Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Canucks 4, Maple Leafs 3
[posted in full Fri 20 Jan ~8:18p]
After beating the lowly Blackhawks and then rallying to beat the Calgary Flames at home, the Canucks seemed to have leveled out a bit from a stretch where they had lost eight of nine games. How would they fare against the Toronto Maple Leafs? Canada's version of the New York Yankees came in with the same amount of points as Vancouver (51), and also with the second-winningest goaltender in NHL history with Ed Belfour. Would the Canucks carry this momentum into a third straight game?
With Vancouver on the power play, Sami Salo had a slapshot blocked by Clarke Wilm, and Chad Kilger streaked down the ice. Kilger held off Salo as he headed toward the net, then Wilm did a spin-o-rama and stuck the puck through Alex Auld.
»» 1, TORONTO, shorthanded, Chad Kilger 8 (Clarke Wilm) 4:41
»» MAPLE LEAFS 1, CANUCKS 0
Jarkko Ruutu on the left side moved with the puck and lost it, but Alexandre Burrows fed it back across the crease to Ruutu, who put it over Ed Belfour's right shoulder.
»» 2, VANCOUVER, Jarkko Ruutu 7 (Alexandre Burrows) 12:48
»» MAPLE LEAFS 1, CANUCKS 1
Kilger from the end boards put the puck out front to Alexander Khavanov, who beat Auld.
»» 3, TORONTO, Alexander Khavanov 3 (Kilger, Wade Belak) 17:54
»» MAPLE LEAFS 2, CANUCKS 1
Vancouver outshot the Maple Leafs 10-8 in the period. Toronto was 0-for-1 on the power play, and Vancouver was 0-for-3.
Ryan Kesler stole the puck in the Toronto zone and passed across to Matt Cooke, who beat Belfour stick side from the inside notches of the left circle.
»» 4, VANCOUVER, Matt Cooke 7 (Ryan Kesler) 10:25
»» MAPLE LEAFS 2, CANUCKS 2
Burrows backhanded a shot wide, then had the rebound go to Todd Bertuzzi, who held the puck in and dished back to Burrows. Burrows skated back behind the net, came out and put another shot on the net, which was stopped, and the puck flew high into the air and ended up in the net, possibly off a Toronto defender in front. This was Burrows' first NHL goal.
»» 5, VANCOUVER, Burrows 1 (Todd Bertuzzi, Kesler) 16:45
»» CANUCKS 3, MAPLE LEAFS 2
Toronto badly outshot the Canucks 13-4 in the period (21-14 overall). The Leafs were 0-for-2 on the power play (0-for-3) and Vancouver was 0-for-3 again (0-for-6).
Daniel Sedin from the right-wing boards flung the puck toward down low, where Anson Carter deflected it into the net.
»» 6, VANCOUVER, Anson Carter 16 (Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin) 8:18
»» CANUCKS 4, MAPLE LEAFS 2
Alex Steen got a long lead pass, freed up his stick from Mattias Ohlund, then backhanded a shot through the short side (glove) on Auld. The puck didn't have a lot of space with which to go through, but Steen found it.
»» 7, TORONTO, Alex Steen 11 (Tomas Kaberle, Jason Allison) 10:51
»» CANUCKS 4, MAPLE LEAFS 3
Vancouver was once again badly outshot 17-5 (38-19 overall). The Leafs were 1-for-4 on the power play (1-for-7 total) and Vancouver was 1-for-1 (1-for-7 total). Alex Auld stopped 35 in the Vancouver net.
Three stars -- (1) Auld, (2) Burrows, (3) Kesler
D Sedin 0-1-1
H Sedin 0-1-1
Vancouver came back from being behind 2-1 to score three straight goals for their third straight win. The game also had emotions running high in GM Place with chants of "Leafs suck!"
Vancouver was 32-for-65 in the faceoff circle (49%). Brendan Morrison was 6-for-11, Trevor Linden was 3-for-8, Ryan Kesler was 6-for-18 (ouch), Henrik Sedin was 14-for-21 (nice), and Todd Bertuzzi was 2-for-6.
Matt Cooke led the Canucks with three shots. Mattias Ohlund led the team by dishing out four hits. Ryan Kesler was a plus-3 skater. Ohlund, Alexandre Burrows, and Kevin Bieksa were plus-2. Cooke and Wade Brookbank were plus-1. Bryan Allen and Sami Salo were minus-1. Oddly, Morrison and Markus Naslund were both minus-2, which is weird considering the outcome of the game. All other Canuck skaters were even.
The Canucks won their third straight game to put them at 24-14-5 (1-3 shootout, two overtime losses), good for 53 points and a hop over the Edmonton Oilers again for second place in the Northwest Division, two points back of the Calgary Flames. They lead the Oilers by one point and Colorado by a mere two points. Unfortunately, 53 points for the Canucks at this point is only good for sixth in the Western Conference. Though Colorado is eighth in the West and only two back of Vancouver, the ninth-place team in the West is Anaheim, six points back of the Avalanche. Six points separates eighth from ninth, but four points separates Colorado from the Northwest Division lead (Calgary). It's insane. The division is nuts.