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Game 11: Escaping the Island

by Daniel Fung / Vancouver Canucks
Tuesday night's tilt between the Canucks and Islanders was a kind of game that coaches hate and fans love. The Canucks learned to love it too because they were the ones that managed to escape with two points by the time it was all said and done.

Brad Richardson's fourth goal of the season scored 2:16 into overtime put an end to a sloppily-executed yet thoroughly entertaining contest as the Canucks emerged with a 5-4 victory over the host Islanders.

The win snapped Vancouver's two-game winless skid and improved their record on their current seven-game road trip to 3-1-1.

While it was all smiles for the Canucks at the end of the night, things did not look too promising to begin the evening for the boys in blue and green.

The Islanders jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead less than five minutes into contest thanks to goals from Brock Nelson and Matt Moulson but the Canucks would equalize before the game reached the 10-minute mark with Ryan Kesler and Daniel Sedin responding for Vancouver.

After Moulson helped the Isles reclaim the lead with his second power play goal of the night less than five minutes into the middle stanza, the Canucks would turn the tables in the latter stages of that period with Henrik Sedin and Chris Higgins each finding the back of the net to give the Canucks a 4-3 lead after 40 minutes.

Vancouver looked like they were on their way to a regulation victory before Frans Nielsen managed to square the game for the home team with 1:12 remaining in the third period.

Roberto Luongo made 28 saves on 32 shots for the victory while Evgeni Nabokov turned aside 28 of 33 shots in the overtime loss.

The Canucks play the penultimate game of their seven-game road swing on Thursday when they pay a visit to Cory Schneider and the New Jersey Devils.

MAN DOWN: The Canucks opted to play Tuesday's game with only 11 forwards with David Booth sitting as a healthy scratch and they were down to 10 forwards before the end of the first period with Jannik Hansen leaving with an apparent upper-body injury. Hansen was charging hard to the net before becoming tangled with Isles' defenceman Brian Strait and crashing hard into the end boards. He did not return to the contest. Ryan Kesler was the biggest benefactor as a result of the sudden drop in forward depth recording a team-high 28:04 of ice-time.

PUNISHED BY PENALTIES: The Canucks' normally solid penalty kill had an off-night on Tuesday allowing two goals – both off the stick of Matt Moulson – on just four times shorthanded. It's just the second time this season the Canucks have allowed more than one power play goal in a game. They similarly allowed two power play goals back on October 12 in a 4-1 home loss to the Canadiens.

CAPTAIN VS CAPTAIN: Both Canucks' captain Henrik Sedin and Islanders' captain John Tavares managed to extend their respective team-leading point streaks on Tuesday. Henrik's second period goal extended his point streak to six games (3-4-7) while Tavares' first period assist on Moulson’s first goal extended his point streak to eight games (4-7-11).

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