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With Shortened Season, Canucks' Shootout Win over Flames Speaks Volumes

Rich Lam

The third game of the season has never meant so much to the Vancouver Canucks. But due to the shortened season, starting the year winless at home after three games could have led to bigger problems down the road. Zack Kassian, who was just promoted to the first line with Daniel and Henrik Sedin, made sure that wouldn't be an issue.

At the 6:20 mark in the second period, a wrist shot from Kassian gave the Canucks a 1-0 lead. The third time was a charm for Kassian, as his previous two shots failed to get by Miikka Kiprusoff.

But after a goal from Mason Raymond at the 8:20 mark, the Flames were able to tie the game with goals from Alex Tanguay and Mikael Backlund.

For the second straight night, the Canucks lost a 2-0 lead on home ice. Usually, Vancouver is dominant at Rogers Arena, but 2013 was off to a different start.

Had it not been for Cory Schneider's incredible saves in overtime in which he was able to kick his right leg out to stop three shots in a row, the Canucks would be headed to California with three losses, two in overtime after blown leads.

Vancouver's shooters made sure to thank Schneider for his efforts when they took to the ice for the shootout, with goals from Alex Burrows and Kassian to give the Canucks their first win of the 2013 season.

Schneider also came up big in the shootout, stopping four of the five shots he faced.

Now, the Canucks head down to California with three points instead of two. Normally, that's not such a big deal, but nothing will really be "normal" in this shortened season.

48 games from opening night to the season finale means that every point counts. There's no time for rust to shake off, no time to fix mistakes. It all must be done on the fly. This shootout win is a massive confidence booster for the team as they prepare for the first roadtrip of the year.

Yes, the win was ugly. Yes, they shouldn't have let it come down to a shootout. But you know that old sports cliché; a win is a win. And with only 45 games until the playoffs begin, the Canucks might have to take what they can get until the post-lockout rust shakes off.

Next up for the Canucks is a rematch versus the Anaheim Ducks on Friday night. Vancouver will look to avenge its' embarassing 7-3 spanking that was handed to them by Anaheim on opening night at Rogers Arena last Saturday.

Flames vs Canucks boxscore

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