Sunday, October 22, 2006
The Canucks pulled out a win on Friday night that they probably should have had all along. They more than doubled up the Blues in the shot department 39-19, but failed to put a puck past Curtis Sanford until 12:30 remained in the third period. They scored two third-period goals to tie the game in the third period before Sami Salo's wrist shot won the game at the final horn. It was Vancouver's second overtime win of the season, and the second time they'd come back to tie the game after trailing in the third period. However, the Canucks had to come back the very next night and play in Nashville, a considerably tougher opponent with great talent and an even better goalie (Tomas Vokoun). I can tell you that I wasn't expecting a win in this game. I can also tell you that some of the ways in which this team is winning games so far this season are really surprising me.
Markus Naslund on a rush on the right side passed over to Jan Bulis inside the left circle, who wristed one past Tomas Vokoun on the stick side for his first goal as a Canuck.
»» 1, VANCOUVER, Jan Bulis 1 (Markus Naslund, Brendan Morrison) 1:00
Shea Weber flung a puck toward the net from near the right point that was deflected past Roberto Luongo by Scott Hartnell out in front, who got his stick on the puck, which knuckled past.
»» 2, NASHVILLE, Scott Hartnell 3 (Shea Weber, Vernon Fiddler) 5:55
Daniel Sedin got the puck behind the net and spotted Taylor Pyatt mid-slot, who directed it past Vokoun.
»» 3, VANCOUVER, Taylor Pyatt 4 (Daniel Sedin, Sami Salo) 16:13
Vancouver badly outshot Nashville 16-6 in the period. The Canucks were 0-for-3 on the power play while Nashville was 0-for-2.
Mikko Lehtonen was bumped off the puck behind his own net and it went to Shea Weber, who skated along the left-wing boards and toward the point before finding JP Dumont wide open heading into the Vancouver zone as Mattias Ohlund was caught up the ice. Dumont broke away and wristed the puck past Vokoun.
»» 4, NASHVILLE, JP Dumont 2 (Mikko Lehtonen, Weber) 3:35
Lukas Krajicek got trapped up the ice after losing the puck, and Paul Kariya skated it hard the other way down the left side and had a 2-on-1 break with Martin Erat. Kariya held the puck until passing to Erat in the high slot, who snapped it through Luongo on the glove side.
»» 5, NASHVILLE, Martin Erat 4 (Paul Kariya, Kimmo Timonen) 6:40
On a two-man advantage, Kimmo Timonen was foiled by Luongo's glove on a shot from the high slot with 8:50 left in the period. Vancouver was outshot 19-11 for the period (but led 27-25 overall). Vancouver was 0-for-1 (0-for-4) on the power play while Nashville was 0-for-2 (0-for-4).
Four minutes into the period, Nashville coughed up the puck in their own zone, but Josh Green was stopped by Vokoun. Eight minutes into the period, Kariya rushed the puck up the right side as he and Timonen got behind the Vancouver defenders. He passed to Timonen, who returned the puck with Kariya on the doorstep, but the latter was held off by Luongo. Just short of the midway mark of the period, Kariya centered a pass to Timonen, who was stopped valiantly by Luongo, who dove out for it. Timonen looked up in disbelief as he had been robbed. With the seconds having just ticked away on a late Vancouver power play, the Canucks had sustained pressure in the Nashville zone. Mattias Ohlund wristed the puck toward the net that went off of Bulis' skate in front and Morrison got to the loose puck and put the paddle on it through some minor traffic and got it past Luongo on the stick side.
»» 6, VANCOUVER, Morrison 2 (Bulis, Mattias Ohlund) 18:20
Shots were 12 apiece (Vancouver led 39-37). The Canucks were 0-for-3 (0-for-7) on the power play while Nashville was 0-for-2 (0-for-6).
Salo had the puck at the end boards in his own zone and made a long pass to Matt Cooke just past the Vancouver blue line. He and Ryan Kesler crossed the Nashville blue line, and Krajicek joined the fray. Cooke threw a bit of an elbow onto Weber, who looked like he embellished it, but he nearly blocked the wrister by Krajicek from just past the left hash that beat Vokoun up high.
»» 7, VANCOUVER, Lukas Krajicek 1 (Ryan Kesler, Matt Cooke) 2:32
Vancouver outshot Nashville 7-3 (46-40 total). There were no penalties in the overtime, so Vancouver finished 0-for-7 and Nashville was 0-for-6. Luongo stopped 37 shots for the game.
Three stars -- (1) Krajicek, (2) Luongo, (3) Nashville's Tomas Vokoun
D Sedin 0-1-1
In the faceoff circle, the Canucks won 35 of 74 draws (47%). Brendan Morrison won five of 15, Trevor Linden won one of three, Ryan Kesler won eight of 15, Daniel Sedin won one of four, Josh Green won one of five, Marc Chouinard won nine of 13, and Henrik Sedin was nine for 18. Sami Salo and Henrik Sedin led the team with six shots apiece, and Kevin Bieksa, Morrison, and Matt Cooke had five shots apiece. Salo delivered three hits to lead the team. Lukas Krajicek and Willie Mitchell coughed up the puck twice each. Krajicek blocked three shots to lead the Canucks. Jan Bulis missed the net twice.
In plus-minus, the plus-skating Canucks were all plus-1 and they were Mattias Ohlund, Krajicek, Salo, Morrison, and Bulis. Willie Mitchell was the lone minus-skating Canuck, and he was minus-1 and eventually injured on a hit from Jason Arnott. All other Canuck skaters were even.
The win elevates the Canucks to 5-3-1 (3-0 overtime, 0-1 shootout), good for 11 points. This puts them three back of Northwest Division-leading Minnesota, who has played one less game. They are one point ahead of third-place Edmonton, who has played two less games. Colorado (three back with one less game) and Calgary (six back, two less games) are further back in the division. Dallas leads the conference and also has 14 points. Nashville leads their division with nine points and is therefore third in the conference. Vancouver is sixth in the West and is one point behind Anaheim (two less games played) and San Jose (one less game). The Canucks lost in Edmonton followed by two back-to-back overtime wins to take them to the current point in the road trip. The final two games of the five-game trip take them to Dallas on Monday and Chicago on Wednesday.