The Vancouver Canucks ended their five-game losing streak on Friday night with a 6-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets at Rogers Arena. Yes, you read that right. Six goals for the Canucks, matching a season high from October 5 when Vancouver beat the Edmonton Oilers in an identical 6-2 win. The losing streak had been the longest since 2009 for the Canucks.
The Sedinery was back in full power as Henrik and Daniel combined for five points. Ryan Stanton also added three points, all off of assists during a game where goals were plentiful for Vancouver.
The Canucks controlled the puck early on, but at 2:47, the Blue Jackets capitalized on their first shot on net of the night. Matt Calvert, in his first game since October 10th, beat Roberto Luongo with a nice move on the rush after slipping past Zack Kassian to give Columbus the early 1-0 lead. Kassian tried to check Calvert in the neutral zone, but wound up letting him right by to set up the scoring opportunity.
Just moments later, the Canucks nearly tied things up as Tom Sestito came within inches of his second goal of the season. No, really, it was that close. He was able to get the puck past Sergei Bobrovsky, but only half the puck crossed the line. Had this been football, it would be a tie game, but it’s all or nothing in this sport so the score remained 1-0 Columbus.
With 8:30 to go, the Canucks drew a power play as Mike Santorelli was hit into the boards. The opportunities were there for the Canucks during the advantage as they managed three shots on net, but were unable to capitalize during their first full power play of the night. Earlier in the period, Vancouver had a 5-on-4 advantage when Boone Jenner was sent off for closing his hand over the puck, but fifty seconds into the power play, Ryan Kesler was called for holding, ending the Canucks’ short-lived power play.
The pace of the game picked up in the final moments of the first period as the Canucks continued to get quality chances on net. Finally, with just 15.4 seconds left in the period, Daniel Sedin tied things up with a late goal before the intermission. The play started with Alex Edler lobbing the puck over the defense behind the net and Daniel playing it off the boards and around the net. After the puck deflected off 58, Daniel had a little more room to work with to set up the goal, tying things up at one goal each.
The Canucks certainly outplayed Columbus in the first period with a 14-4 shot advantage in the opening 20 minutes, with the only mishap really being Kassian’s missed check that led to Calvert’s opening goal.
Just 34 seconds into the second period, the Canucks got their third power play chance of the game when Alex Burrows was cross-checked from behind along the boards by Jack Johnson, but came up empty again.
Vancouver’s stamina was tested as Columbus had their second chance on the power play minutes later. The Blue Jackets kept control of the puck in Vancouver’s zone, preventing any changes. After an impressive kill and clear at the end of the power play, the Canucks finally were able to get fresh legs on ice, and were rewarded with a fourth power play as Fedor Tyutin was sent off for cross-checking. The power play started strong, but yet again ended with no goals, as the game remained tied.
The two teams must have come to a mutual agreement to not play 5-on-5 hockey during the second period, because just thirty seconds later the Blue Jackets took their turn on the power play when Brad Richardson was called for tripping. In just under 12 minutes of hockey in the first half of the period, just four of those minutes were played at full strength.
At 12:47, Kassian provided the Canucks with their first lead of the night with a wrist shot past Bobrovksy from the left face-off circle that probably should have been stopped, but hey, with a mustache like his, how could he be stopped? The goal was Kassian’s fifth goal of the year, and his first in six games.
Minutes later, Daniel Sedin put a shot on net that deflected off Bobrovsky as Henrik came in and finished off the play, tipping it on net, leading to Bobrovsky actually kicking it into the net to extend Vancouver’s lead to 3-1. It marked the first time Vancouver had scored more than three goals in a game since their 4-2 win over the Sharks on November 7.
Just sixteen seconds later, Alex Edler blasted a shot from the blue line off the post and into the net to give the Canucks a 4-1 lead. The Canucks hadn’t scored more than two goals in a game in 15 days. And here they were scoring two goals in just over 15 seconds. Was this all just some magical dream?
The Blue Jackets had one more chance on the power play at 16:50 when Dale Weise was called for tripping, but Vancouver’s penalty kill came through for the fifth time during the night. The two teams combined to go 0-for-9 on the power play in the game.
Halfway through the third period, the Canucks scored yet again with a tipped goal from Henrik Sedin to extend their lead to 5-1. The goal was initially sent on net from the blue line from Daniel, which would have been the 300th of his career, but the goal wound up being credited to Henrik in the end. We heard that Henrik always stole Daniel’s toys growing up, so naturally he’d steal this goal too.
The Canucks were given a free chance with 3:27 left as a penalty shot was awarded to Jannik Hansen who took a slow approach on net, but Bobrovsky came up with the stop to keep the game at 5-1.
Moments later, the Blue Jackets added a late rebound goal from Artem Anisimov his sixth of the season to cut Vancouver’s lead to three goals.
Vancouver added one more goal for good measure with 28.6 seconds left as Ryan Stanton fired a shot on net from the blue line. The puck was tipped in by Jeremy Welsh, who was credited for the goal, the first of his career. Nothing like a tip-in for your first NHL goal, eh? Stanton would finish with three assists on the night.
The Canucks are right back at it tomorrow night when they face the Chicago Blackhawks at Rogers Arena. While the Blackhawks sit atop the conference with 34 points, they have lost three of their last four, so pending Vancouver didn’t exhaust all their scoring on the Blue Jackets tonight, the Canucks could come away with a much needed win. I’ll leave you all with a quote, (slightly altered to fit in with a hockey schedule) from an inspiring baseball manager to ponder for the night. If Torts delivers this message to his guys tonight, prepare for magic.
“We won a game…We win one tomorrow, that’s called a winning streak. It has happened before. So let’s see some hustle, let’s jack it up a little! I got a feeling things are about to turn around for us.” – Lou Brown from Major League