Thursday, October 16, 2008

Canucks Rally For Win @ Joe Louis Arena

For the second time in less than a week, the Vancouver Canucks overcame a 3rd period deficit and came back to win in overtime. Alex Burrows netted his team-leading third goal of the campaign just 27 seconds into overtime to lift the Canucks to a 4-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings. In the process it gave head coach Alain Vigneault his 200th win in the NHL.

Despite being out-shot 11-8 in the opening period, the Canucks held a 2-1 lead as Jannik Hansen (1) and Ryan Kesler (2) book-ended goals around a power play tally from Tomas Holmstrom. It was Hansen's first ever goal in the NHL while Kesler had the Canucks up by one in front of his home-state family and friends.

Vancouver was a bit unlucky not have to built up a bigger lead into the middle session as they missed a number of high-end quality chances around the goal of Chris Osgood. Eventually the Wings got into the lead on a power play goal from Brian Rafalski and a breakaway finish by Dan Cleary after he had just stepped out of the penalty box.

A key turning point in the game came on the opening shift of the third period as the line of Kesler, Hansen, and Burrows put the Wings on the heels. A few minutes later, the Canucks were able to break in on a 3-on-1 rush. Pavol Demitra's drop pass found Willie Mitchell. His one-timer was denied, but the rebound opportunity for Mason Raymond wasn't as he burried his first of the season.

Neither team could break the 3-3 deadlock through the rest of regulation, so the game was forced to overtime. Burrows wound up crossing into the Wings zone and his initial drive went wide of the target. However he gathered up the rebound off the end boards and snapped it underneath the Detroit netminder, which signalled a massive off-pouring of Canucks skaters off the bench to celebrate in the Red Wings territory.

Vancouver was out-shot 35-29 on the night. The Canucks went 0-for-4 on the power play and are 2-for-22 through their first four games of the season. Detroit finished the night 2-for-5 with the man advantage.

Next up for the Canucks (3-1-0) are the Sabres in Buffalo (3-0-0). The Sabres are coming off a 3-1 win on the road over the New York Rangers on Wednesday. They feature sniper Thomas Vanek, who scored twice at Madison Square Garden. He is one of four players to hold the league-lead in goal scoring this season (5). They also have one of the most experienced bench-bosses in the NHL as Lindy Ruff is coming off his 400th career win behind the Sabres bench.

I wouldn't be surprised if Roberto Luongo gets the night off after starting the first four games of the season. That would pave the way for Curtis Sanford to get the call between the pipes after playing the final 20 minutes in Monday's 5-1 loss to the Washington Capitals.

The game will be a 4:30pm PST start from the HSBC Arena. Yours truly and Tom Larscheid will have the call on the Team 1040.

1 comment:

David said...

First NHL reg season game on the mic for Joey K. Stay loose up there and don't be too freaked out if Buffalo scores and Rick Jeanneret's screaming is audible despite him being three rooms or more away.