The Vancouver Canucks extended their win streak to four games on Monday night with a 3-2 win over the Washington Capitals. The Canucks trailed 2-1 heading into the final period, but two straight goals from Ryan Kesler and Daniel Sedin lifted Vancouver, allowing them to avoid a fourth consecutive overtime contest.
The game got off to a bit of a bizarre start as Alex Ovechkin was tripped up by Alex Edler, sending Ovechkin crashing into the net, being rewarded with a penalty shot as a result. Roberto Luongo showed patience though, denying Ovechkin from a goal.
At 11:31, Zach Kassian gave the Canucks the early lead with a laser goal on the rush set up by a nice touch pass from Chris Higgins. The goal was Kassian’s second of the year.
Five minutes later, Jason Chimera tipped in a shot past Luongo to tie the game at one goal each. Luongo had made some huge saves up to that point, including stopping Ovechkin on the penalty shot, but sometimes it's just about being in the right place at the right time.
Penalties were abundant and plentiful in the opening period with five issued out between the two teams, including the penalty shot. The Canucks found themselves shorthanded twice, killing off both power plays, a positive sign for a team that had given up four power play goals in their last three games after such a hot start early in the year.
Just a couple minutes into the third period, Washington’s Mikhali Grabovsky gave the Capitals the 2-1 lead with a wrist shot past Luongo off a diving pass from Chimara.
The Canucks however, are no strangers to having to come from behind, and that is precisely what happened next. Ryan Kesler scored for the fourth straight game, blasting a loose puck courtesy of a shot from Ryan Stanton on net to tie the game at 2-2 just 60 seconds after Grabovsky’s goal. Then, on an impressive possession where the Canucks showed plenty of patience, Daniel Sedin was set up for a blistering slapshot to give Vancouver a 3-2 lead just over two minutes after Kesler tied things up. The goal marked the third time in the last four games that Daniel found the back of the net. The whole shift was practically a highlight in itself. There's Sedinery, and then there's a whole new level of magic we were treated to here.
That would be all the Canucks would need to cap off the comeback win against the Capitals to improve to 9-4-1 on the year while Washington fell to 5-7-0. There was no shortage of chances on net for the Canucks as they outshot the Capitals 41-19.
While the two goals in the third period were impressive (especially that entire shift on the Sedin goal), the play of the game definitely has to go to Luongo's save on Ovechkin's penalty shot just over a minute into the game. The save really set the tone and prevented Vancouver from having to play from behind from the start. Had Luongo not showed the patience he did, the Canucks could have easily found themselves on the losing end of this one.
The Canucks take Tuesday off before welcoming the Eastern Conference newbies, the Detroit Red Wings into Rogers Arena on Wednesday night. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m.