Saturday, January 14, 2006


Canucks 8, Islanders 1
AP photo -- Julie Jacobson

[posted in full Sat 21 Jan ~6:48a]

The Canucks were coming off a 3-0 shutout at the hands of Martin Brodeur. Just one night later, the Canucks headed out to Long Island to match up with the Islanders, who were fresh off of the departures of coach Steve Stirling and longtime futile general manager Mike Milbury.

They responded with their first win by more than one goal since December 4th at home against the Boston Bruins, a 5-3 win. Also, hats were thrown for the second time this season for a current Canuck and former first-round pick of the New York Islanders. The same player also had gone ten games without scoring a goal.

1st period
Matt Cooke from just past the goal line on the right side centered to Todd Bertuzzi, who tapped it through. It looked like it might have gone off of Oleg Kvasha and in, but nonetheless, the goal was given to Bertuzzi, and though I have ability to watch replays right now, the resolution isn't too good.
»» 1, VANCOUVER, Todd Bertuzzi 13 (Matt Cooke, Trevor Linden) 4:29
With John Erskine already in the box for holding, the Canucks were on the power play when Rick DiPietro cleared the puck over the glass. That's a penalty, and the Canucks would have 83 seconds of two-man advantage to work with. With Bertuzzi camped in front of the net, Markus Naslund put a pass right on the tape of Bertuzzi's stick, and the immovable right-winger punched it through.
»» 2, VANCOUVER, powerplay, Bertuzzi 14 (Markus Naslund, Nolan Baumgartner) 6:15
Daniel Sedin skating beside the slot on the left side centered through the crease and through the legs of Chris Campoli and to the stick of Anson Carter, who put the puck over a prone DiPietro, who had played to the side of the twin.
»» 3, VANCOUVER, Anson Carter 17 (Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin) 10:39
With 8:01 to go in the period, Kevin Bieksa and Kevin Colley exchanged fisticuffs, but it was pretty one-sided in favor of Bieksa, a member of the Manitoba Moose last year who is contributing nicely (blue line toughness) along with Alexandre Burrows. The Islanders outshot Vancouver 12-7 in the period. The Canucks were 1-for-4 on the power play while the Isles were 0-for-1.

2nd period
Bryan Allen unleash a hard slapshot from behind the left circle that beat DiPietro glove side. DiPietro was subsequently yanked and Wade Dubielewicz took the pipes in his place.
»» 4, VANCOUVER, Bryan Allen 5 (Jarkko Ruutu) 5:35
Just as he got into the game, Dubielewicz was playing the puck behind his own net when Carter came up behind him and poked the puck away and it ended up on the stick of Henrik Sedin in the low slot with Dubielewicz beside the net as the puck went into the yawning cage.
»» 5, VANCOUVER, H Sedin 10 (Carter) 5:44
With Sean Bergenheim in the box for a hook, the Canucks went on the power play. Naslund flung a shot on the net from near the right hash which was stopped by Dubielewicz and controlled in close on the left side by Morrison. With Dubielewicz already down, Morrison passed across to Bertuzzi on the right side near the goal line, and Dubielewicz was meat as soon as the pass went across. Hat trick number two for Bertuzzi.
»» 6, VANCOUVER, powerplay, Bertuzzi 15 (Brendan Morrison, Naslund) 17:34
Vancouver outshot the Islanders 16-10 in the period (23-22 overall). The Canucks again were 1-for-4 on the power play (2-for-8) and the Islanders were again 0-for-1 (0-for-2).

3rd period
Miroslav Satan centered to Mike York in the slot, who put the puck on the net, and it was stopped by the right pad of Auld, but went off of Alexei Zhitnik in front and into the net.
»» 7, NEW YORK, powerplay, Alexei Zhitnik 4 (Mike York, Miroslav Satan) 2:06
Henrik Sedin along the right-wing boards passed to brother Daniel on the right side near the net and the goal line, where he passed across to Carter skating from the left hash to the net. Dubielewicz had to cover the short side for a shot from Daniel Sedin, but as the pass went across, there was no way he could cover the other side of the net for a Carter shot. Carter went high for the goal.
»» 8, VANCOUVER, powerplay, Carter 18 (D Sedin, H Sedin) 10:57
Jarkko Ruutu skated toward the net on the right side and lost the puck, but Burrows put a shot on Dubielewicz that was stopped, and Ruutu made good on the rebound.
»» 9, VANCOUVER, Ruutu 8 (Alexandre Burrows, Ryan Kesler) 15:34
The Isles outshot the Canucks 15-8 (37-31 overall) as Vancouver was holding the lead. Vancouver was 1-for-1 on the power play (3-for-9) and the Isles were 1-for-3 (1-for-5). Auld stopped 36.

Three stars -- (1) Bertuzzi, (2) Carter, (3) Auld

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

Truth is, the Canucks badly needed an easy blowout game like this. The one-goal wins were energy-sapping, and the one-goal losses were worse. Todd Bertuzzi also nabbed his second hat trick of the season against his former team. Also, Brent Sopel was playing for the Islanders against his ex-mates, who could really use him on the blue line.

Vancouver was 28-for-66 in the faceoff circle (42%). Brendan Morrison was 4-for-11, Trevor Linden was 6-for-15, Ryan Kesler was 5-for-16 (ouch), Henrik Sedin was 9-for-16, and Todd Bertuzzi was 2-for-4. Seven Canucks led the team with three shots apiece. Matt Cooke led the team in hits with three. Mattias Ohlund and Sami Salo blocked four shots apiece.

Ohlund, Salo, Linden, Cooke, Steve McCarthy, Wade Brookbank, and Bertuzzi were plus-1. Nolan Baumgartner, Bryan Allen, Alexandre Burrows, Kesler, Daniel Sedin, Kevin Bieksa, Henrik Sedin, Jarkko Ruutu, and Anson Carter were plus-2. Morrison and Markus Naslund were the only even Canuck skaters.

The win moved the Canucks to a 25-15-5 record (1-3 shootout, two overtime losses), good for 55 points. The Edmonton Oilers lost at home to Ottawa, while Colorado and Vancouver won. Thus, Colorado and Vancouver are tied (Colorado has played one more game) for second in the Northwest Division and sixth in the Western Conference. Both teams are two points back of division-leading Calgary. Edmonton is two points back and is fourth in the division (eighth in the conference).

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