Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sandman Shuts Out Sens Sunday

For the first time as a Vancouver Canuck and for the first time in 35 months, Curtis Sanford held an opponent of the scoreboard. Sunday evening, Sanford turned aside all 18 shots the Ottawa Senators put his way as the Canucks cruised to a 3-0 win.

Sanford's best save of the night came on the first good scoring chance of the game. Sens captain Daniel Alfredsson was able to collect a pass on a 2-on-1 rush from Nick Foligno. His chance looked to be a sure goal, but it was foiled by a great left pad save made by the netminder.

Senators goalie Martin Gerber was tested a short time later by Jason Jaffray at the top of the Ottawa crease. Then Shane O'Brien had a chance to got by Gerber but rattled off the outside of the post.

Vancouver opened the scoring after the Senators turned the puck over. Pavol Demitra was able to find Henrik Sedin all alone in front of the net. His first chance was denied, but he made no mistake burying the rebound. For Henrik, it was his first goal in 11 games. His 5th of the season proved to be his second game winner of the year as well and it came at 8:17.

The Canucks padded their lead just past the midway point of the second period. Henrik fed a rink-wide pass through centre to his brother Daniel Sedin, who wasted no time dishing the puck to Demitra. After breaking past the Ottawa rearguards, he snapped home a shot past Gerber. For Demitra, it was his first goal in six games and his 11th of the campaign at 10:15.

Before the period was out, the Canucks dealt a huge blow to the Sens if they thought about any chance of mounting a comeback. Daniel got the puck to the Ottawa line for Alexander Edler, who proceeded to step into a long range slap shot. Whether Gerber was ready for it or not, Edler's blast found the back of the net. Now with three points in back-to-back games, Edler tallied his 3rd of the season at 17:10.

No goals came in the final frame, but there were a couple of physical altercations. Darcy Hordichuk and Chris Neil were involved in a spirited scrap six minutes into the period while Neil and Jaffray exchanged shots in an after-the-whistle scrum.

Final shots on net favoured the Canucks 32-18. Vancouver didn't score on any of their seven power play chances, but they were a very disciplined group in this game...killing off all five Ottawa man advantages.

Now with an overall record 20-14-3, the Canucks move to within a point of the Calgary Flames for top spot in the Northwest Divison. As for the Sens, they drop to 12-17-5 and have now gone 12 straight games on the road without a victory.

Next up for the Canucks, the Philadelphia Flyers. Game time Tuesday night will be 7:00pm.

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