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The Goods: Comeback Kings

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 6-4 win over Colorado.

(Note: if reading this story on the new Canucks iphone app, it may not format properly. We are currently resolving the issue.)

Daniel Sedin slid his first goal in 12 games into an empty net with nine second remaining to cap off another Canucks comeback win, the team’s third in five games, this time by a score of 6-4 over the Avalanche.

What would a come-from-behind victory be without a deep hole, which Colorado was happy to provide. The Avalanche beat Roberto Luongo on three of 10 shots to lead 3-0 after the first, that’s when Mikael Samuelsson came to life.

The veteran forward, moved to Vancouver’s top line alongside the Sedins, upped his career-high goal total to 27 with three in the second for his first career hat trick. The Canucks rallied around his effort holding the Avalanche to one goal in the middle frame leaving them down 4-3 with 20 minutes to play.

The writing was on the wall for another comeback and the way the Canucks pulled it off was entertaining to say the least. First Alex Burrows nudged a Christian Ehrhoff point shot past Craig Anderson for a power play goal that evened the score midway through the period, then, with 2:08 to play, an Aaron Rome shot deflected off Tanner Glass, off Anderson, off Jannik Hansen, off Anderson, off the scoreboard (not really, but it seemed like it) and in.

Of Hansen’s 14 career goals, four are game-winners, including scores in back-to-back games as the Great Dane keeps getting greater.

Luongo, shaky in the first, was rock solid in the latter half of the game making 16 of 17 saves to give the Canucks win number eight on their current 14-game trip and move them four points clear of the Avalanche for top spot in the Northwest Division.

Vancouver has won some big games this season, but this may be the biggest.

Vancouver made some key acquisitions this off-season and Mikael Samuelsson was undoubtedly the biggest.

Samuelsson singlehandedly performed CPR on 18 Canucks to bring the team back to life after a lethargic opening period.

He complimented the Sedins, and made Alain Vigneault look like a genius, by knowing where to be and when. On Samuelsson’s first goal, he waited for the Sedins to do their thing before pouncing on the rebound. His second score was of a similar variety, backhander into the net off a rebound, while his hat was filled by standing his ground in front of the net, stick on the ice, allowing Daniel Sedin to find him with a perfect pass.

Samuelsson now has six goals in his last four games and has his four points against Colorado set a new career mark at 47.

The mark of great players is making others great and that’s exactly what Daniel and Henrik Sedin did against the Avalanche.

The super twins combined for six points, a goal and five helpers, as they picked up steam as the game wore on to the point that on almost every third period rush into the Colorado zone, they set up a scoring chance.

Henrik leapfrogged Stan Smyl for second on the all-time assists list with three on the night, he’s now two back of Trevor Linden for top spot. Hank’s helpers also moved him past Joe Thornton for most in the NHL and he’s now only four points back of Alex Ovechkin in the league points race.

Daniel’s goal ended a 12-game drought and his assists, numbers nine and 10 in his last seven games, gives him 11 points in the past seven outings, the second longest current streak on the team behind Ryan Kesler’s 10 game streak of 12 points.

Are you kidding me with these third period comebacks?

Left for dead after 20 minutes and barely clinging to life down 4-1 in the second, somehow the Canucks hit the switch and transformed from boys to men allowing them to complete their 10th comeback in 17 attempts when down after two periods.

Since the 1997-98 season, only six teams have had more come-from-behind wins than the Canucks have already, with 16 games to play.

Mikael Samuelsson, who set a new career-high in points against Colorado, on another comeback and Luongo’s play down the stretch:

”Play for 60 minutes, that’s what it’s about and once again we came from a couple goals behind and we came up with the win.

”They had a 4-2 lead there and [Luongo] came up with a couple of big saves, we knew he was going to do that. It’s not only him, we weren’t happy with our first period, it’s not only one guy, we stick together as a team and we battle as a team through good things and through bad things like we did today.”

A game in Phoenix Wednesday night closes out Vancouver’s 14-game road trip; what a voyage its been.

The Canucks can finish no worse than 8-6 on this expedition, with 9-5 a record in the cards with a win over the Coyotes. The team emerging with a .500 record after the longest road trip in NHL history would have been a success, this is surpassing what most though possible.

If they’re playing like this on the road, what kind of beasts will they be at home for 10 of their final 15 games?

NUMB3RS

1 – Career hat trick for Mikael Samuelsson, he had four points to set a new personal best at 47.

2 – Game-winning goals for Jannik Hansen in two games.

6 – Points for the Sedins, a goal and five assists.

10
– Game point streak for Ryan Kesler, he had two assists to set a new career-high in scoring at 61 points.

413
– Career assists for Henrik Sedin, he's now second on the all-time Canucks assist list.

OFFENCE

Mikael Samuelsson was the offence through 40 minutes and that was enough to spark a comeback for Vancouver's 41st win.

Balanced scoring was again the name of the game with 18 points spread between nine players.

Vancouver outshot Colorado 32-27.

DEFENCE

Although these comebacks are thrilling, they might not be necessary with a few better efforts on the back end. 

Roberto Luongo was off his game in the first and so were his defenders, thankfully the blueliners and Lui regrouped just in the nick of time.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Vancouver evened the game on the power play to finish 1-for-3; Colorado was 1-for-2.

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