Monday, December 8, 2008

Canucks Fall in Shoot Out to Avs

The Canucks were unable to break out of a seven-game losing streak against the Colorado Avalanche Sunday night. It was also a night goaltender Cory Schnieder would much rather forget as Vancouver last 5-4 in a shoot-out at the Pepsi Center.

Vancouver had a solid first period and they were able to have a 1-0 lead after twenty minutes. Good work by Jannik Hansen and Jason Jaffray low in the Avs zone allowed the puck to get to the left face off circle for Darcy Hordichuk. His knuckle-ball shot fooled goalie Peter Budaj and floated under the cross bar. For Hordichuk, it was his 2nd of the year at 2:17.

The Canucks nearly built on their lead early in the second period while working on a power play. Alexander Edler had the best chance to score, but his wrist shot from between the circles was denied on a great glove save by Budaj. Just after the Avs killed off the penalty, David Jones was able to race down into the Canucks end and get around Shane O’Brien. His back-handed chance wound up deflecting off the stick of Willie Mitchell and behind Schneider. Jones picked up his 4th of the season unassisted at 5:14.

The Avs got into the lead for the first time just past the midway point of the 2nd. Milan Hejduk’s drop pass just inside the blue line would be wired home by Ryan Smyth. Paul Stastny gets the other assist on Smyth’s 9th at 11:25.

Before the period was over though, the Canucks found themselves back in the lead. Daniel Sedin tied things up by jabbing in his own rebound for his team-leading 12th of the year. Mitchell and Ryan Kesler helped the Canucks tie things up at 15:49. Then with a little more than two minutes remaining, Vancouver cashed in on a power play. Mason Raymond’s shot from high in the slot would be denied by Budaj, but Steve Bernier was on the scene to scoop in the rebound. Pavol Demitra collects the other assist on Bernier’s 6th of the campaign at 17:45.

It didn’t take long into the final frame of regulation for Colorado to make it 3-3. Hejduk’s shot from the top of the right face off circle deflected off O’Brien’s stick and behind Schnieder. Stastny and Jordan Leopold notch the helpers on the 11th of the year for Hejduk at 2:50.

Bernier got the Canucks their third lead of the night by converting on a one-timer from the slot. Alex Burrows and Kevin Bieksa help Bernier tally his second two-goal effort of the year at 9:57.

Hansen had a golden opportunity to put the game on ice as he was sent in home free on a breakaway chance. His shot however went high and wide past the stick side of Budaj.

All the Avs were hoping for was a chance to force the game to overtime and they got a lucky break to have that happen. A long shot by Daniel Tjarnqvist got a piece of Schneider and found its way to the back of the net. Hejduk and Stastny each collect their third points of the night on the 2nd of the season for Tjarnqvist with a little under three minutes remaining.
Neither team was able to convert in the overtime session. Bernier nearly had his hat-trick when he was left alone at the left side of the crease, but his opportunity rang off the post.

In the shoot-out, Kyle Wellwood was able to beat Budaj with a snap shot to the top corner, but Demitra’s wrist shot attempt was stopped by the netminder’s right pad. At the other end of the rink, Wojtek Wolski, Marek Svatos, and Hejduk were all able to beat Schneider and helped the Avs take the extra point on home ice.

The Canucks did out-shoot Colorado 38-35. Vancouver went 1-for-3 on the power play, extending their power play scoring streak to four straight games. The Avs wound up going 0-for-2.

This was the second time this season the Canucks lost a game when scoring four-or-more goals (9-1-1) and it was also the second time this year they failed to win a game when leading after two periods (9-0-2).

Now with an overall record of 15-10-3, the Canucks fall a point behind the Calgary Flames for top spot in the Northwest Division. They now move back into the Central time zone for their sixth straight road game against the Nashville Predators. Game time Tuesday will be 5:00pm PST.

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