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The Goods: Canucks fall to Wild

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 5-2 loss in Minnesota.

…The Minnesota Wild scored three times on three shots in the third period to take a commanding 5-2 lead and bring down the curtains on the Canucks.

The Wild, who had won three straight games coming in, took advantage of a listless Canucks team early on by putting their first two shots of the opening period past Roberto Luongo. Kyle Brodziak was first on the board, followed by Mikko Koivu.

Ryan Kesler cut the Minnesota lead to one with a greasy goal (he scooped up a loose puck in the crease and snuck it by Niklas Backstrom) as Vancouver took charge to end the period.

That dominating play continued in the second as the Canucks outshot the Wild 14-4 with Alex Burrows scoring his 20th goal of the season to even the score at 2-2.

In the third period, a frame owned by the Canucks this season to the tune of 25 more goals scored than their opposition, Vancouver uncharacteristically gave up three goals; Antti Miettinen collected two goals, Owen Nolan the other, spelling the end for Luongo, who made way for Andrew Raycroft with 8:26 remaining in the game.

The Canucks lose for the third time in as many games after stringing together a season-high four-game winning streak, although Vancouver still sports an impressive record of 8-1-1 in its last 10 games against Minnesota.

As has been the case in 2010, when Vancouver needed a goal in the second period, Alex Burrows was there to lend a helping tip.

Burrows, the man with a sharp shot and tongue of late, got just enough of a Sami Salo blast with 4:17 left in the second period to put the Canucks back on even ground.

The Burrows/Auger saga has been widely covered over the past 48 hours meaning the Canucks forward was under the microscope for this game and he responded with an inspired effort. In addition to matching Henrik Sedin’s team-high 20 goals, Burrows had three shots and a hit, while also drawing a penalty.

Did the referees target Burrows on this night? Even though he was handed two minor penalties, one for high-sticking and one for slashing (as time expired), they both seemed merited.

All the commotion over Alex Burrows, from both his play on the ice and comments off the ice, has swept a few things under the rug. The eminent play of Ryan Kesler is one of those things.

Kesler scored Vancouver’s opening goal on this night; he had three shots, four hits, a blocked shot and went 13-for-20 on faceoffs.

His 12th goal of the season was his eighth point in his last seven games and he now has 41 points in 47 games this year.

It goes without saying that this wasn’t the best night for the Canucks, but that counts double for Roberto Luongo.

Vancouver's star netminder wasn’t his usual self in allowing two quick goals to start the game and another three back-to-back-to-back scores within an eight minute span early in the third frame.

It’s been 29 games since Luongo last allowed five goals and over that stretch he’s given up two goals or less in 18 starts. This is he sixth time this year Luongo has allowed four or more goals and the third time he's given up five scores.

Sami Salo on Vancouver’s poor start and not getting overly frustrated during his team’s three-game losing streak:

“We came out really slow from the gates and they controlled pretty much the first 10 minutes of the game and got a 2-0 lead, but I think in the next 30 minutes we regrouped pretty well and came back strong and tied it up going into the third. Obviously in the third we took some penalties and they made some good plays and scored some goals.

”You can’t get too negative but obviously you have to realize that you’re not playing very well so we have to regroup during these two days then we have the Stanley Cup champions coming in and we have to be ready.”

The Canucks would be wise to brush their shoulders off in a hurry as Sidney Crosby and the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins slide into GM Place on Saturday.

With all the attention placed on Alex Burrows and the Canucks of late, having Sid the Kid at the Garage for a few days will definitely take some pressure off Vancouver.

NUMB3RS

2 – Consecutive 4-on-3 game-winners scored against the Canucks.

5 – Goals against for Roberto Luongo, his worst showing in 29 games.

8 – Wins for Vancouver in its last 10 versus Minnesota.

10 – Wins for the Canucks in their last 13 against team from the Northwest Division.

20
– Goals this season for Alex Burrows.

OFFENCE

The Canucks came out flat with minimal shots early on, but then turned on the jets to heavily outplay the Wild for the first and second. Vancouver got a lot of pucks on goal, they simply weren't as dangerous as Minnesota's shots.

Vancouver outshot Minnesota 31-22.

DEFENCE

There were a few leaks in the ship in this game and as Christian Ehrhoff's minus-3 rating indicates, it just wasn't the defence's night.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Vancouver went 1-for-4 on the man advantage with four shots, while Minnesota was 1-for-5 with six shots. The Wild power play is now 1-for-18 versus the Canucks this season.

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