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The Goods: Canucks hold off Flames

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 3-1 win over Calgary.

IT WAS OVER WHEN...

…the Canucks killed off a late third period penalty to Sami Salo, which had the Flames up 6-on-4 with Vesa Toskala on the bench, to hold on for a 3-1 win over the Flames.

For the second consecutive outing Vancouver brought it’s A-game in the opening period. The Canucks skated circles around the Flames allowing them to mount a sizeable siege on Miikka Kiprusoff; he faced 20 shots and was beat three times.

Daniel Sedin’s 19th goal of the season put Vancouver up 1-0 before fans had time to sit following O Canada, he took a feed from Henrik and extended his point streak to 10 games just 1:13 in.

Ryan Kesler, not wanting to be outdone, was next to beat Kiprusoff off a brilliant backhand pass from Alex Burrows. Goal no. 20 for Kesler pushed his NHL leading point streak to 13 games making it the longest by a Canucks player this season.

Mikael Samuelsson was the next to go streaking as the rebound off his point shot on a 5-on-3 power play was recycled by Daniel, who was also stopped, before Henrik played garbage man and finally scored. For Samuelsson the assist gave him points in seven consecutive contests, although is goal streak of six games came to an end.

After a furious first period the Canucks put it on cruise control with only eight shots over the final 40 minutes but none in the third period.

Roberto Luongo provided the defence necessary to give the Canucks a 12 point division lead over the Flames as he stopped 32 of 33 shots in Vancouver’s 43rd win of the year.

The Canucks improve to 6-1-1 since the Olympic break with points in five straight games.

CLUTCH CANUCK

In a monster divisional game every Canuck had to be at their best and no one shone brighter than Roberto Luongo.

A night after facing a mere 14 shots in a win against the Ottawa Senators, Luongo received the same solitary treatment early against the Flames with only six shots against in the opening 20 minutes.

Once Calgary started rolling, the shots followed as 27 flew in Luongo’s direction through the second and third periods, including 16 in the middle stanza. Although Bobby Lu was perfect in the second, Robyn Regehr burst his shutout bubble with a third period strike.

Luongo is now fifth in the NHL in wins with 35 and is on the cusp of breaking the top 10 in save percentage and goals against average having allowed singles in three of his last four wins.

UNSUNG HERO

Who else could it be but Henrik Sedin.

Hank set up a score and pocketed one of his own and in the process the ironman, who has started 404 straight games to sit fourth on Vancouver’s all-time list, moved past Captain Canuck Trevor Linden for most assists in franchise history with 416.

Patrik Sundstrum watched his record for points in a season by a centre be overtaken on the night as well as Henrik jumped two past the Canucks veteran for first all-time.

As the playoff watch heats up, so to does the Art Ross race, currently being won by Alex Ovechkin. The Russian sniper failed to collect any point versus Chicago Sunday, however, moving Henrik to within three of top spot.

STAT OF THE NIGHT

Just how much of a positive influence are the Sedins to the Canucks?

In addition to Vancouver’s astounding all-time record of 205-63-27 when both twins find the scoresheet in the same game – which sits at 27-5-2 this season – the Sedins are a combined plus-69 to sit third (Henrik: plus-35) and fourth (Daniel: plus-34) in the NHL.

With 13 regular season games to play, Henrik is even with Marek Malik and Pavel Bure’s club record of plus-35.

FROM THE DRESSING ROOM

Daniel Sedin on the strong opening period, the dominance of his line and winning games at home:

”We wanted to come out really strong and we got a 3-0 lead and I think after that we sat back a little bit and we didn’t give it a whole lot, but we’re happy with this one.

“It’s been fun this season, we’ve played with Burr mostly all season and now with Samuelsson, but I think we have a lot of lines clicking right now which makes it easy for us too.

“We had a big stretch in December where we had a lot of home games and we started winning, that gave us confidence and now we have kept things going. We have a good schedule over the last 13 games, so it’s good.”

NEXT UP

The Canucks have a day off Monday before setting their sights on the New York Islanders, a team they haven’t faced since November 17, 2008 in a 2-1 shootout loss on Long Island.

This game will be the third consecutive home game for Vancouver, with two more to follow before the boys head back onto the road, albeit for significantly less time than their previous trip.

NUMB3RS

7 – Game point streak for Mikael Samuelsson (9-4-13).

10 – Game point streak for Daniel Sedin (3-13-16).

13 – Game point streak for Ryan Kesler, two back of the Canucks all-time record.

20-6 – Shots for the Canucks in the first period.

32 – Stops for Roberto Luongo, 24 over the final 40 minutes.

QUOTABLE

“The first period obviously we came out strong with 20 shots on net and we were playing really well as a team."


-Roberto Luongo (on the start)

“We sat back a little too much and didn’t play the way we wanted to, a lot of turnovers, and they had a lot of chances."

-Henrik Sedin (on the slow finish)

“Confidence is always a big thing and we’ve scored a few goals lately and we know we can do it and the twins line with Sammy has been on fire."

-Alex Burrows (on the stellar offence)

OFFENCE

Another quick start had the Canucks in front before the Flames were ready to play ball and that lead ballooned to 3-0 before long.

The action fizzled down the stretch with Vancouver sitting on its heels not looking for more.

Vancouver outshot Calgary 33-28.

DEFENCE

This report card reads mostly A's for three takeaways, six shots, eight hits and 10 blocked shots from the back end.

Luongo earned the A+ for holding the Flames circus at bay over the final 40 minutes.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Vancouver went 1-for-6 with 12 shots for; Calgary was 0-for-5 with seven shots.

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