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The Goods: Topped by Wild

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 6-2 loss to Minnesota.

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

…Minnesota’s Andrew Brunette and Cal Clutterbuck scored 58 seconds apart in the third period to give the Wild a 5-1 lead and eliminate any possibility of another Canucks come-from-behind victory in a 6-2 Wild win.

Vancouver’s eighth road trip in 18 games began – get ready for this – with the Canucks giving up the opening goal, on the power play nonetheless, as Minnesota took a 1-0 advantage into the first recess and a 3-0 lead into the second intermission off goals scored 56 seconds apart midway though the frame.

The Canucks were outshot 17-2 in the second period, but they came back firing in the third with Mason Raymond netting his 22nd goal of the season 4:02 in. Quick back-to-back scores by Brunette and Clutterbuck then dug Vancouver a hole too deep to climb out of; Michael Samuelsson and Cam Barker exchanged goals in the later half of the period.

Vancouver heads into the 14-day Olympic break with a 37-22-2 record to sit first in the Northwest division; the Canucks are 14-15-1 on the road and 4-4-0 away from home since getting the boot from GM Place on January 28th.

Roberto Luongo takes the loss for the Canucks, he stopped 27 shots but was pulled after giving up five goals. Andrew Raycroft saved eight of nine shots in relief.

Trailing in the third and in need of offence, Mason Raymond and Mikael Samuelsson each scored; Raymond’s goal gave the Canucks a wee flicker of hope before it was snuffed.

Raymond’s 22 score of the campaign was a mirror image of his goal against the Boston Bruins as he wrangled the puck to the right of the goal off a rebound and calmly snapped it through Nick Schultz and past Niklas Backstrom with the Wild mimicking pylons.

Because of his fine play, Raymond spent time alongside Daniel and Henrik Sedin in the third period.

Mikael Samuelsson still isn’t feeling very patriotic, but he let his game do the talking with his 21st goal of the season, a snap shot over Backstrom’s right shoulder from the right wing after he was led into the Minnesota zone off a nifty pass from Ryan Kesler.

In 23 games since being left off Team Sweden for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, Samuelsson had 11 goals (two game-winners) and 17 points. Time will tell if his production is missed by Tre kronor.

Germany’s Christian Ehrhoff was the lone Canucks Olympian to put in a good effort in the last pre-Olympics game.

Ehrhoff had two helpers and two points for the fifth time this season; his first assist was a point shot that rebounded to Raymond for a score, the second was a pass to Kesler, who sent Samuelsson in for a goal.

In addition to leading the Canucks in points, Ehrhoff had a game-high four shots with one blocked shot and a rating of plus-1.

Coming into this contest the Canucks had only given up 146 goals against in 60 games, good for third lowest in the NHL.

With 192 goals for, Vancouver ranked fifth overall, giving the team a goals for/goals against differential of plus-46, fourth highest in the league.

Those stats look good on paper, but they didn’t help the Canucks on this afternoon as they surrendered six goals for the first time since a 6-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues on November 10, 2009.

Vancouver has only given up six or more goals three times this season.

The winding road the Canucks are traveling comes to a much needed and well deserved stop for the Olympics.

With the exception of the seven Olympians participating in the Games, the Canucks will scatter for some rest and relaxation, no doubt taking in as much of the men’s Olympic hockey as possible.

The Canucks are fully off until February 24th before they get in a few practices prior to heading back out onto the road for six games in nine days.

NUMB3RS

2 - Second period shots for Vancouver.

7 - Canucks suiting up for their countries at the Olympics.

11 - Wins for the Canucks against teams from the Northwest Division (11-6-1).

14 - Days off before NHL action resumes post-Olympics.

22 - Goals for Mason Raymond, a career-best.

OFFENCE

The Canucks came out with a lot of energy and produced some quality scoring chances. They were unable to capitalize and the Wild took over.

After a lacklustre second period, Vancouver rebounded with a fine effort to start the third, but it was too little, too late.

Vancouver was outshot by Minnesota 41-29.

DEFENCE

The last line of defence, Roberto Luongo, can't be blamed for all five goals he allowed, but a few fall on his shoulders, including the fourth goal that sunk the Canucks.

He heads into the Olympics having won two of his last four starts.

SPECIAL TEAMS

The Canucks went 0-for-1 on the power play, while the Wild took over the game with theirs going 3-for-7.

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