Thursday, December 4, 2008

Canucks Fall Short to Red Wings Thursday

It’s not too often the Vancouver Canucks will score five goals on the road this season and lose a game. However, that’s what happened in the Motor City Thursday night as the Detroit Red Wings skated away with a 6-5 win at Joe Louis Arena. Twelve different Canucks skaters hit the score sheet in this game, but it wasn’t enough to avoid seeing their losing streak extend to four straight games.

The visitors could not have asked for a better start to the game as Taylor Pyatt drilled home a snap shot that beat goalie Chris Osgood over the shoulder. It was the third straight game the Wings allowed the opening goal on their first shot against. Shane O’Brien and Steve Bernier get the helpers on Pyatt’s 4th of the year. It was also Bernier’s 100th career point in the NHL and it came at 1:35.

An unlucky turnover in the Canucks end led to the Red Wings opening marker. Kyle Wellwood mishandled a pass along the wall in his own zone and the home team made him pay. Tomas Kopecky found Jiri Hudler in the slot and he wasted no time snapping a shot past Curtis Sanford. Valtteri Filppula gets the other assist on Hudler’s 10th of the year at 5:04.

Hudler got Detroit in the lead for the first time just after the midway point of the opening frame. Andreas Lilja fed a great stretch pass up the middle of the ice for Hudler who broke free behind the Canucks defence. He snapped his chance into the top corner over Sanford’s shoulder for his 11th of the campaign at 10:05.

Vancouver responded in the early part of the second period while on the power play. A great cross zone feed by Daniel Sedin allowed Wellwood to beat Osgood on the short side. Henrik Sedin gets the other assist on Wellwood’s 11th of the year. It was also his team-leading 6th power play marker of the season at 1:32.

Mason Raymond put the Canucks back into the lead a short time later. Alexander Edler’s point shot rattled off the end boards and would be shoveled home by Raymond. O’Brien’s 2nd assist of the game gave him his first multiple-point performance in the NHL as Raymond notched his 7th of the year at 4:13.

The Wings tied the game up just as one of their power plays had expired. Nicklas Lidstrom’s point shot would be deflected on the way to the net by the stick of Daniel Cleary. Brian Rafalski also helped Cleary tally his third of the year at 9:34.

Sanford did his part in the final half of the middle frame to keep the scored tied 2-2. He made a great pad save on a redirect from low in the slot off of Pavel Datsyuk and he came up with a huge stop off the left toe on a snap shot from the hash marks courtesy of Marian Hossa.

The turning point in the game came within a three minute stretch to start the final period. Derek Meech was able to capitalize on a wrap-around for his first goal in the NHL at 3:23. Less than a minute later, Lidstrom snapped home a shot from the left face off circle for his 3rd of the year at 4:13. Then while on a power play, Cleary was able to jump on a rebound and back-hand it home. Cleary’s second of the night at fourth of the year came at 6:08. That would be the last goal given up by Sanford, who faced 33 shots from the defending Stanley Cup Champions. He would be replaced by Cory Schneider, who didn’t allow any goals against on the five shots that came his way.

Henrik Sedin broke out of a long goal scoring slump to get the Canucks back on the scoreboard as he scooped in a loose puck at the top of the crease. Daniel and Pavol Demitra help Henrik score his first goal in 14 games. His fourth goal of the year at 8:20 gave Vancouver a bit of a spark.

Just as Schneider was pulled to the bench for the extra attacker late in the game, the Canucks were able to get to within a goal. Kevin Bieksa’s point shot would be deflected out of the air by Alex Burrows and past Osgood. Mattias Ohlund picks up the other assist as Burrows snapped a six-game goal-less drought with his 7th of the year at 18:35.

There would be no more scoring for the Canucks who wound up losing for the first time this season when scoring four or more goals. Detroit out-shot Vancouver 38-25 on a night which saw the Canucks go 1-for-3 on the man advantage and 5-for-6 on the penalty kill.

Now with an overall record of 14-10-2, the Canucks will hope to rebound Friday night in St. Paul, Minnesota with their third meeting of the season against the Wild. Game time is 7:00pm PST.

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