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 5-2 win over New Jersey.
…Jannik Hansen scored his second goal in as many games off a speedy 2-on-1 with Kevin Bieksa just over five minutes into the third period giving the Canucks a 5-2 lead.
This game was highly touted as a battle for the starting goaltender position with Team Canada at the 2010 Olympics between Roberto Luongo and Martin Brodeur, but both netminders were average at best in the opening period. Vancouver got to Brodeur three times in a six-minute span in the first as Alex Burrows, Sami Salo and Daniel Sedin had the Canucks up 3-0 with 7:28 to play.
The Devils responded with a pair of goals before the first frame was over as Luongo and Brodeur combined to allow five goals on just 16 shots. That theme didn’t continue the rest of the game as Luongo shut the door and the Canucks solved Brodeur twice more in the third to walk away with a win to open their four-game road trip.
Brodeur is now 6-10-0 all-time against the Canucks; Vancouver is the lone team he has a losing record against in his career.
Roberto Luongo faced only seven shots in the first 20 minutes and two snuck past him. Did Team Canada’s potential starting goaltender let that get to him? Of course not.
Luongo rallied from a shaky start with 22 consecutive saves through the second and third periods to win his 11th game of the season.
A pair of Luongo saves were especially nice; the first came in the second period when he sprawled to his left to deny Zach Parise, who was alone in front during 4-on-4 play, of a sure goal off a sneaky pass from Andy Greene. The second was a flashy glove save off a heated slap shot by Brian Rolston.
There have been quite a few firsts over the last few games for the Canucks. First Kyle Wellwood scored his first goal of the season, then it was Daniel Sedin’s turn. Alex Edler followed suit and not wanting to be outdone, Sami Salo found the back of the net for the first time this season versus New Jersey.
Known for a blistering slapshot that breaks the sound barrier but not so much for goal scoring, Salo goals are few and far between, but when he scores one, it’s something to behold.
Salo let one of his patented shots fly early in the first period and thanks to some interference in front from Daniel Sedin and Mikael Samuelsson, and the fact that stopping it would have injured Brodeur, Salo had his first of the campaign and first in 40 games dating back to last season.
Vancouver’s defence combined for two goals and three assists on the night.
The Canucks scored three goals in the first period against the Devils to give them 30 goals in the opening period this season, good for third in the league.
Scoring early is important for Vancouver as the team sports a 10-3-0 record when hitting the scoreboard first.
Although the Canucks are second last and 29th overall in the NHL with only 17 goals in the second period this season, they’re also impressive in the third with 36 goals for. That’s second in the league behind the Atlanta Thrashers.
Canucks netminder Roberto Luongo on the goalie duel that didn’t develop in the first period and sharing the spotlight with Martin Brodeur during the 2010 Olympics:
“We didn’t know what was going on out there and I could just imagine what people were saying after the first because it wasn’t that much of a goalie duel. It settled down after that and we made some big saves on both sides the rest of the way there.”
“He’s a great guy, he’s very laid back and easy going so we get along great. No matter what the roles are going to be come February, there’s not going to be any animosity there. We’ll be supportive either way and at the end of the day there’s only one thing that matters and it’s winning gold.”
Vancouver continues its four-game road trip Thursday night against in Philadelphia on Canucks PPV.
If there’s one team that gives the Canucks troubles, it’s the Flyers. They always play the Canucks like it’s game seven of the Stanley Cup Final - the good news is that this game is in Philly and not Vancouver. The Canucks sport a hideous 0-9-5 record against the Flyers at GM Place dating back to January 17, 1989.