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Canucks dismal in loss against surging Ducks
The Vancouver Canucks returned home from a five game road trip to face the streaking Anaheim Ducks in the friendly confines of Rogers Arena, but it appeared that their legs may still be on the road as the Ducks handily outplayed the Canucks in the first period. Anaheim won the game 4-2.
Vancouver - January 16, 2012 - The Canucks returned home from a five game road trip to face the streaking Anaheim Ducks in the friendly confines of Rogers Arena, but it appeared that their legs may still be on the road as the Ducks handily outplayed the Canucks in the first period. Even though the score board may have read 1-1 after 20 minutes, the shot clock told a different story as the Ducks outshot the home team 10-3, as the Canucks looked to struggle early on with their defensive game.
Nick Bonino of the Ducks opened the scoring when he had three cracks at getting the puck past Luongo during a poor Canucks defensive zone effort. Luongo made a quick glove stop on the first shot, then a left pad save on the rebound, but couldn’t stop the third shot as Bonino snuck the puck in the open net over a sprawling Luongo. The Canucks couldn’t get the puck out of the zone for love or money during that shift even though they had several opportunities. At the time of the goal, the Ducks had outshot the Canucks 8-1. That’s too many shots to not enough!
Cody Hodgson evened the score 4 minutes later during the Canucks 2nd power play by beating Hiller over the glove with a wrist shot, and bouncing it off the right side post. Even after Hodgson’s goal, the Canucks just wasn’t able to gather any momentum, nor generate much offense as they continued to play like a beached whale. To start the second period, Kevin Bieksa took a hooking penalty to put the ducks on their first power play of the game, and despite a fantastic sliding save by Luongo on the first shot of the pp, the Ducks Bobby Ryan scored with a wrist shot just after Bieksa’s penalty ended to put the Canucks down 2-1.
Early in the second period, the Ducks were up 2-1 on the scoreboard, and up 14-3 on the shot clock. It was obvious that the Ducks came to play tonight, and the Canucks seemed to be still unpacking from their road trip as the Canucks just couldn’t get into any sort of rhythm tonight. David Booth and Cody Hodgson seemed to be the only players on the Canucks team that so far looked ready to play tonight. Luongo as well was having a fairly solid game, making some fantastic saves during the second period to give his team time to get their game going. But even Luongo’s luck ran out, when as was becoming the norm for the Canucks tonight, they coughed up the puck in Ducks zone allowing a 2 on 1 break and Jason Blake beat Luongo with a wrist shot to put the Ducks up 3-1.
When the Canucks weren’t struggling in the offensive zone, they were struggling in the defensive zone, and when they weren’t struggling they were having absolutely no luck in the puck-luck department as they came close a few times but just missed the scoring by the narrowest of margins. Alexandre Burrows just missed tipping in a shot midway through the period, then with less than a minute to go, he took a pass from Henrik Sedin and couldn’t backhand the puck past Hiller.
In the third period, both teams traded goals for a final score of 4-2. Jason Blake with his second of the night going 5-hole on Luongo by tipping a shot from Spisa. Near the end of the period, Burrows shot the puck in deep from the center line, and Mason Raymond put on the jets to recover the puck and score on a wraparound with Hiller badly out of position. It was a great effort by Raymond showing off his speed, but it was too little too late as the Canucks dropped the first game of a 6 game home-stand by a dismal score of 4-2 to the surprisingly surging Ducks.
There really wasn’t anything good about the Canucks effort tonight as they struggled on both sides of the puck. They just couldn’t get any momentum going, and it showed. The only consistency in the Canucks game tonight was Kevin Bieksa taking all three penalties for the home team. In the end, the Ducks outshot the Canucks 34-22, and that pretty much sums up the entire Canucks effort in this game. Let’s see if the Canucks can get out of their funk by Tuesday when they welcome the L.A. Kings.
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