Payback is rough, huh Anaheim?
Anaheim spent 31 in the penalty box, and the Canucks were able to capitalize with three power play goals. The first came at the halfway point of the opening period with precision passing from Alex Edler to Henrik Sedin, who found Daniel Sedin on the opposite side of the crease to strike first. Then, just before the end of the first, Mason Raymond found the back of the net for his second power play goal in as many games. The third came just over a minute into the final period from Zack Kassian, who is off to quite the hot start in 2013. The goal was Kassian's third of the season, tied for the team lead with Mason Raymond, who turned in two goals of his own on the night.
Yes, Zack Kassian is outscoring Daniel Sedin to start the season.
Before the game, I listed a few keys to the game for Vancouver. The first was staying out of the penalty box. With the exceptions of the two fights, Vancouver spent just six minutes in the penalty box, compared to 16 minutes (excluding the fights) for the Ducks. When you include the fights, the Ducks spent 31 minutes in the penalty box, compared to 16 minutes for Vancouver. The Canucks capitalized with their three power play goals.
Another key was jumping out to a lead and holding it. Vancouver netminder Cory Schneider went all sorts of beast mode with a 30 save night for his fifth career shutout. Schneider must like the Honda Center, as it was where he earned his first career shutout in 2011.
The Canucks also survived the second period, something that proved to be an issue in the first three games. Against the Ducks on opening night, Vancouver surrendered four goals in the middle stanza. Schneider needed to turn in a big night after his rough start to the year, and that is exactly what he did.
Overall, it was good puck movement, and smart, quality shots that led to the big win for the Canucks. Everyone seemed to be on, and it was nice to see rookie Jordan Schroeder to earn his first career point on a nifty assist to Mason Raymond in the third period.
Next up for the Canucks is a trip to the Bay Area to take on the San Jose Sharks. The matchup will be a good test for the Canucks, as the Sharks have won their first three games to open the season.