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The Goods: A happy sendoff

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 3-2 win over St. Louis.

…Christian Ehrhoff scored a power play goal with less than eight minutes remaining in the third period to give the Canucks a 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues and their league-leading 23rd win at home.

After Paul Kariya was assessed a slashing penalty on Henrik Sedin midway through the frame, the Canucks made quick work of their man advantage as 32 seconds in Ehrhoff carried the puck down the right side deep into the Blues zone and snapped a shot on goal from an awkward angle.

The 32nd Vancouver shot caught St. Louis netminder Ty Conklin off guard as the puck found its way to the back of the goal. Ehrhoff extended his point streak to four games with his second game-winner of the season, but it was the duo of Mason Raymond and Ryan Kesler that made the difference on this night.

Raymond and Kesler were in on each Canucks goal with May Ray netting a pair and picking up an assist and Kesler collecting three helpers.

Keith Tkachuk and T.J. Oshie scored for the Blues, who finish the season series with the Canucks at 2-2.

Vancouver has now won six straight games as they move into top spot in the Northwest Division with 68 points.

For just the 12th time in 53 games neither Daniel or Henrik Sedin recorded a single point meaning secondary scoring was needed for Vancouver to take down St. Louis.

Mason Raymond, who was praised for his impeccable work ethic by coach Alain Vigneault after the game, continued his fine play with his third three point night of the season.

His 19th goal of the year came after Kesler stole the puck in the Blues zone and threw it on net and Raymond was able to get a smidgen of his stick on the puck. Raymond became the third Canuck to the 20-goal plateau when he froze Erik Johnson with a fake slapper and shot the puck past him and through Conklin early in the third period.

Raymond now has eight points in his last seven contests.

Ryan Kesler gets the nod not only for his three assist outing, but for putting together an effort of intangibles.

In addition to the points, Kesler was a plus-1 in 19:41 of ice time with two shots, a takeaway, a blocked shot and the best faceoff percentage of any skater at 69%. Kesler was 9-for-13 at the dot to help the Canucks win the faceoff battle 32-to-23.

With Alex Burrows also blanked for points breaking his 12 game point streak, Kesler moves back into third in team scoring with 47 points (13-34-47) in 53 games.

The most dangerous line in the NHL was silenced in this game; zero goals, zero assists, zero points.

Earlier this season that might have spelt loss for the Canucks, but Vancouver’s secondary scoring continues to hold its own. Six players have 20 points or more outside of the big three, including Raymond, Kesler, Mikael Samuelsson, Christian Erhoff, Alex Edler and Steve Bernier.

It takes depth to win and the Canucks, at least for the moment, have it in spades.

Speedster/sniper Mason Raymond on his team’s play, the balanced attack and getting the good bounces:

”The club has been playing very well at home here this last little stretch and these points could definitely be crucial heading down the final stretch so it’s nice to end on a win before we head out for six weeks.”

”I think that’s been a big key of our success the last little while is we’ve had all lines firing and Roberto’s made big saves at key times and we’re finding ways to win.”

”It’s one of those nights where, for me, it feels like bounces start to go your way and you’re getting a few opportunities, but I think we created a little bit with our speed to open up the ice and we were lucky enough to pop three home so it’s a big two points for our club.”

The Canucks saluted the fans after this win and they also waved goodbye as the team won’t call GM Place home again until March 13th.

The madness that is the longest road trip in NHL history begins with a game in Toronto this Saturday and continues with stops in 12 cities for 13 games over a span of 42 days.

NUMB3RS

0 – Points for the Sedins or Burrows.

2 – Game-winning goals for Christian Ehrhoff.

3
– Points for Mason Raymond.

3 – Assists for Ryan Kesler.

23 – Home wins for the Canucks, an NHL-high.

68 – Faceoff percentage for Kesler (9-for-13).

QUOTABLE
“We definitely wanted to finish up on the right note, we’re not going to be playing here for a while now, so it was important for us, especially going into the third tied 1-1."
-Roberto Luongo (on the win)


"It’s exciting for sure to play in your home rink for your country, it’s going to be a lot of fun and I’m really going to try to enjoy it."

-Henrik Sedin (on playing for Sweden)

"We’ve been very consistent, starting with Luo is net, he calms everyone one back there. Guys have stepped up on the back end and our forwards have been great."
-Shane O'Brien (on consistency)
OFFENCE

Without the Sedins most would write the Canucks off, but Mason Raymond, Ryan Kesler and Chrisitan Ehrhoff gave the team the push it needed.

This was only the 12th time in 53 games neither Sedin has collected a point.

Vancouver outshot St. Louis 34-27.

DEFENCE

It's scary to think how good the Canucks would be defensively with their big guns in the line-up if they're this good with Lukowich, Rome and Baumgartner roaming the blueline.

All three held their own again and held the Blues at bay. Luongo also played a big part in that, he was big in the third period especially.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Vancouver was 1-for-5 on the power play with their lone special teams goal counting as the game-winner. St. Louis was 1-for-2 on the man advantage.

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