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Third period lifts Canucks

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 Los Angeles.

…Tanner Glass chipped in his third goal of the season off a scramble in the Los Angeles crease with 13:42 to play in the third period to put Canucks up 3-1.

The Glass goal, which counted as the insurance marker in a 4-1 Vancouver win, was started off a rush by Kyle Wellwood. He got the puck to Steve Bernier, who threw it towards the front of the goal where Glass was waiting to provide a tip and some confusion.

Both Glass and Wellwood chopped at the puck in the crease before it bounced over the line and the goal was initially given to Wellwood, counting as his first of the season, before it was revoked and given to Glass. That brought out the boos from the fans at GM Place who had just given Wellwood a rowdy ovation for the score.

Wellwood did end up scoring as he potted the empty netter; Alex Burrows opened the scoring for the Canucks in the first period, while Henrik scored the game-winner 3:54 into the third.

One save and one save alone earned Roberto Luongo the title of Clutch Canuck for the second consecutive game.

Early in the second period, moments after LA netminder Jonathan Quick made a tough save on an Alex Burrows backhander with Vancouver on the power play, Kings forward Teddy Purcell was sent in all alone off a turnover and he forced Luongo to make a glove stop that is already a candidate for save of the year.

Purcell deked before going to his forehand, he had Luongo down and out and was already adding the goal to his career numbers before his shot was robbed by a sprawling Luongo. The Canucks captain threw his glove back towards the goal line hoping to get lucky, and he did, as the puck was stopped in its tracks just in front of the goal line. The refs went to the replay to be sure and the call was upheld.

Luongo finished with 31 saves overall and allowed only one goal for the second consecutive game.

Vancouver has always had something for Kyle Wellwood and the fans were definitely on his side on this night.

They cheered when they thought he had scored his first goal in 20 games, booed when it was taken away, started chants from there on out, held their collective breath when he fluttered a puck towards an empty net only to have it hit the post and went bonkers when he finally got the puck into the empty net with 5.3 seconds to play.

Wellwood, who played with a wood blade for the first time this season and will undoubtedly be sticking with it, finished with a season-high two points and a plus-2 rating, he was also 8-for-10 on faceoffs.

A win is a win, but this was far from a perfect outing.

Leading 1-0 for most of the first two periods with the Kings generally on the ropes, the Canucks dwindled away five power play opportunities, five chances to really knock out Los Angeles early.

Vancouver’s best scoring chance came when Ryan Kesler was left all alone in front of Jonathan Quick, he let a wrist shot with eyes for the top shelf whistle on goal only to have Quick flash his glove for one of his 30 saves.

The Canucks had five shots on 8:31 of power play time.

Canucks coach Alain Vigneault on the fan reaction to Wellwood scoring and having his goal wiped off, and his thoughts on the stellar play of Roberto Luongo:

”As a good friend of mine point out to me, history was made tonight. First time that an empty net goal gets a standing ovation and when a player scores a goal he gets booed, so history was made tonight.”

”In the second period they had 11 scoring chances, which is more than we’ve given up in the last three games and they were all over us, we weren’t good at all and he kept us in and in the third period we were able to get our rhythm back and generate a lot of chances and we found a way to beat their goaltender.”

Friday is an off day for the Canucks, they’ll practice a UBC before getting set for back-to-back home games this weekend, first against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday, then versus the San Jose Sharks on Grey Cup Sunday.

Starting Saturday, the Canucks have 17 games over 34 days to close out 2009.

NUMB3RS

1 – Goal for Kyle Wellwood this season, he had two points on the night.

3 – Game-winning goals for Henrik Sedin this season, he now has 20 in his career.

5 – Power play opportunities for the Canucks, they failed to convert on any of them.

7 – Shots for Alex Burrows, he has 14 over the last two games.

31 – Saves for Roberto Luongo in his second straight game allowing only a goal.

QUOTABLE
“I don’t think I’ve ever heard that or will ever hear that again, that was pretty funny. I’m pretty happy for Welly, he burst his egg tonight."

-
Tanner Glass (on being booed)

"That was such a laser, the goalie had no chance. If he had his two piece still, that wouldn’t have went in, thank goodness he switched."

-Roberto Luongo (on Wellwood)

"We’ve got to get on a roll and start feeling good about ourselves and it’s tough to do that when you’re playing twice a week."

-Ryan Johnson (on the schedule)

"I think he’s working hard and he hasn’t got a lot of puck luck around the net so it’s nice he got that first one and hopefully it’s a sign of things to come."

-Alex Burrows (on Wellwood)
OFFENCE

The Canucks got pucks on goal and they were rewarded with four goals, three that beat Jonathan Quick.

The return of Daniel Sedin has meant big things for Alex Burrows, he had 14 shots and two points over his last two outings.

Vancouver outshot Chicago 34-32.

DEFENCE

Roberto Luongo was all the defence Vancouver needed as he stopped Los Angeles from getting any momentum going time and time again.

His save on Purcell will be a highlight stop for years to come.

SPECIAL TEAMS

The Canucks were a disappointing 0-for-5 on the power play with five shots, while the Kings went 0-for-4 with three shots.

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