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 3-0 win over Florida.
(Note: if reading this story on the new Canucks iphone app, it may not format properly. We are currently resolving the issue.)
…Ryan Kesler scored his 16th goal of the season, a power play marker, with 4:03 remaining in the final frame to help the Canucks blank the Florida Panthers 3-0.
Vancouver’s first of three games in four days began, uncharacteristically, with a lead courtesy of a patented Alex Burrows goal, his team-leading 26th, scored 1:18 into the second period.
This classic Burr score was a gritty one as he gained position on Florida’s Bryan McCabe a hair outside the paint before taking a pass from Henrik Sedin and putting perfect draw weight on the puck to sneak it over the line.
The Canucks doubled their lead with 1:50 remaining in the middle stanza thanks to a swift shorthanded goal from Jannik Hansen, his sixth of the season.
From there former Panthers keeper Roberto Luongo took everyone back to the early years of his career with a shutout in Sunrise; he stopped 31 shots for his fourth blanking of the season and the 51st of his career.
The Canucks improve to 3-3-0 on the road trip that never ends (it just goes on and on my friends), with another game tomorrow night in Columbus.
As has been the case throughout his career against his former team, Roberto Luongo was brilliant in picking up another shutout, his fourth on the campaign and 51st of his career.
In four games against the Panthers lifetime, Luongo is undefeated in regulation going 3-0-1 with only eight goals against; Florida is the only team Luongo hasn’t lost to. On this night the Canucks captain had great positional play, stellar rebound control and the help of his posts to thank.
There were at least six combined posts clanked between Vancouver and Florida, the majority of which came off shots from the Cats, including back-to-back scoring attempts on the power play late in the third.
You’ve got to be good to be lucky and Luongo was both in his 31st win of the season, the fifth highest total in the NHL.
Since returning from a conditioning stint with the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League, Jannik Hansen has suited up twice for the Canucks and in this outing, his second consecutive, he was a difference maker.
Hansen delivered a massive blow to the Panthers late in the second period when he notched his sixth goal on the year and first of the shorthanded variety.
After collecting the puck just inside his own blueline, Hansen hustled into the Florida zone with speed, head up, trying to stay ahead of Bryan McCabe, who was battling Tanner Glass for position.
Hansen showed no indication of pass and before Tomas Vokoun could react, the puck zipped over his left shoulder off a perfectly placed wrist shot.
Hansen’s shorthanded beauty, which elicited a smile similar to the ones being shared by those who received the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue today, was Vancouver’s sixth shortie of the season, good for a share of fifth in the NHL.
Alex Burrows leads the Canucks with four goals scored 4-on-5, while Henrik Sedin and now Hansen have one apiece.
Six shorthanded tallies may sound like a lot, but it’s still 13 away from the team record of 19 established in the 1997-98 season by the likes of Pavel Bure, Mark Messier, Alex Mogilny, Markus Naslund and Todd Bertuzzi.
Jannik Hansen on his team’s effort, his shorthanded goal and what needs to be accomplished for the Canucks to win their final two pre-Olympic games:
”We felt we played a pretty good game in Tampa but didn’t get the result we wanted, so it’s nice to come back with an effort like this and of course special teams came through today and Lui was unbelievable and that’s really all you need.
”They tried to dump the puck in and it took a couple of bad bounces on the ice and suddenly their four guys are going one way and I’m going the other way with the puck. Then it’s a matter of putting the puck where you want it and I was fortunate enough that it went in.
”We gave up quite a few scoring chances today, we need to minimize that a little more. I mean we can’t have Lui playing like this every game, we need to be better in front of him and take care of our own games.”
The Canucks are off to Columbus for a game against the Blue Jackets on Friday, thanks to a zany schedule quirk from the NHL.
Following the back end of Vancouver’s double-header, the team has Saturday off before battling the division rival Minnesota Wild in a matinee on Sunday.