Canucks beat Sens for sixth straight win
Tuesday, 08.16.2011 / 5:06 AM
Make it six in a row for the red-hot Vancouver Canucks
scored two goals, including the winner, and added an assist Monday night as the Canucks beat the Ottawa Senators
4-2 at Rogers Arena for their sixth straight victory.
Samuelsson's goal at 2:12 of the second period gave Vancouver a 3-0 lead. He then added a second goal with Senators goalie Brian Elliott lifted for a sixth attacker as Ottawa pressed for the tying goal. Samuelsson now has 11 points in the last six games after enduring a 14-game goal drought.
"You've got to stick with it," Samuelsson said. "It's not going to go your way all the time. You stay humble and you really have to bear down and remind yourself what (worked) in the past."
Alex Burrows and Ryan Kesler
struck quickly for Vancouver in a first period where the Canucks were outshot 12-5.
and Jason Spezza
drew the Senators to within a goal in the second period.
Vancouver improved to 35-10-9 and have a four-point cushion over Philadelphia for the most points in the League.
The Senators have lost 10 straight games and have only one victory in their last 17 contests. Ottawa hasn't won in Vancouver since 2004.
"We've just got to figure out what we did well in the second half of the game and bring that to our next game," Spezza said. "But it doesn't make this one any easier. We're not getting the wins. We've just got to find a way to start getting them. It's frustrating."
Elliott, who lost his previous 12 starts and was lifted after giving up three first-period goals in Saturday's 5-3 road loss to the New York Islanders, had a rough start.
Burrows and Kesler scored one minute 10 seconds apart in an opening period dominated by the Senators.
Burrows took Henrik Sedin
's pass in traffic and reached across Elliott's crease to push the puck past the netminder's stick.
Kesler scored his team-leading 31st goal on Vancouver's fifth and last shot of the period. He came down the right wing and blasted a puck off the post, then scored on a shot off the left wing that deflected past Elliott off a defender.
"We are using each other, give-and-goes, cycles," Kesler said. "Using our strengths to our advantage, which is speed, shooting the puck and going to the net."
The Canucks were down to four defensemen at one point.
was helped off the ice with a leg injury and did not return after he became entangled behind the Canuck net with Senators forward Milan Michalek
was assessed an instigator minor and a misconduct after a fight with Chris Neil
after the Ottawa winger knocked Henrik Sedin
to the ice.
"They've got some good players on that team," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. "You get down to four defensemen, they're obviously going to put on a lot of pressure. We got in penalty trouble, but at the end of the day our goaltender was real good again. We played well enough to get two points."
Kesler was the catalyst for Samuelsson's goal that gave Vancouver a 3-0 lead.
He broke his stick on a clearing attempt, kicked the puck to Mason Raymond
, got a stick from the bench, took Raymond's return pass and fed Samuelsson for a tap-in.
Spezza, playing his second game after missing 15 with a shoulder injury, set up one goal and scored the second as the Canucks clung to a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes.
His pass from the side boards found Foligno in the slot and his backhand beat Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo
Less than two minutes later, Spezza found himself leading a three-on-none break after Hamhuis couldn't block Chris Phillips
' outlet pass.
Luongo made the initial save but Spezza chipped the rebound over him. Sergei Gonchar
, on a power play, and Michalek, shorthanded, hit goalposts before the period ended.
"Somehow, eventually, these are going to go in," Sens coach Cory Clouston said. "I thought we played well. Our guys didn't quit. They didn't lay down. Eventually, those opportunities have to go in. I don't understand how we can keep -- game in and game out -- miss our chances."
Material from wire services and team media was used in this report.