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 4-0 victory over Phoenix.
…Alex Burrows entered the Canucks history books as just the third player in franchise history to record back-to-back hat tricks; his third goal in Vancouver’s 4-0 win put the game away 4:56 into the third period.
This win truly had more storylines than a soap opera as in addition to Burrows filling the hat, Roberto Luongo recorded his 50th career shutout, Henrik Sedin had three assists and is now the NHL league leader in points with 61, Mikael Samuelsson scored his 100th career goal, Vancouver won its fourth consecutive game for the first time this season and first time in five attempts and the victory moved the Canucks into a tie for first place in the Northwest Division in terms of points.
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Vancouver’s seventh win in eight games and 11th in its past 14 contests was kicked off with a Burrows goal, he pounced on a loose puck and roofed it past Ilya Bryzgalov 11:35 into the first.
The Canucks led 1-0 after one recess and in the second they did their best to let the Coyotes back in the game by being outshot 16-5, but Samuelsson scored his fourth goal in five games with four seconds remaining to give the Canucks a boost heading into the third period.
Burrows was back hat it in the final 20 minutes, first netting his second of the game a mere 1:01 into the period, then finishing off the trifecta with another top-shelf goal, his 17th of the season and seventh in three games.
The only thing left to be decided after Burrows’ knockout blow was if Luongo would hold his ground in net for the shutout and he turned aside nine shots in the third to do just that.
Having been through goalless droughts of six, nine and 11 games this season, Alex Burrows is finally seeing the puck bounce his way.
Burrows was once again the benefactor of solid passing from the Sedins, who finished with five assists and a plus-6 rating, and there’s no arguing the fact that he got a few helpful bounces on goals one and three, but in the end he put the puck in the net and that’s all anyone will remember.
Not since Ilya Kovalchuk did it back in 2007-08 has a player scored hat tricks in two consecutive games and, as mentioned, not since 1986-87 has a Canuck turned the trick twice in a row. Vancouver has had two players accomplish the feat, Skriko and Bobby Schmautz, and the Canucks have recorded back-to-back hat tricks in consecutive games a total of five times in club history.
The godly performances from Vancouver's top line has overshadowed the play of netminder Roberto Luongo of late - not that he’s complaining.
Luongo is quietly playing the best hockey of the season right now, punctuated by his 31 save performance on this night.
Vancouver’s captain has won seven of his last eight starts having allowed a goal or less in five of those outings. Luongo is now sporting a record of 23-12-1; he’s fourth in wins, ninth in goals against average at 2.21 and 10th in save percentage at .923.
The shutout, his second of the season, moves him into a tie for second place in the NHL with Chris Osgood for most donuts among active goaltenders. Only Martin Brodeur has more with 105.
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe…with so many storylines there were a lot of impressive stats to match.
What hasn’t been touched on is the play of the Sedins, who, alongside Burrows, continue to make a strong case for being the best line in the NHL.
Henrik had an assist on each Burrows goal, while Daniel kicked in on the final two; the twins now have 37 (Hank) and 32 (Danny) points in their last 22 games.
Former Canucks defenceman Ed Jovanovski said it best after the game: “I wish I was on the twin line.”
Coach Alain Vigneault on Vancouver’s win and the dominating play of Burrows, who still can’t believe where his career has led him:
”Tonight’s game I really like our first period, the energy and the jump we had. I thought after the first we’d change the game-plan a little bit and we tried to tire them out in our own end in the second period and it worked real well. They completely dominated that period and their goaltender was able to keep us in that game and in the third period obviously our guys weren’t satisfied with the second period and they put a much better period on the ice.
“I asked him the last game, in French on the bench, after he scored his third goal if when he was in Shawinigan as a 20-year-old he ever envisioned this and he started to laugh and said no, so I didn’t say a word after the second hat trick. Obviously that line right now is playing with a lot of confidence and they’re making some great plays that only they can see and pick up and the other team is having big issues trying to shut those guys down. They’re playing real well right now and we need them to.”
Can the Canucks make it five-straight wins on Saturday versus the Calgary Flames?
Will Vancouver claim top spot in the division all to itself?
Is Alex Burrows capable of putting together another hat trick outing?
Stay tuned. Puck drop on Saturday against the Flames is 7 p.m. (PST) on CBC’s Hockey Night In Canada.