Friday, February 13, 2009

Another Comeback Makes It 4 Straight Wins

The Canucks are continuing to find ways to win hockey games. However they’re not making it easy on themselves as for the second straight game on the road, they battled back from a pair of two-goal deficits to eventually pull out a 4-3 win over the Phoenix Coyotes.

The home team was able to finish off the first period with a 2-0 lead. Enver Lisin opened the scoring by beating Roberto Luongo on a long-range snap shot following a Canucks turnover. His 10th of the year came unassisted at 2:20. Then just past the midway point of the period, the Coyotes scored on the power play. Steven Reinprecht was able to capitalize on a goal-mouth scramble. Lisin and Daniel Carcillo pick up the helpers on the 10th for Reinprecht with nine minutes left in the period.

The Canucks had a couple of good chances early on in the middle frame as Kyle Wellwood had a close range shot hit the post while Jannik Hansen was stopped on a good pad save by Ilya Bryzgalov. Eventually Vancouver was rewarded for their efforts as Mattias Ohlund one-timed a bullet from the point off the post and in. Kevin Bieksa and Daniel Sedin register the assists on Ohlund’s first goal in 15 games. It was his 4th of the year and it came at 17:51.
Before the period was over, the Coyotes got their two-goal lead back and it came with the two clubs skating 4-on-4. Derek Morris let a long shot go from just inside the blue line which wound up taking a deflection off of Ryan Kesler. Ed Jovanovski and Olli Jokinen hit the score sheet on the 5th of the season for Morris at 19:27.

Cue the comeback for the Canucks in the early part of the third period. Good puck movement around the offensive zone by Sami Salo and Shane O’Brien allowed Pavol Demitra to get free in the left face off circle. His snap shot made its way to the top far corner behind Bryzgalov. Demitra, extending his point scoring streak to four straight games, now has 15 on the year and it came at 2:16.

Bieksa got the equalizer for Vancouver a few minutes later off a key draw won in the Coyotes end. Wellwood got the puck to the right point for Alexander Edler, who wasted little time dishing it across the line for his defence partner. Bieksa’s 8th of the season at 8:22 gave the visitors a huge boost of momentum.

A little more than two minutes later, the Canucks were awarded a power play and didn’t take long to score. Salo’s point would be stopped by Bryzgalov but the rebound came free to Daniel Sedin. Instead of shooting, he found Henrik Sedin wide open beside the crease. He made no mistake scooping in his 10th of the year. It also proved to be his 3rd game-winning goal of the season and it occurred at 10:47.

The Coyotes were able to press down the stretch and eventually got the extra attacker on to the ice in the final minute. However they wound up taking a penalty and the Canucks were able to preserve their 4th win of the season when trailing after two periods of action.

The Canucks wound up out-shooting the home team 32-27 on a night which saw the Canucks go 1-for-5 on the power play and 2-for-3 on the penalty kill. For the second straight game, the Canucks did not find themselves short-handed in the final period of play.

Now riding a four-game winning streak, the Canucks improve their overall record to 26-20-8, good enough for 60 points. Next up will be a meeting with the Dallas Stars. Game time tonight is 5:30pm PST.

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