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Canucks give St. Louis the Blues in overtime
After scoring the opening goal against the St. Louis Blues at 2:22 of the first period, the Vancouver Canucks were outplayed for the majority of the game, but were able to come away with the win in overtime thanks to a slapshot by Daniel Sedin and an error in judgment by Blues T.J. Oshie. On paper the Canucks won this game, earning the two points, but if you watched it the Blues should have been the victor.
Vancouver - January 13, 2012 - After scoring the opening goal against the Blues at 2:22 of the first period, the Canucks were outplayed for the majority of the game, but were able to come away with the win in overtime thanks to a slapshot by Daniel Sedin and an error in judgment by Blues T.J. Oshie. On paper the Canucks won this game, earning the two points, but if you watched it the Blues should have been the victor.
Is it any wonder why the St. Louis Blues have the best home record in the NHL when they play like they did tonight against the Vancouver Canucks? Aside from
all but a few times, the Blues threw a blanket over the Canucks and controlled the play for the majority of the game, not allowing the visitors very much open ice, let alone good scoring opportunities. It’s obvious that Coach Ken Hitchcock has righted the ship in St. Louis and got his team back to playing very good defensive hockey.
For the first two periods it was the Alexandre Burrows and Jason Arnott show, as both players traded goals to keep their teams tied up through 40 minutes. Burrows opened the scoring early in the first by being johnny on the spot as he jumped on a loose that squirted out from behind the net to bang it past goalie Brian Elliott who was looking the other way. Gotta give props to Daniel Sedin who battled hard behind the net for the puck, which kept Elliott guessing as to which way the puck was going to emerge. As soon as the puck came out in front, Burrows was right there for the goal. Good patience for Daniel, and good anticipation by Burrows earned the team the opening goal.
But as we’ve seen so many times in the past, the Canucks have a defensive meltdown on the following shift and give up the tying goal. Cody Hodgson blindly shot the puck up the ice form behind the Canucks net only to have it intercepted during the attempt, allowing Jason Arnott to wrist the puck past Luongo during a 2 on 1 scramble in the crease. Within 62 seconds of Burrows’ goal, Arnott rests any momentum the Canucks were to gain from going up early. Even the Canucks potent power play was stifled by the Blues defensive game tonight as during the Canucks first power play late in the period, they were only able to get one shot on net, and that was from the perimeter. The Blues just were not allowing the Canucks to get set up in the offensive zone.
Hats off to Maxim Lapierre for stepping up and standing up for his teammate Manny Malhotra. At 2:36 of the second period, Roman Polak saw an opportunity to rail Malhotra into the boards from behind with the help of his elbow on the back of Manny’s head. Maxim stepped up and dropped the gloves to dance with Polak in an uneventful scrum. But good on Lappy for answering the call! Jason Arnott scored at 6:27 of the second period in what will unarguably be the flukiest goal of the 2011/12 season. On a shot from Arnott which Luongo made a sliding save on, the puck got lodged between his pad and leg. Not realizing where the puck was, and thinking the play was still live, Luongo scrambled back to his net, but when he did the puck fell out of his equipment and behind the goal line for the Blues go ahead marker! What can you say about that one, other than lucky for you Jason! Blues were up 2-1 early. The Canucks started to find their game after they killed off a Henrik Sedin Interference penalty midway through the period as they started to show a little more fight in their game. The pressure finally payed off late in the period when Alexander Edler’s slapshot from the blueline was tipped past Elliott by Burrows as he did a flyby in front of the crease. Again, Burrows was johnny on the spot as he expertly tipped the puck in flight as it was about a foot off the ice.
With the game tied 2-2, things really got interesting as Matt D’Agostini took an interference call with just over a minute in the period, giving the Canucks a power play opportunity and a chance to go up 3-2 into the break. But instead of a power play, the Canucks cough up the puck not once but twice in the offensive zone giving the Blues two separate breakaway opportunities on Luongo. But luckily, while the Canucks were mired in playing sloppy hockey in the offensive zone, Roberto was playing solid goaltending in the defensive zone to stop both breakaway attempts and keep the score tied into the break. Go figure. Luongo seems to issues stopping pucks one on one with the skater in a shootout, but seems to be able to stop the breakaways with ease!
The third period saw the Blues pour it on, and the Canucks D seemed to be hanging by a thread, as St. Louis outshot the Canucks 7-2 in the final frame. Yes, 2 shots was all the Canucks could muster against the stingy Blues defense. But as luck would have it, David Backes takes a boarding penalty with 20 seconds left in the game, giving the Canucks a huge opportunity to end this game with a win, and a 3-1 winning road record. It took all of 46 seconds into the overtime frame, and a bad decision by Blues player T.J. Oshie to leave the zone for the bench to get a new stick which left Daniel Sedin open to receive a pass from Henrik to blast the winning goal home from the left face off dot. Wrong time, wrong place for Oshie to vacate the zone, but the Canucks will take it as payback for Luongo’s bad luck on Arnott’s second goal of the game!
The Canucks win this one 3-2, but it could have had an entirely different outcome as the Canucks had bouts of playing some seriously sloppy hockey, both on the offensive and defensive side of the puck. Let’s hope that some home cooking will be just what the Canucks need as they now head home for a 2 day rest period before facing the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday at Rogers Arena.
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