Thursday, January 15, 2009

Canucks Fall To Coyotes In Luongo's Return

It wasn't the ideal way the Canucks #1 goaltender was hoping to come back into the line-up. After Roberto Luongo missed the last seven weeks with a groin injury, the team in front of him didn't do him any favours as the Canucks dropped a 4-1 decision to the visiting Phoenix Coyotes.

The Canucks found themselves down by a pair after the opening period, one that saw them play very lack-luster in their own zone. Both goals came courtesy of Joaquim Lindstrom, who now has seven goals on the season. His first of the night came on the first shot Luongo faced, beating the Vancouver captain through the pads 65 seconds into the action. Then on the Coyotes first power play of the night, Lindstrom was left all alone in front after a mis-read by the Canucks defence at 13:16.

Phoenix didn't let down in the middle frame and were rewarded for their efforts with two more tallies. Keith Yandle scored on a long-range shot through traffic for his 2nd of the season at 2:22. That would then be followed up by Peter Mueller's 10th goal of the season on the power play at 8:34.

The shut-out bid of Ilya Bryzgalov would eventually be broken past the midway point of the third period. Daniel Sedin's attempted pass to the front of the net for Henrik Sedin wound up taking a deflection off a Coyotes skate. For Daniel it was his team-leading 22nd goal of the campaign and it came unassisted at 11:02.

Time couldn't seem to tick down off the clock fast enough for the remainder of the game as the Canucks wound up dropping their fourth game in a row and have now gone winless in their last six straight on home ice.

Vancouver and Phoenix were tied on the shot clock 32-32 in this game. The Canucks went 0-for-2 on the power play while the Coyotes finished 2-for-3.

The Canucks and Coyotes each have identical records of 22-18-5 and are tied in the Western Conference standings with 49 points.

The Canucks will spend the next two days trying to sort things out through practice as they prepare for their final home game before the All Star break. Next Sunday, the Canucks entertain the Columbus Blue Jackets. Game time will be 5:00pm PST.

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