Saturday, March 11, 2006


Stars 2, Canucks 1
AP/CP photo -- Adrian Lam

[posted in full Sun 30 Jul ~2:59a]

The biggest win of Vancouver's season was the first game after the Olympic break in Calgary, where the Canucks put out a great effort and gutted out a 2-1 win. They'd need a similar effort to pull out a home win against Dallas, the highest-ranked team in the NHL when it comes to holding opponents to the lowest amount of shots. Also, this marked the first game for three of the Canucks' four deadline acquisitions. Eric Weinrich, Keith Carney, and Sean Brown all would play in this game. Mika Noronen is slated to give Alex Auld a much-needed rest sometime on the upcoming road trip.

How would it all shake out?

1st period
The Stars outshot Vancouver 8-2 in the period. Both teams were 0-for-3 on the power play.

2nd period
With Matt Cooke in the box for interference, Daniel Sedin got the puck in the Vancouver end and took it up the ice. At center, he passed to Henrik Sedin, who took it into the Dallas zone and took it through the pokecheck attempts of Sergei Zubov and managed to get a shot on the net. That shot was stopped by Marty Turco, but he tapped the rebound through on the glove side.
»» 1, VANCOUVER, shorthanded, Henrik Sedin 17 (Daniel Sedin, Mattias Ohlund) 19:35
Dallas outshot Vancouver 12-9 in the period (20-11 overall). The Stars were 0-for-2 on the power play (0-for-5) while Vancouver was 0-for-1 (0-for-4).

3rd period
Early in the period, Anson Carter rifled a shot on the net that Turco stopped. A couple minutes later, Jussi Jokinen walked the puck out from behind the net and came out to the left side, where he passed to Mike Modano near the goal line on the right side, who beat Alex Auld at an incredibly sharp angle.
»» 2, DALLAS, Mike Modano 22 (Jussi Jokinen, Jere Lehtinen) 4:36
Midway through the period, Niko Kapanen on the right side fed Antti Miettinen in the slot for a one-timer that was stopped by Auld. Later in the period with Cooke in the box for hooking, Kapanen on the right side found Modano wide open a few strides behind the left circle, where he exhibited his marksmanship by winning the game.
»» 3, DALLAS, powerplay, Modano 23 (Niko Kapanen, Lehtinen) 15:22
Dallas outshot Vancouver 13-8 in the period (33-19 total). Dallas cashed in on their only power play chance (1-for-6) while Vancouver was 0-for-1 (0-for-5). Auld stopped 31 shots.

Three stars -- (1) Dallas' Mike Modano, (2) Auld, (3) Dallas' Jere Lehtinen

skater, goals-assists-points
H Sedin 1-0-1
D Sedin 0-1-1
Ohlund 0-1-1

In the faceoff circle, Vancouver was 19-for-49 for a brutal 39%. Brendan Morrison was 6-for-15, Trevor Linden was 3-for-9, Ryan Kesler was 6-for-14, and Henrik Sedin was 4-for-10. Daniel Sedin led the team with four shots. Kesler led the team by dishing out five hits. Morrison led the team with four takeaways. Deadline acquisition Eric Weinrich led the team by blocking two shots.

On plus-minus, Mattias Ohlund, Bryan Allen, Daniel Sedin, and Henrik Sedin were plus-1. Keith Carney, Weinrich, Kesler, Jarkko Ruutu, and Todd Bertuzzi were minus-1. All other Canuck skaters were even.

The loss marked the second straight game in which the Canucks had the lead going into the third period and lost. In the three-game homestand, Vancouver came away with only one out of a possible six points. As a result, the Canucks now find themselves three points back of the division lead behind an idle Calgary team that has three games in hand. Vancouver is now 35-24-6 (3-3 shootout, three overtime losses), good for 76 points and merely third place in the Northwest Division. They are two points back of Colorado and only two points ahead of Edmonton, who has a game in hand. For a different perspective, Edmonton is the eighth-place team in the Western Conference. Nashville is only fourth because Detroit is leading their division by nine points. Also, Vancouver is seventh in the conference. I happen to think the upcoming playoffs are going to be dynamite in the West because these Northwest Division teams are battle-tested moreso than any other division under the new unbalanced schedule format. If you're Detroit and you draw Edmonton in the first round, it's not a gimmie. If you're Dallas and you draw a Colorado/Vancouver, again, not a gimmie, even considering what happened in this game.

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