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The Goods: Silencing the Coyotes

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 4-1 win over Phoenix.

IT WAS OVER WHEN...

Henrik Sedin stole the puck from Ilya Bryzgalov as he attempted a pass to Derek Morris from behind his own net, and put it into the empty cage. The goal came 39 seconds after Phoenix cut Vancouver’s lead to 2-1 in a 4-1 Canucks win.

Without a player in the top 45 in NHL scoring, the Coyotes don’t have a lot of firepower up front to comeback if they fall behind early, so that’s naturally the course of action the Canucks took.

Alex Burrows and Mason Raymond scored 37 seconds and 4:08 into the opening period on Bryzgalov’s first two shots against to open a 2-0 lead.

Following a Radim Vrbata score at the 16:40 mark, Henrik restored Vancouver’s two-goal lead to end a rare 19 minute period. There was an issue with the glass with one minute remaining in the frame, so they tacked it onto the 21 minute second.

Daniel Sedin made use of the extra time in the middle stanza as he tipped a spin pass from Henrik past Bryzgalov to give the Canucks a commanding lead.

The win, Vancouver’s 29th of the season at General Motors Place, sets a new franchise record victories at home; the Canucks finish the month of March with a 9-4-2 record.

Vancouver’s magic number to clinch a playoff spot is down to one point.

CLUTCH CANUCK

Just when Alex Ovechkin thought he was right back in the points race, Henrik Sedin put together another three-point outing.

Henrik scored a shorthanded goal breaking a six game goalless streak, and had two assists to up his league leading points total to 104; he’s now six back of Pavel Bure’s franchise record with six games remaining.

Ten points in his last five games has allowed Henrik to leapfrog OV for first in the NHL and become the eighth Swedish player to top 100 points. That may not necessarily be a good thing in his quest for the Art Ross Trophy as of the seven Swedes to break 100 points prior to Hank, only Peter Forsberg accomplished the feat while capturing the league scoring title in 2002-03 (106 points).

UNSUNG HERO

That should silence Luongo’s naysayers for another few days.

In his first solid 60 minute outing since beating San Jose 3-2 on March 18, Roberto Luongo was unwavering stopping 32 of 33 shots for his 38th win of the season, the second highest total of his career.

The Canucks lit up the scoreboard early in the first period overshadowing Luongo’s effort, but he was a major reason Vancouver was able to establish the upper hand on Phoenix.

Luongo thwarted all 19 scoring attempts he faced over the final 40 minutes, including a glove save on Vrbata worthy of the thunderous LUUUUUU cheer he received.

STAT OF THE NIGHT

In the absence of Ryan Kesler, who was given a 5-minute major and a game-misconduct for a first period hit on Derek Morris, Vancouver’s forwards saw a major increase in ice time.

Kesler leads the Canuck forwards in ice time with an average of 19:52, he was kicked out 4:58 in leaving some major minutes on the table. Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin and Alex Burrows picked up the slack.

Burrows led all forwards at 22:08, followed by Hank at 21:33 and Daniel with 21:14; all three played even strength, on the power play and the penalty kill.

Ryan Johnson also saw a jump in minutes going from 10:21 to 16:08.

FROM THE DRESSING ROOM

Alex Burrows on Vancouver’s offensive prowess and Henrik’s battle with Ovechkin for the NHL scoring title:

”I thought we could have had five or six tonight. Obviously we did some good things, we got pucks deep and got in on the forecheck and created some habits that way, but at the same time the team played well, I thought we played a solid 60 and we needed those two points.

”It’s great. That’s in the back of our minds a little bit and the way that he played tonight, he worked hard, especially on the backcheck making plays, he’s playing like an MVP and hopefully he’ll get it.

NEXT UP

The Canucks are scheduled to practice Wednesday before departing for California for a back-to-back set against the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks Thursday and Friday to open April.

Vancouver has faired surprisingly well against LA this year going 3-0-0 with nine goals for and only three against. Facing Anaheim has been a different story with the Canucks behind in the season series 1-2-0 having been outscored 11-8.

NUMB3RS

3 – Points for Henrik Sedin, he leads the NHL with 104.

12 – Penalty minutes for Kyle Wellwood, two off his career-high.

28 – Home wins for the Canucks, a new franchise record.

50 – Points for Mason Raymond.

700 – NHL games played for Daniel Sedin.

QUOTABLE

“Hank’s line played one of their best games of the year and both ends of the rink, especially since we lost Kes real early in the game. "

-Alain Vigneault (on the win)

“It’s huge, he’s a big piece of the puzzle and losing him puts us behind but guys really stepped up nicely, Johnny did a great job filling in and Welly too."

-Alex Burrows (on Kesler's ejection)

“I thought Morris saw him coming and he turned at the last second, but these things happen and you’ve just got to battle through them."

-Roberto Luongo (on Kesler's hit)

OFFENCE

Alain Vigneault dubbed this the best game the Sedins have played all season and it was tough to disagree as they terrorized the Coyotes, often for minutes on end.

Every forward saw increased ice time and each held his own in Vancouver's record 28th home win.

Vancouver was outshot by Phoenix 33-29.

DEFENCE

Andrew Alberts slotted in for Shane O'Brien and he wasn't overly noticeable, which was perfect. Alberts was solid in 15:57 of ice time, he was a plus-2 a blocked shot and three hits.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Neither the Canucks or Coyotes scored on the power play going a combined 0-for-7.

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