GAME DAY ON THE ROAD presented by:
The Canucks have been stuck in a rut on home ice, but tonight against the Blue Jackets, they fixed their second-period divot and came away with a much-needed win.
Columbus hung around and clawed to within a goal twice in the latter stages of the game, but Vancouver and goaltender Cory Schneider earned a 4-3 victory before a sold-out crowd of 18,630 at Rogers Arena. Daniel Sedin scored a pair of goals – including the game-deciding 4-2 marker at 15:19 of the third period on the power play – to spark the Canucks offense which had trouble solving Steve Mason all evening long.
The Blue Jackets opened the scoring at 7:55 of the first period on Vinny Prospal’s 12th goal of the season, set up by a Cam Atkinson feed to make it 1-0. Prospal cut to the slot area and fired a wrist shot that handcuffed Schneider, and the puck slowly trickled over the goal line for the opening tally. Two goals in a span of 1:19 late in the first period gave the Canucks a 2-1 lead, and the first came from David Booth going hard to the net. Chris Higgins’ shot off the draw was stopped by Mason, and Booth calmly collected the rebound and buried it at 16:16.
Daniel Sedin’s first of two made it 2-1 in favor of the Canucks at 17:35, as he had a semi-open net off a pass from twin brother Henrik. Alex Edler scored a beautiful end-to-end goal on the power play at 12:38 of the second period, after Schneider set the table with a nice stretch pass.
Jack Johnson and James Wisniewski scored slap-shot goals off the face-off on two separate occasions to pull the Blue Jackets within 3-2 and 4-3, respectively, but Columbus could not find the tying goal as the third period wound down. A close call at the buzzer from Mark Letestu was stopped by Schneider to preserve the Canucks victory, as they ended a long homestand with a 3-4-0 record. Columbus is off to Calgary to complete a back-to-back set tomorrow night at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
The Canucks’ third goal was deflating to the Blue Jackets not because of the margin it created, but because of the way it unfolded. Columbus went for a line change while killing a penalty, and Schneider sent a quick-up pass to Edler who saw the seas part in front of him. He breezed through Nikita Nikitin and had a clean look at Mason to cash the 3-1 goal.
vs. Calgary Flames
Scotiabank Saddledome| Calgary, Alberta
Sunday, 8 p.m.
TV: FOX Sports Ohio (HD)
Radio: 97.1 The Fan FM & BlueJackets.com