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The Goods: Burrows topples Jackets

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 7-3 win over Columbus.

…Alex Burrows capped off his second career hat trick with a picture perfect shorthanded goal five minutes into the third period to put the Canucks up 7-3.

As Ryan Kesler put it, the Canucks “played like Americans” on this night, although early on they didn’t show it. Columbus scored two goals within 61 seconds of each other to take a 2-0 lead 7:08 into the first period, but that was all the fight the Blue Jackets put up.

Paced by Burrows, who picked up goals 12, 13 and 14 on the season, the Canucks erased that two-goal deficit outscoring the Blue Jackets 7-1 in the final 53:47 of the game.

Rick Rypien jolted the Canucks to life in the first before Burrows scored back-to-back goals as Vancouver forged ahead 3-2 after 20 minutes. Henrk Sedin and Kris Russell traded goals 17 seconds apart six minutes into the second frame; Sami Salo then recorded his fourth goal of the season, followed by a Mikael Samuelsson blast that gives him 13 scores. Burrows then put the cherry on top with his third goal of the game with less than seven minutes to play.

Five Canucks extended point streaks in Vancouver’s 26th win, including Henrik (7 games), Samuelsson (5 games), Daniel Sedin (3 games), Kesler (3 games) and Burrows (3 games).

Buried but not forgotten is Willie Mitchell, who picked up the 100th assist of his NHL career. Big Willie Style had the second helper on the Samuelsson score.

Thanks to some crisp passing by linemates, Alex Burrows’ first hat trick since March 27, 2006 didn’t take a whole lot of effort, or so it seemed.

The gritty forward scored with ease in easily his best outing of the season and together with the Sedins, the top line combined for nine points (4-5-9) and a plus-9 rating.

Burrows credited his linemates for making hats rain down from the stands at GM Place and Daniel Sedin deserves the bulk of that. On Burrows’ first two goals, Danny made dementedly smooth backhand passes, one of the no-look variety, to confuse everyone on the ice except Burrows, who was waiting with his stick on the ice and a smile on his face.

The Burrows trifecta gives the Canucks four on the season for the first time since 2001-02 (Markus Naslund x 3, Todd Bertuzzi x 1), although it’s the first time since 2000-01 that four different players (Naslund, Bertuzzi, Cassels and Druken) have filled the hat in the same season.

It came down to a vote, but in the end there was no disputing the Sedins as the Unsung Heroes of this win, Vancouver’s 17th on home ice.

Words almost don’t do the play of the Sedins justice these days as both have hit the scoresheet like a piñata. Daniel collected three assists to up his points total to 33 in only 25 games; he’s now third in team scoring, just five points back of Ryan Kesler despite having 18 less games.

Henrik also put up three points to move him back into a tie with Joe Thornton for the NHL league lead at 58. He’s still the assist master with 38 on the season, but Hank is ninth in goal scoring having joined the 20-goal club by beating Chris Mason early in the second period.

This win was brought to you by the number seven, the amount of goals the Canucks put up for the fourth time this season.

With 139 goals in 43 games, Vancouver sits fourth in the NHL in scoring and third in the Western Conference behind San Jose and Chicago.

The Canucks are tied with the Blackhawks for third overall in goals per game at 3.19, not far behind the Capitals and Sharks.

Last season Vancouver averaged 2.96 scores a game to finish in 11th in the NHL.

Hat trick scorer Alex Burrows on the possibility of him having four goals in this game and how it feels to have the GM Place faithful give him a standing ovation:

“I thought I could have. I got one before on the 2-on-1 with Kesler, I kind of double clutched and I should have shot it first, but then right after Kes made a great play to find me back door. All three goals were just unreal plays by my linemates and all three of them were tap-ins so it feels good but most important was the two points.

“It feels good, that’s for sure. We haven’t seen our fans in a while, since before our last road trip, and it feels good to come back here in kind of a trap game, the first game after a long road trip. Our start was a little bit sluggish and we fell behind early, but we were able to get back into it and get the two points.”

Wednesday is a practice day for the Canucks, who are back in action on Thursday when the Phoenix Coyotes come to town.

These two last met on December 29 with the Coyotes howling their way to a 3-2 shootout win.

Dangerous on home ice, Phoenix is average on the road with a record of 10-8-1.

NUMB3RS

2 – Career hat tricks for Alex Burrows.

4 – Hat tricks for the Canucks this season for the first time since 2001-02.

5 – Canucks on point streaks of at least three games.

9
– Points for Vancouver's top line, three each.

100 – Career assists for Willie Mitchell.

QUOTABLE
“We knew they were going to be a desperate team and sometimes those are the scariest ones to play. We got up 2-0 and we just kept with the program."

-
Shane O'Brien (on face Columbus)

"After the second goal they looked like a pretty fragile team and we were able to take advantage of it."


-Henrik Sedin (on the comeback

"We didn’t come out the way we wanted to and Rypien got us a big goal and he got us going. That line played well for us tonight."

-Ryan Kesler (on the top line)
OFFENCE

There's no stopping Vancouver's top line right now, (they combined for nine points) and with the way the second line has been chipping in (they had three), the Canucks have more scoring depthing than they ever imagined they'd have this season.

Henrik Sedin continues to surge up the NHL points leaderboard as he's once again tied with Joe Thornton for tops with 58 points.

Vancouver was outshot by Columbus 32-24.

DEFENCE

The Canucks came out flat as the Manitoba prairies and a 2-0 hole was the result. Once Rypien got Vancouver on the board, the Canucks buckled down defensively and started scoring, a lethal combination if ever there was one.

Roberto Luongo was good, but not great, in stopping 29 Blue Jackets pucks.

SPECIAL TEAMS

The first half of this game was played without a penalty being called so special teams didn't play much of a part. The Canucks were 1-for-3, while the Blue Jackets finished 0-for-5. Columbus also gave up a shorthanded goal to Alex Burrows.

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