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 5-3 loss to Carolina.
…Carolina’s Eric Cole scored an empty net goal with 16 seconds remaining in the third period to snuff out a furious Vancouver comeback and complete his sixth career hat trick in a 5-3 Hurricanes win.
The Canucks opened the scoring thanks to a Jannik Hansen goal 12:02 into the first, but relinquished the lead 20 seconds later and the Hurricanes took charge from there.
Four unanswered goals from Carolina had Vancouver, playing its third game in four days, in a 4-1 hole before Steve Bernier scored a smelling salt goal midway through the third that awoke the visitors. The Canucks then cut the lead to 4-3 off an Alex Burrows score, yet the tying goal remained elusive despite intense pressure.
The Canucks, who fall to 2-1 on their current four-game road trip, were backed by Andrew Raycroft instead of Roberto Luongo for the first time since November 10. Raycroft stopped 23 shots; his record is now 4-3-0-1 on the season.
Alex Burrows has always been adamant that his ball hockey skills make him a better hockey player and he backed that up against Carolina.
In scoring his fifth goal in six games, Burrows was forced to bat a loose puck out of the air in front of the Carolina goal, which he did with ease. The refs went upstairs to ensure it wasn’t a high stick, which is wasn’t, and Burrows had his ninth goal of the season as the Canucks inched closer to an overtime that never materialized.
Burrows currently sits tied for third in team scoring with 20 points through 29 games.
On an afternoon where sloppy play and unlucky breaks caused Vancouver to lose to the worst team in the NHL, the play of defenceman Christian Ehrhoff truly stood out for the Canucks.
Bobby Hoff was on the ice for all three of Vancouver’s goals making him a plus-3 for the game, he was one of only five Canucks with a plus rating and the only player above plus-1.
Ehrhoff leads the Canucks with a plus-15 rating on the season, that’s good for third overall in the NHL, one back of Zach Parise and Pavel Kubina.
The Canucks had a chance to tie this game on the power play late in the third period with Sergei Samsonov in the box for a phantom high-stick.
Although Vancouver hit Carolina netminder Manny Legace with five shots, the power play failed to convert for the third time in the game and for the 12th straight time over the last three games.
Converting at a rate of 22.7 per cent, the Canucks are fourth in the league on the power play.
Defenceman Shane O’Brien on a lax second period that saw the Canucks give up three goals, including the eventual game-winner to Eric Cole:
“I thought we were a little sloppy and we didn’t get pucks deep and didn’t get our cycle game going. Our forwards are so fast and are so good at the cycle that once we do that it opens up the point and we can create traffic to the net.
“We just had too many turnovers and like we said before the game, they’re record doesn’t indicate how good of a team they are over there and we knew it was going to be tough. Any time you play on the road in this league it’s not easy and we’ve got a lot of character in there and we gave it a good push in the third, but the second period really hurt us."
The Canucks finish off their four-game jaunt in Nashville on Tuesday. That gives Vancouver two days to practice, rest and re-focus in preparation for a Predators team that plays well at home and is 7-2-1 in their last 10 games.
Vancouver is 6-9-0 away from GM Place.