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 shootout win over Boston.
…Roberto Luongo executed a poke-check to perfection as he knocked the puck away from Patrice Bergeron, the final Boston shooter, to lift Vancouver to a 3-2 shootout win.
For the sixth time in as many outings the Canucks gave up the game’s opening goal, a power play marker just 1:56 in. The Bruins then doubled their lead, again on the man advantage, to take a 2-0 advantage into the first recess.
Vancouver’s comeback started with a Mason Raymond score, the 21st of the season for #21 which came off a beautifully orchestrated move in tight on Tuukka Rask, midway through the second and that seemed to spark the road warriors.
The Canucks exploded for 18 shots in the third period and that was just enough to sneak another puck past Rask. On what appeared to be a broken play, Sami Salo's stick fell apart at the point, the puck trickled past a dazed Bruin before Tanner Glass spun and ripped a shot on goal. Pavol Demitra was johnny on the spot in front to tip it in for his first goal of the season.
Already leaving Bean Town with at least a point, Vancouver added another in the shootout with Demitra scoring and Roberto Luongo capping off a magnificent 41-save performance with three consecutive stops on Boston shooters.
The Canucks snap their two game losing streak and improve their road record to 12-13-1 and 2-2-0 to start their 14-game swing.
After Roberto Luongo was pulled in Toronto and less than dominating in a loss to Montreal, naysayers were coming out of the woodwork, as usual, to toss him under the bus.
Like the consummate professional that he is, Lui responded with one of his most impressive games of the season, a 41-save outing that included another three stone cold stops in the shootout.
Without the services of Luongo, who picked up win #30 on the season to top the 30-win plateau for the fifth consecutive season, this game would have been well out of reach early on. He kept the Canucks in the game long enough to outlast the Bruins with a suitcase of absurd saves, like the first period robbery of Marco Sturm, the right pad denial of Miroslav Satan in the second, a brickwall stop on a Blake Wheeler breakaway in the final frame and a pair of stops on Michael Ryder, one with the chest, the other with the glove, in overtime.
With the Sedins and Burrows struggling offensively for the fourth time in five games, others needed to step up and Mason Raymond and Pavol Demitra were two forwards that made the come-from-behind win possible.
Raymond was as roadrunner quick as ever evading Bruins at every turn, that led to Vancouver’s first goal, his career-high 21st, a team-high five shots and a Canucks-best four hits.
Over the last six games May Ray has three goals and seven points with 21 shots on goal.
Pavol Demitra has only played 10 games since returning from injury, but he’s really starting to get his groove back.
Demo scored his first goal of the season to ensure the Canucks at least a single point and was the hero in the shootout as he flew down the right wing, faked a forehand shot and lifted a backhander up and over Rask; he’s now on a three-game point streak with a goal and three helpers in his last seven games.
Rewarded for his fine play, the veteran forward was moved up to the second line beside Raymond and Ryan Kesler and clearly it paid dividends. Alongside his goal, he was a plus-2 going 3-for-3 at the dot in 16:08 of ice time, his second highest total of the season.
Comeback wins are thrilling and all but the Canucks need to do themselves a favour and start scoring first.
Vancouver was forced to play from behind for the sixth straight game and the ninth time in their last 11 outings. NHL stats show that whoever opens the scoring wins 75 per cent of the time and although Vancouver’s percentage is above the league average, the Canucks are making life extremely difficult every time they fall behind 1-0.
The Canucks are 14-14-2 when their opposition scores first compared to 21-6-0 when beating them to the scoreboard.
Pavol Demitra, the game’s third star, on the play of Roberto Luongo, scoring his first of the campaign and his shootout game-winner:
”Lui was a big reason we won the game, he stepped up for us and he played an unbelievable game, even in the shootout. He’s working on that every day in practice and you can see it. He’s just an unbelievable goalie.
”I was waiting a long time for it and I got a couple of good chances even before, I had a half empty net and it just hit the goalie’s skate, but it’s nice to have a first one and hopefully I’ll get many more.
”It’s a little bit tough for a goalie because you’ve got a little bit harder angle and obviously that’s my move, I go in blocker and go back to my backhand. It’s tough to read for a goalie.”
Four down, 10 to go.
The Canucks improve to 2-2-0 on the longest road trip ever with a trip to Tampa Bay in the cards for the team; Vancouver plays the Lightning on Tuesday.
Only four game remain for the Canucks before the Olympic break.