The Canucks, wrapping up a three-game homestand against the Phoenix Coyotes Friday night at Rogers Arena, were granted a 5-on-3 power play for one minute and 10 seconds early in the third period of a scoreless game.
Two shots on goal was all Vancouver mustered on a two-man advantage that could have ended the game, a game Phoenix won 3-1 to end the Canucks seven game winning streak.
Vancouver and Edmonton remain the only two teams in the NHL without a goal scored 5-on-3. That’s an odd stat considering the Canucks boast the league’s top ranked power play with a conversion rate of 24.8 percent.
The easy explanation, courtesy of Mikael Samuelsson: “We usually score 5-on-4, so it never gets down to 5-on-3.”
The fact of the matter, provided by Henrik Sedin: “We’ve got to score on those ones. There’s been a few in the last couple of weeks where we’ve had a chance to put the game away and we haven’t. We had some chances, but couldn’t score.”
The two-man advantage provided some great looks at the net for the Canucks, but as a carbon copy of the opening 40 minutes that saw Vancouver hit Jason LaBarbera with 28 shots, all saves, the former Canucks backup stood tall again leaving the game scoreless.
This affair was settled when Alex Burrows was assessed a five-minute boarding major and a game misconduct for a hit on Vern Fiddler in the Canucks end with 8:51 remaining in the third.
The call, booed by fans at the game, sent Burrows to the dressing room and the Canucks to a lengthy penalty kill they were unable to endure. The Coyotes struck twice in less than two minutes to take a 2-0 lead to all but end the game.
Burrows, surprised he was dealt more than a two-minute minor, was disappointed he put his team in that position at that point in such a tight game.
“I have a lot of respect for Kelly Sutherland, I think he’s one of the best refs in the league and it’s a tough call, I know there’s a lot going on with headshots right now throughout the NHL and Vern Fiddler kind of looked dazed a little bit,” said Burrows, adding well wishes for Fiddler.
“I thought a two-minute max, when I saw his arm up I thought it was going to be a boarding call. Obviously I was surprised when it was a major.”
The call swung the game, but this was far from a complete effort from the Canucks, despite hitting LaBarbera with 47 shots. Christian Ehrhoff shot the only puck that eluded the netminder, an even-strength goal with 2:58 to play.
“We didn’t play great,” said Henrik Sedin, “but we put a lot of shots on net. We didn’t get the looks we wanted, even though we almost had 50 shots, I don’t think we had too many great chances.
“He was really good,” said Henrik about LaBarbera. “We’ve been up against him a couple times and he’s been solid against us. He’s a good goaltender, but again, we didn’t have enough traffic.”
Roberto Luongo, looking for a fifth consecutive win, stopped 26 shots in the loss.
Vancouver finished 0-for-5 on the power play, while Phoenix went 2-for-7.
A few of us in the web department got together last summer to think about something cool we could do online to support the Canucks 40th Anniversary.
The end result of our brainstorming is the Canucks Social Timeline, a user driven site with content produced entirely by the fans, for the fans. This is your chance to contribute your Canucks stories, discuss Vancouver over the years, debate the greatest moments in team history and rank just about anything – wins, goals, saves, hits and more.
It’s unlikely that anything from Friday’s game will make the cut and end up in the Timeline, but this year has seen its share of incredible moments for the Canucks, with a slew to follow before the season is over.
Be sure to weigh in and vote on everything, the Timeline is yours to make it what you want, think of it as a blank canvas in need of colour.
We’re making new memories this year, store your old ones in the Timeline.
Daniel Sedin extended his point streak to eight games with his 14th point over that stretch, an assist on the game’s lone goal, his fifth apple versus Phoenix this year; with Manny Malhotra out of the lineup because of injury, Victor Oreskovich was recalled from the Manitoba Moose, he skated on the fourth line.