Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Canucks have arrived home one game below the 500-mark after a game where they legitimately deserved a better fate. Tuesday night, Vancouver spotted the Blue Jackets a 2-0 lead in the first period and wound up dropping a 4-2 decision to Columbus at the Nationwide Arena. However, their play in the third period certainly warranted them to gain a point to finish off a road trip where they wound up going 2-4-0.

The start could not have been worse for Vancouver in this game. Jason Chimera opened the scoring for the home team just two and half minutes into the contest. After taking a pass up the left wing from Derrick Brassard, Chimera wound up driving a bullet of a slap shot over the far shoulder of Roberto Luongo and underneath the crossbar. Jakub Voracek gets the other assist on Chimera’s 3rd of the year at 2:32.

On the first Blue Jackets power play, the home team was able to build on their lead. Rick Nash fed a beautiful pass from the right face off circle to the slot for an untouched Kristian Huselius. He made no mistake re-directing the pass behind Luongo. Voracek collects his 2nd point of the period on the 3rd of the year for the former Flames forward at 6:22.

Before the period was out, the Canucks were able to get on the score board and it came on their first power play. Mason Raymond cut across the Columbus blue line down the right side. His cross-zone pass found Ryan Kesler in the left face off circle. He wound up immediately snapping a pass across the zone for a wide open Kyle Wellwood. He wasted little time burying it behind a helpless Pascal Leclaire. For Wellwood, who had just been called up that afternoon off the waiver wire, it was his first goal in a Vancouver uniform. He also became the first Canucks forward to net a power play goal this season and it came at 7:55.

The score stayed 2-1 until late in the 2nd period. Luongo gave up a rebound off a shot from the corner boards into the slot. There left all alone was Derek Dorsett. He wound up beating the Canucks netminder to the back-hand for his first NHL goal. Manny Malhotra and Mike Commodore collect the helpers on what proved to be the game winning goal at 14:23.

For much of the third period, the ice was greatly tilted in favour of Vancouver. It all started with some good fore-checking by Taylor Pyatt, who wound up forcing the puck behind the net to Wellwood. After a nifty pass to the top of the crease, he wound up seeing Kevin Bieksa drill it home past Leclaire. Bieksa tallied his 1st of the year at 5:01.

The Canucks really started to pour on the pressure for the next 12 minutes. The line of Daniel and Henrik Sedin alongside Steve Bernier was the most dangerous line for the visitors, as they had some glorious chances to tie the game up. However Leclaire was there to shut the door and keep his team in the lead. His biggest stops came off of Bernier with a point-blank chance in the slot and Henrik at the right side of the crease.

Luongo would eventually be pulled to the bench for the extra attacker but the Canucks were not able to get a great chance for a shot on net. Eventually Nash broke free on a partial breakaway and wound up being hauled down by Alexander Edler. Having that happen with an empty net warrants an automatic goal and that turned out to be the 5th of the year for Nash at 19:42.

Final shots on goal, despite the strong push in the third period by Vancouver, did favour the home side by a margin of 32-25. Both clubs finished the night going 1-for-4 on the power play.

Now with an overall record of 3-4-0, the Canucks have returned home for a well-deserved day off for rest. They’ll get back to practice at General Motors Place on Thursday afternoon.

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