Sunday, October 12, 2008

Comeback Win Over Calgary Saturday

It hasn't happened that often the past few seasons when the Canucks have allowed four goals against and won a hockey game. However, they were able to do just that as they gutted out 5-4 win in overtime over the Calgary Flames Saturday night at the Saddledome.

Pavol Demitra played the role of overtime hero converting a 2-on-1 rush with Alex Burrows. It was Demitra's first goal in a Vancouver uniform and it also proved to be his 700th career point in his NHL career.

Despite scoring the opening goal of the night courtesy of Daniel Sedin, the Canucks were down 3-1 after twenty minutes. However a couple of key turning points early on in the 2nd period saw momentum shift in Vancouver's favour. First, Roberto Luongo made a big diving save with his stick to rob Rene Bourque at the side of the crease while Calgary worked a power play. Then Rick Rypien dropped the gloves with Brandon Prust and proceeded to pound him with a series of vicous uppercuts.

Before you knew it just past the midway point of the game, the two clubs were tied 3-3. Rypien and Ryan Kesler each tallied 62 seconds apart. But as the 2nd period came to a close, the Flames had built up a one-goal lead again after Mike Cammalleri had netted his first as a Flames forward.

The line of Daniel and Henrik Sedin, along with Steve Bernier got the eventual equalizer for the Canucks 6:10 into the third period. Great work on the cycle behind the net of Miikka Kiprusoff allowed Daniel to snap home his second of the game from low in the slot. With two goals and three assists in his first two games, Daniel finds himself the leading scorer in the NHL.

Vancouver entered overtime working on a power play but failed to convert on the 4-on-3 man advantage. However Demitra was able to seal the deal for the Canucks who have scored (pre-season included) 17 goals against the Flames in three meetings.

The Canucks went 0-for-5 on the power play in this game, which made them 1-for-14 in the two wins against the Flames. Still their penalty kill was very solid, going 7-for-7 in Calgary and a perfect 13-for-13 against their opponents in their head-to-head meetings.

The news was not good for Kevin Bieksa in this game. In the first period, he wound up getting pitch-forked in the knee by Wayne Primeau when trying to deliver a hit on the boards. Bieksa came out for one more shift but did not appear on the ice for the final two periods. It's not yet known how long he might be out of action for.

The Canucks will fly out to Washington, D.C. Sunday morning as they carry on with their six-game road swing. Their next meeting will be with the Capitals on Monday night. This is a Canucks pay-per-view broadcast and it will be the one and only time this season the Canucks face the reigning NHL scoring champion Alexander Ovechkin. He's coming off a two-goal effort Saturday in the Caps 4-2 home-opening win over the Chicago Blackhawks.

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