Sunday, September 28, 2008

Canucks Hang On For Win In San Jose

Penalties nearly cost the Canucks a road victory in San Jose Saturday night. However solid penalty killing and very strong goaltending helped Vancouver stay undefeated in the pre-season and preserve a 3-2 win over the hometown Sharks.

Moments after Mike Brown and Ryan Kesler were denied on close range scoring opportunities by Sharks netminderBrian Boucher in the 1st period, Pavol Demitra wound up netting his first as a Canuck. And it couldn't have come any easier afterfinishing off a beautiful give-and-go with Alexander Edler on the power play. Mason Raymond picks up the other helper at 12:15.

Early on in the middle period, Rick Rypien went at it with Ryan Clowe. Pretty decent scrap between the two combatants, although Rypien had to leave the game after being cut under the eye. Shortly afterwards, the Canucks were able to build on their lead and it came while the Sharks worked a power play. Jannik Hansen stripped the puckaway from the San Jose defence at the blue line and broke free on a breakaway. His chance was denied by Boucher butfollowing up was Jason Krog who made no mistake tapping it in at 5:31 for Vancouver's first short-haneded tally of the pre-season.

Hansen would eventually score his first of the exhibition campaign on a Vancouver power play. Matt Pettinger's chancefrom in close was stopped by Boucher but the rebound was gobbled up by the Danish-born forward who had littletrouble sliding it home. Kyle Wellwood picks up the other assist with four minutes remaining and the Canucks were ina comfy three-goal lead going into the final frame.

Roberto Luongo would watch the final 20 minutes from the sidelines after stopping all 14 shots he faced.Cory Schneider came in for the rest of the game and was certainly not the reason the score ended up the way it did.

After making a series of good saves through traffic to keep the Sharks off the scoreboard, Schneider eventually saw the home team capitalize. While on the man advantage, Patrick Marleau's point shot would be deflected off of Mike Morris and then off the skate of Clowe. No chance for Schneider as the Sharks fans finally had something to cheer about.

San Jose was able to pour on the pressue, thanks in part to four consecutive Canucks power plays. However Schneiderand the penalty killers in front of him did a superb job to keep the home team in the lead.

Eventually with Boucher to the bench for the extra attacker, the Sharks were able to get to within one. Marleau tooka nice feed from behind the net from Joe Thorton and snapped a one-timer home. However the goal came with just eight seconds left on the clock and the Canucks were able to hang on for the win.

Vancouver was out-shot 37-21 by San Jose, including by a margin of 23-4 in the third period alone! The Canucks finished the night going 2-for-7 on the power play while the Sharks finished the game 1-for-8.

Next up for the Canucks (3-0) are the Ducks in Anaheim. This will be the first chance for the Canucks to see SteveBernier work alongside the Sedins. Game time is 5:00pm PST.

I'll admit, I'm a tad anxious to broadcast my first Canucks game. Although it's a pre-season game, it's still somethingthat I'm sure I won't forget. Here's hoping everything goes well, on the ice and in the broadcast booth!!

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