Saturday, January 21, 2006


Canucks 6, Canadiens 2
AP/CP photo -- Chuck Stoody

[posted in full Fri 27 Jan ~8:42p]

The Canucks were playing in their vintage sweaters for the final time this season. They were doing so against the Montreal Canadiens, who fired coach Claude Julien just days after some random dude laced up skates and shot pucks at Jose Theodore during a practice. Montreal GM Bob Gainey took over the reins for Les Habitantes, who are pretty turmoil-ridden at this point.

1st period
The Montreal defense got crossed up with the puck behind their own net. Todd Bertuzzi stole the puck behind the Habs' net and centered to Brendan Morrison in the slot, who poked it past Jose Theodore stick side to give Vancouver the early lead.
»» 1, VANCOUVER, Brendan Morrison 12 (Todd Bertuzzi) 0:57
Along the boards behind the Montreal net, Alex Burrows and Henrik Sedin were trying to dig the puck out against two Montreal defenders. The puck leaked out and Burrows pounced on it, tucking it past Theodore's right foot from behind the net.
»» 2, VANCOUVER, Alexandre Burrows 3 (Henrik Sedin) 1:51
Michael Komisarek went to the box 31 seconds after the Burrows goal for a hook. On the resulting power play, Daniel Sedin centered the puck and had it bounce off Henrik Sedin's stick and onto the stick of Mattias Ohlund. Theodore was off-balance at this point and Ohlund stuffed it through the five hole.
»» 3, VANCOUVER, powerplay, Mattias Ohlund 6 (H Sedin, Daniel Sedin) 4:20
With Mathieu Dandenault in the box for a hook, Nolan Baumgartner had a long shot stopped by Theodore, and Markus Naslund's shot off the rebound was stopped as well. Ohlund along the end boards chipped the puck behind the net to Bertuzzi, who spotted Naslund moving toward the net along the goal line. Naslund tucked the puck in over Theodore's glove shoulder. Dare I say the rout was on. The goal put Naslund in second place all-time in franchise history for power-play goals.
»» 4, VANCOUVER, powerplay, Markus Naslund 23 (Bertuzzi, Ohlund) 12:15
Anson Carter centered to Daniel Sedin, who couldn't get a shot away but found his brother beside the net, who put the puck in over a Theodore who was too late to get back to his right. Theodore was pulled in favor of Cristobal Huet.
»» 5, VANCOUVER, H Sedin 12 (D Sedin, Anson Carter) 13:17
Just after the new goalie was put in, the Canadiens again lost the puck in their own end, and Wade Brookbank came out with the puck, passing to Josh Green near the right point. Green passed back to Brookbank away from the boards, and he passed to Trevor Linden, who then fired a wrister from the back of the right circle and beat Huet glove side.
»» 6, VANCOUVER, Trevor Linden 5 (Wade Brookbank, Josh Green) 13:47
The Canucks outshot the Canadiens 15-8 in the period and were 2-for-3 on the power play. Montreal was 0-for-3 on the man-advantage.

2nd period
With the penalty just expiring, Michael Ryder cleaned up on a long one-timer attempt off the stick of Sheldon Souray.
»» 7, MONTREAL, Michael Ryder 20 (Craig Rivet, Sheldon Souray) 2:00
Shots were 11 apiece in the period (Vancouver 26-19 overall). Vancouver didn't have a penalty called on them in the period and were 0-for-2 on the power play (2-for-5).

3rd period
Ryder passed to Saku Koivu beside the net, who pushed the puck through the five hole on Auld.
»» 8, MONTREAL, Saku Koivu 12 (Ryder, Rivet) 18:46
Vancouver was outshot 7-2 in the period (28-26 total) as they sat on the lead. Montreal was 0-for-1 on the power play (0-for-4) and Vancouver was 0-for-2 (2-for-7).

Three stars -- (1) H Sedin, (2) D Sedin, (3) Burrows

skater, goals-assists-points
H Sedin 1-2-3
Ohlund 1-1-2
Bertuzzi 0-2-2
D Sedin 0-2-2
Burrows 1-0-1
Linden 1-0-1
Morrison 1-0-1
Naslund 1-0-1
Brookbank 0-1-1
Carter 0-1-1
Green 0-1-1

Between the game on Long Island and this one, the Canucks aren't really used to getting blowout victories. The other game saw them with a 6-0 lead after 40 minutes, but this game saw them have a 6-0 lead after 20 minutes.

Vancouver was 24-for-47 in the faceoff circle. Brendan Morrison was 8-for-14, Trevor Linden was 1-for-2, Ryan Kesler was 5-for-13, Henrik Sedin was 6-for-8, and Josh Green was 4-for-10. Nolan Baumgartner led the team with five shots, and Daniel Sedin had four. Kesler and Jarkko Ruutu led the team with three hits apiece. Mattias Ohlund led the team by blocking three shots.

Baumgartner, Morrison, Alexandre Burrows, Linden, Markus Naslund, Wade Brookbank, Henrik Sedin, Josh Green, Todd Bertuzzi, and Anson Carter were plus-1 for the Canucks. Bryan Allen and Sami Salo were plus-2. Minus-skating Canucks (all minus-1) were Ohlund, Kesler, Kevin Bieksa, and Ruutu. Daniel Sedin and Steve McCarthy were even.

The win was the Canucks' seventh in eight games, pushing them to a record of 28-15-5 (1-3 shootout, two overtime losses), good for 61 points, the same number of points as the Northwest Division-leading Calgary Flames, except Calgary has a game in hand. The Canucks hold a four-point lead on third-place Colorado and a five-point lead on fourth-place Edmonton. Vancouver is also tied with the Los Angeles Kings for fifth in the Western Conference. The Canucks now embark upon a seven-game road trip ends on the fourth of February.

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