WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Vancouver Canucks overpowered the Washington Capitals.
Markus Naslund's 29th goal of the season was the first of four straight
power-play scores for the Canucks in a 6-1 victory over the Capitals on
``I think they scored four power-play goals against us last year,''
Washington's Mike Grier said. ``We made a point of trying to stay out of the
box tonight and we didn't.
``There's just too much talent out there with the puck. We hung Olie
(Kolzig) out to dry and they capitalized.''
Brad May, Wade Brookbank, Trevor Linden, Jarkko Ruutu and Sammy Salo also
scored for Vancouver, which had seven players register points on the power
Robert Lang scored the only goal for Washington, which had its two-game
winning streak snapped.
In last season's only meeting between the two teams, the Canucks went
5-for-10 on the power play on their way to a 6-0 win.
Saturday against the Capitals the percentage was even better.
The Canucks went 4-for-7 and started to take control in the second period
with Naslund, Linden and Ruutu all scoring with the extra attacker _ the final
two with less than a minute to play.
``We were very determined with the puck and everybody with every unit we put
on were on the same page,'' Vancouver coach Marc Crawford said. ``We had great
net presence on all the goals. It's important when you get that because it
makes it tough for goaltenders to see. When you get that, good things happen.''
Naslund and Linden each scored goals during a five-on-three advantages, and
Ruutu deflected in Vancouver's fifth goal on Marek Malik's shot from the point
just three seconds left.
``We got contributions from a lot of guys scoring wise, and that's good to
see,'' Naslund said. ``It's definitely very important to have the power play
back on track.''
It was still working just fine at the start of the third period as
Vancouver's power play still had 1:58 left on a four-minute penalty to
Washington's Jeff Halpern. That left plenty of space for Salo to beat Kolzig
over the shoulder with a slap shot.
The Canucks have scored 10 power-play goals during the five-game winning
streak and outscored the Capitals 17-2 over their last three meetings.
``We just needed energy,'' Washington coach Glen Hanlon said. ``We feel that
we have enough to be competitive if we play with structure and pursue pucks. We
didn't get that tonight.''
There was very little structure to the start of Saturday's game as each team
scored in the opening 1:16.
May put the Canucks ahead with a no-look spinning shot from the top of the
crease through the legs of a screened Kolzig just 26 seconds in.
While Vancouver goalie Dan Cloutier never located Lang's blind centering
pass from the side boards that slid along the ice through traffic and into the
goal tying the score.
Brookbank's first NHL broke the tie for good at 7:54 of the second period.