The Canucks gave up three power play goals to Minnesota in a 6-2 loss to the Wild Tuesday night at the Xcel Energy Centre in the first of six games between Northwest Division rivals this year.
Minnesota owned the NHL’s top ranked power play coming into the game having converted 8-of-21 chances, including a 4-for-6 effort in a win over the Edmonton Oilers last week. Vancouver couldn’t keep the Wild off the man advantage on this night as the home side went 3-for-3 to hand the Canucks their third loss of this young season.
Adding to Vancouver’s special team woes was a 1-for-6 showing on the power play, previously the second ranked unit in the league, as nothing went right for the Canucks on the road for the third time in as many games. They remain winless away from Rogers Arena having allowed at least four goals in each contest.
It was a demoralizing night for the Canucks, but it didn’t begin as such with Vancouver opening the scoring 58 seconds into the game. The Sedins got the party started with a true twins score that had Henrik use the eyes in the back of his head to send a cross-crease backhand pass to Daniel for an easy open net one-timer.
One of the few bright spots for the Canucks lasted a mere five minutes before the Wild took over the game in a hurry. Goals a minute and 16 seconds apart, the second on the power play, had Minnesota up 2-1 before a second goal on the man advantage made it a 3-1 game.
Things got even uglier in the second, both on the ice and on Vancouver’s bench.
Two more Minnesota goals and the scoreboard read 5-1 in favour of the home team, prompting Rick Rypien to take a run at Brad Staubitz, with whom he had tussled earlier in the night. The pair was separated in an instance but as Rypien made his way to the Vancouver dressing room, he grabbed a taunting Wild fan near the bench and prepared for another scrap before being escorted down the tunnel.
It was that kind of night for the Canucks, a team still without a win against a Western Conference opponent.
"Minnesota was the best team on the ice tonight," said coach Alain Vigneault. "They beat us in all areas of the game, from loose pucks to puck battles, to obviously their power play was clicking real well before tonight and it continued. We didn't have a way to contain it and to stop it and they were the better team and they deserved to win the game."
The Canucks finished the game the way they started it as Daniel Sedin
scored with 1:29 remaining, on the power play, to push his goal total to six on the season tying him with Patrick Sharp for second in the NHL.
The Sedins finished with two points apiece giving them at least a single in each game and nine each overall; the pair now ranks fifth all-time in franchise history for scoring streaks to start the season, four games behind Tony Tanti’s record for points in 11 consecutive games to open the 1982-83 campaign.
Roberto Luongo can do little wrong at home and do little right on the road.
The Canucks netminder was in goal for all six Minnesota goals before giving way to Cory Schneider for the third period; in three starts away from Rogers Arena Luongo is now 0-3-0 with 14 goals against, a goals against average of 4.66 and save percentage of 0.797%.
That just seems to be the way it goes for Luongo versus the Wild in Minnesota as he has struggled at the Xcel Energy Centre throughout his career posting a record of 3-9-2, alongside a GAA of 3.46 and a 0.873 save percentage. That loss total is the third worst in a visiting arena and his GAA is his second worst, while his save percentage is the lowest of any opposing barn in Minnesota.
Luongo is 12-14-1-4 lifetime against the Wild.
Vancouver defenceman Dan Hamhuis missed the game with a foot injury after blocking a shot in the third period of Vancouver’s win Sunday night over Carolina. Ryan Parent, making his NHL debut, slotted in for Hamhuis; Defenceman Keith Ballard missed his second straight game with concussion symptoms; Canucks coach Alain Vigneault was behind the bench for his 600th career NHL game against Minnesota and 334th game for Vancouver. Vigneault has compiled a career record of 293-236-72 as an NHL coach; Vancouver Assistant GM Lorne Henning was the head coach for the Minnesota North Stars from 1985-1987.