Tuesday night marked the return of Cory Schneider to Vancouver, and while he'd give his former team a run for their money, it was the Canucks who came out on top at Rogers Arena. Jason Garrison scored a game-winning goal in overtime as the Canucks defeated the Devils 3-2. It was Vancouver's third straight win, and their second straight overtime win.
Schneider did his job early on, stopping all nine shots he faced in the first period With just over one minute remaining in the opening period, Jaromir Jagr opened the scoring with a one-timer past Roberto Luongo to give the Devils a 1-0 lead.
The scoring picked up in the middle period, beginning with a wrist shot from Patrick Elias to extend the Devils' lead to two goals. The puck bounced around off some skates on the ice before finding the back of the net
Daniel Sedin got the Canucks on the board just 90 seconds later with a wrist shot fired in from the blue line to cut New Jersey's lead in half. The play started with Mike Santorelli fighting to get to the loose puck and sending it back out to the top of the zone. Vancouver moved the puck around nicely, setting up Daniel's goal, his second of the year. Alex Edler tied things up five minutes later, set up by assists from the Sedins. The goal probably would not have happened if it hadn't been for Ryan Clowe struggling to get himself off the ice. Due to Clowe's injury, the Canucks essentially got a free 5-on-4 and took advantage to tie the game up heading into the final period.
In the third period, the Canucks had to kill off their first penalty of the game when Henrik Sedin was sent off for hooking. So far this year, Vancouver's penalty kill has been nothing short of perfection as the Canucks have killed off each and every penalty they've been dealt so far. The same could be said for Tuesday night, as Vancouver killed off the lone Devils power play to stay in the game, forcing overtime.
In the extra period, it was Jason Garrison who fired in the game winner from the point to lift Vancouver over the Devils for their third straight win. The goal was Garrison's team-high third of the season. On a second look, it appeared as if the shot went off Santorelli, but we're really not going to be picky with who gets credit for the goal, we'll just call it a team effort and take the win.
While the game might have gotten off to a slow start, the finish is what counts, and the Canucks certainly impressed in that aspect tonight. It initially seemed as if it would be another frustrating night of the Canucks not being able to score, but three unanswered goals will do the trick just fine. In fact, the Canucks ranked third in the league in scoring heading into tonight to open the season. Yes, that four goal average was just based off three games, but work with us here. We like numbers, and numbers are always a little skewed to start the season. Kind of like when a pitcher has an ERA of 36.00 on Opening Day.
Now, we can put the Schneider story lines behind us. Well, at least for another couple weeks until Vancouver heads east to face the Devils on October 24. Next up for the Canucks are those pesky San Jose Sharks that seem to really have this team figured out. If you're searching for the last time Vancouver managed to beat the Sharks, you'll have to look back to January 21, 2012. With the new divisions, the Canucks are going to have to figure out a way to gain back the edge versus the Sharks, something they weren't able to manage to open the season.
Full game stats can be found here, courtesy of ExtraSkater.com. If you haven't checked out this site yet, and you're a numbers type of person, you might just consider it the happiest place on the Internet, aside from Nucks Misconduct of course.