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Aftermath: Canucks 6, Penguins 2

by Jason Seidling / Pittsburgh Penguins
Photos: Canucks 6, Penguins 2

Video: Game Highlights
Aftermath: Pens vs. Canucks
Blog: Pens vs. Canucks Game Blog
Pittsburgh entered the contest looking for their second sweep of Western Canada in three years (3-0, Dec. 5-8, 2007), but a shorthanded goal by Alexandre Burrows with 1:22 remaining in the first period and then three goals in the first 3:56 of the second period turned a tight-checking 1-1 affair into a 6-2 loss.

It was a disappointing end to a five-game, nine-day road swing for the Penguins, but all things considered, this was a great trip. Wins over Toronto, Calgary and Edmonton allow the Penguins to make the long flight back to Pittsburgh with a 3-2 mark on the trip. They were able to use the time away from Mellon Arena to get back to playing Penguins hockey. This will bode well for the brief two-game homestand on Tuesday and Thursday against the New York Islanders and Washington Capitals.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) – Henrik Sedin scored the tying goal, then added two assists in Vancouver's four-goal burst in a 5-minute stretch in the Canucks' 6-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night.

The Penguins celebrate Evgeni Malkin's opening goal
(photo by Getty)
What Worked Well: Opening Goal
The Penguins are one of the better teams in the NHL percentage-wise when they net the game’s opening goal and Evgeni Malkin got them on the board first with his tally at 7:32 of the opening period. Malkin’s goal marked the fourth time on this five-game trip the Penguins were able to get on the board first, although they couldn’t make the lead hold up.

What Could Have Gone Better: Shorthanded Goal
A too many men on the ice penalty against the Canucks gave the Penguins a chance late in the first period to answer Vancouver’s goal a little less than four minutes earlier which had tied the score, 1-1. Instead of the Penguins regaining the lead, however, they allowed an Alexandre Burrows shorthanded tally which gave the Canucks momentum to reel off three goals in the first 3:56 of the second period to coast to a 6-2 victory.
Not only did this five-game trip help to get the Penguins back on track, it also allowed center Evgeni Malkin to become dominant in all three zones once again. Malkin was held off the score sheet in Calgary and Edmonton, but he was driving to the net and creating chances in both of those contests. His hard work paid off against Vancouver when he opened the scoring for the Penguins with his 14th goal of the season 7:32 into the first period. If not for a couple big saves by Roberto Luongo, Malkin could have had two or three goals.
Evgeni Malkin stole the puck from Ryan Kesler in the neutral zone and sprang Ruslan Fedotenko down the left side into the Vancouver zone. Fedotenko centered a pass to Malkin, who stepped on the puck as he tried to catch the pass, and the rubber slid over the goal line to open the scoring. Pittsburgh 1, Vancouver 0.

Daniel Sedin moved the puck down low to twin brother Henrik in the near corner. Henrik Sedin threw the puck towards the net from a bad angle along the goal line and it bounced off the blocker of John Curry into the net. Pittsburgh 1, Vancouver 1.

Alexandre Burrows took advantage of a bouncing puck at the Vancouver blue line to create a breakaway for himself. Burrows made a move to his backhand to throw a shot over Curry for the shorthanded goal. Vancouver 2, Pittsburgh 1.

Vancouver stretched their lead 1:22 into the second period as Mason Raymond’s wrist shot from the left point first bounced off the ice and then was deflected by Mikael Samuelsson over the blocker of Curry. Vancouver 3, Pittsburgh 1.

Henrik Sedin made the first of two slick passes he would make in the second period as his centering pass found the blade of Jannik Hansen skating through the crease and Hansen tapped the puck into the net behind Curry. Vancouver 4, Pittsburgh 1.

Henrik Sedin was at it again 52 seconds later when he sent a cross-ice pass to a streaking Willie Mitchell skating down the left seam. Mitchell moved in against Curry and slipped home a backhander. Vancouver 5, Pittsburgh 1.

Tyler Kennedy came down the right side into the Vancouver zone and unleashed a slap shot which hit a host of traffic in front of the net and landed on the stick of Matt Cooke. The former Canuck’s wrist shot went under the blocker of Luongo. Vancouver 5, Pittsburgh 2.

The Canucks introduced Alexander Pechurski to the National Hockey League with a power-play goal at 13:08 of the second period. Raymond fired a slap shot from the center point and it was deflected first by Samuelsson in the high slot and then by Ryan Kesler standing just outside the crease, under the pads of Pechurski. Vancouver 6, Penguins 2.
With Marc-Andre Fleury on the shelf with a finger fracture, the Penguins were forced to sign 2008 fifth-round draft pick Alexander Pechurski to a one-game amateur try out contract on Saturday. Pechurski was then thrust into action at 15:31 of the second period with the Penguins trailing by a 5-1 score. He made his first NHL save on Sami Salo a couple of seconds later at 14:17. Overall, Pechurski stopped 12 of the 13 shots thrown his way and was named the game’s No. 3 star for his efforts.

Matt Cooke spent eight-plus seasons with the Vancouver Canucks from 1998-2008. Saturday marked his first appearance at General Motors Place since the Canucks traded him to the Washington Capitals late in the 2007-08 campaign. Cooke saw 19:23 of ice time, scored a goal in the second period, led the Penguins with four shots on goal and finished the game plus-1.
> Scoring Summary:
PIT, E. Malkin (14), 7:32 1st period: Penguins 1, Canucks 0
VAN, H. Sedin (21), 14:42 1st period: Penguins 1, Canucks 1
VAN, A. Burrows SH (21), 18:37 1st period: Canucks 2, Penguins 1
VAN, M. Samuelsson (16), 1:22 2nd period: Canucks 3, Penguins 1
VAN, J. Hansen (5), 3:04 2nd period: Canucks 4, Penguins 1
VAN, W. Mitchell (4), 3:56 2nd period: Canucks 5, Penguins 1
PIT, M. Cooke (10), 11:54 2nd period: Canucks 5, Penguins 2
VAN, R. Kesler PP (13), 13:08 2nd period: Canucks 6, Penguins 2

> Despite dropping a 6-2 contest to the Vancouver Canucks the Penguins still sport a 30-19-1 record on the season. They sit in the 4th spot in the Eastern Conference standings with 61 points.

> Since head coach Dan Bylsma took over on Feb. 15, 2009 the Penguins are 48-22-5 with a 24-13-3 record on the road.

> Even though the Penguins were not able to defeat the Canucks they still fly home with a 3-2 record on their five-game road trip. The Penguins defeated Toronto, 4-1, Calgary, 3-1, and Edmonton, 3-2, while suffering a 4-3 loss at Minnesota and this 6-2 loss to the Canucks.

> Evgeni Malkin picked up his 14th goal of the season in the first period. His 14 goals rank third on the team.

> Matt Cooke scored for the second-consecutive game when he tallied in the second period. Cooke has picked up three points (2G-1A) over his last two games.

> Tyler Kennedy picked up an assist on Cooke’s goal to give himself points in three straight games (2G-1A).

> Jordan Staal also assisted on Cooke’s goal and he has now picked up 10 points (2G-8A) over his past nine games.

> Jay McKee posted a plus-2 rating against the Canucks.
1. H. Sedin
2. R. Kesler
3. A. Pechurski
“I was very surprised to play. At the same time I was
happy I had a chance to play.
It was a dream coming true
playing in the NHL.”
- Alexander Pechurski


Author: Jason Seidling

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