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The Goods: Besting the Best

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 6-2 win over Pittsburgh.

…Mikael Samuelsson, Jannik Hansen and Willie Mitchell scored on three consecutive shots before the second period was four minutes old to give the Canucks a 5-1 stranglehold on the Penguins in a 6-2 Vancouver victory.

The East vs. West showdown began with an Evgeni Malkin goal, his first in 12 games, early in the first period, but the Canucks shook that off and responded with goals from Henrik Sedin and Alex Burrows, the latter a patented Burr shorthanded top shelf beauty, to lead 2-1 after 20 minutes.

Vancouver’s lead ballooned to 5-1 by the 3:56 mark of the second thanks to a Samuelsson tip, a Hansen re-direction and some dangling from Mitchell – yes, Willie Mitchell.

Pittsburgh netminder Marc-Andre Fleury was unable to play because of a fractured finger so he wasn’t the goat on this night. That distinction went to third-string goalie John Curry, who got the start but got the hook early in the second frame making way for emergency call-up Alexander Pechurski, a 19-year-old Russian currently with the WHL’s Tri-City Americans, signed on a one-game amateur tryout.

The goalie swap had little effect as Ryan Kesler and Matt Cooke traded goals leaving the score 6-2 through two periods.

The Canucks took their foot off the gas in a chippy third period where the teams combined for eight minor penalties and one 10-minute misconduct.

All in all, six different scorers lit the lamp for the Canucks as they snapped a three-game winless streak and improved their record on home ice to 19-7-1 and 28-18-2 overall.

Vancouver’s top trio was unstoppable, as usual, on this night as Daniel and Henrik Sedin and Alex Burrows came together for a pair of goals and four assists.

Overshadowed on the NHL’s main stage by the likes of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, Henrik Sedin served notice that he’s in the point race for the long haul. His 21st goal, a fluke shot that banked in off defenceman Sergei Gonchar, and 45th and 46th assists, on the Hansen and Mitchell goals, gave him three points on the night to increase his league leading total to 67.

Daniel Sedin didn’t record a point against the Wild on Wednesday snapping a six-game point streak, but he got back on track with a two assists to help down the Pens. Daniel’s first helper, the first assist on Henrik’s goal, was his 500th career point making him the sixth player in franchise history and second player this season, Henrik was the other, to reach the 500-point milestone.

Alex Burrows came into this game riding a season-high seven game point streak and he extended that with a shorthanded goal late in the first period. After stealing the puck from Sergei Gonchar, Burrows went in on Curry with speed before going to the backhand to bring everyone in the Garage to their feet.

With six different players having found the back of the Penguins net, the Canucks got the balanced scoring they’re constantly striving for.

Jannik Hansen had a goal and an assist in his second multi-point game of the season; his fifth goal on the year was the straw that broke Curry’s back. After Henrik lulled the defence to sleep with some Sedin patience, he spotted Hansen surging down the middle of the ice and hit him with a picture perfect pass.

A zig and a zag later and the puck was in the net as Hansen displayed a vintage Bobby Orr move when he was forced to dive over Curry after scoring.

The Crosby Show got rave reviews from the Canucks fans in this game, mainly because it never aired.

Crosby was muffled all night and had little to no affect on the game; in 18:25 of ice time he had no shots and was a minus-3.

As red hot as anyone in the league, Sid the Kid came into the game with six goals and eight assists in his last five games.

Roberto Luongo on Vancouver ending it’s three game winless streak, the play of Pittsburgh third-string goaltender John Curry got and taking advantage of Marc-Andre Fleury being out of the lineup:

”We were on a bit of a slide there but we had a couple of days to practice and make sure that we got back on the right track so obviously is was a big game for us tonight.

“I did feel bad for the kid, I’ve been there and it’s not an easy thing. It happens and you go from there, he’s got a little more experience in him.

“We were all aware of the situation, that being said, you can’t take that for granted and automatically assume it’s going to be an easy night, you’ve still got to work to get to the net and make their life hard and I think we did a good job. We had some screens and deflections right in front of him that were huge.”

The Canucks take on the Canucks on Sunday in their annual Superskills contest.

Monday is an off day for the team before they practice on Tuesday prior to departing for Edmonton. The Canucks and Oilers are set to do battle on Wednesday.


NUMB3RS

0 – Points for Sidney Crosby, he was a minus-3.

3 – Points for Henrik Sedin, he improved his league-leading total to 67.

6
– Different goal scorers for the Canucks.

22 – Saves for Roberto Luongo.

500
– Career points for Daniel Sedin.

QUOTABLE
“It was a big won for us, we wanted to make sure we got the two points because everybody’s been winning in the conference."

-Alex Burrows (on the victory)


"Everything was very fast, it was totally different than practice, obviously you’ve got a lot more time in practice but especially in the last 20 minutes I started feeling more comfortable."
-Pavol Demitra (on being back)

"It’s proof that you can be the Stanley Cup champions but if you don’t get good goaltending you stand no chance of winning and their first goaltender obviously wasn’t good enough."
-Alain Vigneault
(on Pitts' goalies)
OFFENCE

Give Vancouver's sharp shooters a lot of credit for this win, they smelt blood and they attacked.

Six different Canucks scored as matters went from bad to worse for the Penguins netminders; Hank the Tank was just that with another three points.

Vancouver outshot Pittsburgh 27-24.

DEFENCE

The Canucks couldn't hold both Semin and Ovechkin off the scoresheet when Washington visited and they could contain both Malkin and Crosby either. Still, the blueline gets full marks for holding Sid the Kid to zero shots on goal.

The defence also chipped in offensively with two points.

SPECIAL TEAMS

The Canucks were 1-for-6 on the power play with two shots, while the Penguins finished 0-for-3 with one shot. Vancouver also scored a shorthanded goal.

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