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Canucks push past Stars

by Derek Jory / Vancouver Canucks

You want to know what happened in the Canucks game and you want to know now. We get it. Here’s the bare bones recap of Vancouver’s 4-3 shootout win over Dallas.

Roberto Luongo stopped Mike Ribeiro giving the Canucks an insurmountable 2-0 lead in the shootout.

Kyle Wellwood and Ryan Kesler both beat Marty Turco in the one-on-one battle after neither team could steal the win in overtime.

Stars forward Jamie Benn forced the extra session when he beat Luongo with 93 seconds remaining in the third period. That erased the one-goal lead Willie Mitchell had given the Canucks after he swooped in from the point to tip in his second goal of the season.

Alex Burrows and Kesler had the other two Vancouver goals, while Brad Richards and Riberio replied for Dallas.

Henrik Sedin is adjusting nicely to life without his twin. Hank was a monster force for the Canucks on this night collecting two assists, none prettier than when he set up Vancouver’s second goal, a power play strike that gave the home side a 2-1 lead late in the second period.

Displaying the patience of a military sniper, Henrik toyed with the puck near the hash marks to the right of Turco before jetting a cross-ice pass to Mikael Samuelsson. He in turn found Burrows posting up in front of the crease; one smooth deke later and Burrows had his third goal of the season.

Henrik led all Vancouver forwards in ice time at 23:04 on 28 shifts.

Mikael Samuelsson finally seems to be settling in with his new club. The Swedish forward, who skated on the second line alongside Mason Raymond and Kesler, picked up a pair of helpers and is now riding a three-game point streak with a goal and three assists over that stretch.

Samuelsson is being rewarded for his fine play with increased responsibility. In addition to getting more ice time than any other game this season, he also spent time on the power play and penalty kill. The veteran responded with six shots on goal, a hit and a takeaway, in addition to his secondary scoring.

Willie Mitchell is a defensive defenceman, so it’s not surprising to hear that his career-high for goals is three.

He scored his second goal of the season 6:53 into the third period to give the Canucks a 3-2; the assistant captain is now on pace for a 32-goal campaign. Can anyone say Norris Trophy?


Alex Burrows’ thoughts on the game, a gritty shootout win in which the Canucks twice held a one-goal lead:

“I think it wasn’t the prettiest game out there but we’ll take the two points. We know we’ve been struggling, in the first three games we couldn’t get wins and now we’re getting them even if it isn’t our prettiest effort. It’s nice to get the win and now we’ve got a few days to work on some things and make sure we are going to be better next game.”

Of the 45 points the Canucks have collected individually this season, 15 have come off the backend. That 33 per cent contribution from the blueline is led by Christian Ehrhoff who is averaging a point-a-game with a goal and four assists through five contests.

Shane O’Brien is the lone defender still without a point this season.


The Canucks have four days off before their next action, a division battle against the Calgary Flames in Alberta Friday night.

Sami Salo left Sunday night’s contest with an undisclosed injury, so this time off will give him a chance to get some rest. His teammates would be wise to follow his lead as the schedule picks up with three games in four nights for the Canucks starting Friday.

NUMBERS

1 – Number of times the Canucks have been outshot this season. The Stars accomplished the task outshooting the home side 35-25.

2 – One-goal leads blown by Vancouver against Dallas.

2 – Shootout goals scored by the Canucks. Kyle Wellwood and Ryan Kesler both beat Marty Turco.

4 – Hits dished out by Steve Bernier, who is finally starting to throw his weight around again. The Canucks had 25 in total, to Dallas' 18.

32 – Saves for Roberto Luongo. He allowed a weak goal early in the third, but rebounded with tough play down the stretch.

QUOTABLE
"[Mitchell] is looking good out there, he’s playing with confidence, he's getting his shots through, even in OT there he’s cycling the puck with Hanky and Sammy, so it’s fun to see."

-Alex Burrows

"Taking three penalties in the first eight minutes of the game isn’t disciplined enough for us and we’ve got to hold ourselves accountable in here and nip that in the butt."

-Ryan Kesler

"We’re going to face different situations throughout the year and it’s always important that when there’s points at stake that you stay with it and keep focused."

-Roberto Luongo
OFFENCE

Less shots meant more goals for the Canucks on this night. Outshot for the first time this season, Vancouver responded with three regulation goals before scoring twice in the shootout.

Daniel Sedin was definitely missed up front, but brother Henrik stepped up with a pair of assists. Mikael Samuelsson also stood out on offence collecting two assists; he's now on a three-game point streak.

DEFENCE

Giving up a late goal like that can't become a regular thing, yet the Canucks get bonus points for how they rebounded.

More offence from the defence was welcomed as Willie Mitchell scored and Christian Ehrhoff had one assist.

Roberto Luongo made 32 saves, including three in overtime.

SPECIAL TEAMS

The good news is that the Canucks have scored power play goals in back-to-back games, both wins.

The bad is that they allowed the Stars to go 1-for-5 on the PP meaning the opposition has found the back of the net on the man advantage at least once in every game this season.

Vancouver finished 2-for-4 on the power play.

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