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game recap

Raymond scores twice as Canucks edge Capitals 3-2

Tuesday, 08.16.2011 / 5:15 AM

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

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Raymond scores twice as Canucks edge Capitals 3-2
Washington Capitals 2, Vancouver Canucks 3

Mason Raymond upstaged Alex Ovechkin's second career visit to GM Place

While he and his teammates shut down the NHL's top gun, Raymond scored twice, including a power-play goal with 6:04 left in regulation to give the Vancouver Canucks a 3-2 victory over the Washington Capitals

Raymond broke a 2-2 tie when he picked up the rebound of Christian Ehrhoff's straightaway blast after it hit Ryan Kesler, moved a step to the left of goaltender Jose Theodore and lifted the puck into the net.

Roberto Luongo preserved the lead 19 seconds later by making a pad save on Alexander Semin's penalty shot that was called by referee Mike Leggo after Semin was tackled by defenseman Kevin Bieksa.

"He's a shooter, so I played the shot a little bit. That's why I went down right away," said Luongo, who also stood tall in the final minute as the Caps buzzed around the Canucks' zone after pulling Theodore.

It was only the second visit to Vancouver by the Caps since Ovechkin joined the team in 2005 -- the other came more than three years ago. Ovechkin's best chance to score came in the final minutes when he was denied from the slot by Luongo, but he managed only three shots on goal -- the Canucks blocked three others and he missed the net four times.

"Give Vancouver credit," Caps coach Bruce Boudreau said. "They did a good job on him in our own zone, keeping him from getting the puck. They closed gaps very well, and every time he touched the puck, they went after him and did a good job -- he couldn't get away from them. The one good chance he did have, Luongo stood tall in the net."

"I thought he worked hard. He just didn't get anything accomplished."

Canucks coach Alain Vigneault was very pleased with the way his team rose to the challenge of slowing down the two-time NHL scoring champion.

"Without a doubt, Ryan Kesler's line and (defensemen) Sami Salo and Willie Mitchell did a great job of keeping a great player -- limiting his opportunities ," he said. "Those guys buckled down and gave us a chance to win tonight.

The winning goal came after Washington defenseman Tom Poti was called for cross-checking and drew an extra two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct when he slammed the door to the penalty box.

"I didn't like the call on the last penalty against us, but it was a good hockey game," Boudreau said.

Vancouver (20-15-0-0) improved to 4-1-0 on its five-game homestand. The Caps (21-8-6) are 1-2-0 after three games of a four-game trip that ends Saturday night in Edmonton.

The Canucks opened the scoring 6:39 into the game when Kesler was hooked on a breakaway, only to see the rebound of his shot hit Washington defenseman Jeff Schultz and slide into the net.

Semin tied it at 8:47 after Brooks Laich stretched the definition of "taking a hit to make a play." Laich was blasted into the Vancouver bench by Tanner Glass. But he got the puck to Semin, who whipped a 30-foot wrister from the slot past Luongo while the crowd was still roaring over the big hit.

Chris Clark gave Washington its first lead of the night at 18:06, picking up the carom after Bieksa had blocked his shot and zipping it past Luongo, who wasn't able to reset after preparing for the first shot.

Raymond tied it at 17:39 of the second on a brilliant individual effort, racing up the right wing on a 2-on-1 break, cutting to the middle past the defense and deking Theodore before sliding the puck into an empty net. The play started after Luongo made an excellent pad save on Mike Green's wide-open blast from the high slot.

"Mike had it right in the slot, and somebody didn't pick up his assignment, and they come down 2-on-1 and make a great play and it's 2-2," Boudreau said.

Luongo praised his teammates for the job they did keeping Ovechkin in check.

"The guys did a great job on him," Luongo said. "We had a lot of focus on him before the game on making sure he didn't have that much time and space. Our D-men did a great job not giving him that time and space, and we had good back pressure by the forwards so he couldn't go east-west and make offensive contributions."

Material from team media was used in this report

scoring summary
1st Period
06:39
VAN
Ryan Kesler (9) Backhand shot - ASST: Jannik Hansen (3)
1 - 0 VAN
08:47
WSH
Alexander Semin (14) Wrist shot - ASST: Brooks Laich (16)
1 - 1 Tie
18:06
WSH
Chris Clark (4) Wrist shot - ASST: Eric Fehr (9)
2 - 1 WSH
2nd Period
17:39
VAN
Mason Raymond (13) Wrist shot - ASST: Henrik Sedin (29)
2 - 2 Tie
3rd Period
13:56
VAN
PPG - Mason Raymond (14) Wrist shot - ASST: Ryan Kesler (22), Christian Ehrhoff (12)
3 - 2 VAN
penalty summary
1st Period
10:54
WSH
John Erskine  Holding against  Ryan Kesler
15:25
VAN
Rick Rypien  Roughing against  Eric Fehr
2nd Period
07:40
VAN
Ryan Johnson  Tripping against  John Erskine
10:03
VAN
Kevin Bieksa  Hooking against  David Steckel
3rd Period
07:51
VAN
Henrik Sedin  Hooking against  Alexander Semin
12:24
WSH
Tom Poti  Cross checking against  Alexandre Burrows
12:24
WSH
Tom Poti  Unsportsmanlike conduct
goalie stats
Jose Theodore
SA: 20TOI: 58:39
Saves: 17EV: 12 - 14
PIM: 0PP: 4 - 5
SV%: .850SH: 1 - 1
Roberto Luongo
SA: 27TOI: 59:49
Saves: 25EV: 21 - 23
PIM: 0PP: 1 - 1
SV%: .926SH: 3 - 3