's a gross stat from Canuck radio play-by-play man John Shorthouse -- the Canucks have been outshot 144-83 in their last 11 third periods. They've been getting outworked in every third period lately, and the quantitative proof just makes it all the more sickening. In this particular game, it was too bad that Alex Auld did his job when the Canucks were up 1-0, but the offense didn't feed off of that. Worse yet, the Canucks' own worst enemy, the defensive zone breakdown, appeared yet again. All three of the Dallas goals were related to bad plays by the defense. Failure to clear led to the tying goal, horrible coverage led to the go-ahead goal, and a Salo giveaway led to the Modano goal. Brutal.

Vancouver was 21-for-45 (47%) in the faceoff circle. Brendan Morrison was 6-for-12, Trevor Linden was 4-for-10, Ryan Kesler was 1-for-7 (ouch), Henrik Sedin was 6-for-10, and Todd Bertuzzi was 3-for-3.

Daniel Sedin led the team with seven shots, but unfortunately that accounted for one-third of the Vancouver shots on net. Kesler led the team with five hits, and Anson Carter had four. The scorekeepers reflected Bryan Allen's tough night with a staggering seven giveaways. Mattias Ohlund blocked six shots.

There were zero plus-skating Canucks. Minus-1 Canucks were Allen, Daniel Sedin, Kevin Bieksa, Henrik Sedin, and Carter. Minus-2 skaters were Sami Salo, Morrison, Markus Naslund, Steve McCarthy, and Bertuzzi. All other skaters were even.

The loss put the Canucks at 21-14-5 (1-3 shootout, two overtime losses), good for 47 points. The Canucks have lost eight of nine.

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