Tuesday night was all about snapping scoring droughts for the Canucks. Each of Vancouver's three goals snapped a scoreless streak for three different players.
Ryan Stanton - 2nd career goal, first since October 17, 2013.
Nick Bonino - 1st goal since December 16, 2nd goal since November 6
Linden Vey - 1st goal in 13 games
Eddie Lack, fresh off his 27th birthday and a frigid ice bath, allowed the game's opening goal but rebounded nicely, stopping 21 shots for his third win of the season while the Canucks won for the fifth time in their last seven games.
The Islanders would be the first to go to the power play just over two minutes into the game when Brad Richardson was sent off for hooking. The Canucks continued to play well while shorthanded as the Islanders struggled to get anything going during the advantage. Coming into tonight, the Canucks ranked 3rd in the NHL on the penalty kill.
It took a little bit of time for the Canucks to get going offensively, not registering their first official shot until about seven minutes into the game. Vancouver would go to the power play soon after they killed off Richardson's penalty, and had a couple good looks towards the end of the power play but weren't able to come away with a goal. Coming into tonight, Vancouver ranked 9th in the NHL on the power play while the Islanders ranked 27th in killing off penalties, so any time spent on the power play would be a bigger edge than usual for the Canucks.
Just before Vancouver's power play, we were all treated to an "oof" moment when Zack Kassian tried to lay a big hit, but came up empty and wound up diving face first into his own bench. Classic Kass, that crazy man.
Eventful shift for Zack Kassian. Dangled Calvin de Haan, then tried to destroy another Islanders player at bench. Missed. But A for effort— Cam Tucker (@CamTucker_Metro) January 7, 2015
The Islanders opened the scoring midway through the first period when Matt Martin tipped in a centering pass from Travis Hamonic past Eddie Lack to take the early lead.
Shortly after, Ryan Stanton tied things up with a rebound goal, the second of his career. Brad Richardson started things with some fancy stick work right in front of the net to get the initial shot on goal. Stanton was in perfect position to knock in the rebound as Jaroslav Halak wasn't able to kick the pad out quickly enough. Get the puck to the net, good things happen, amirite?
The goal was Stanton's first in nearly 15 months.
Stanton hadn't scored since Oct. 17 of 2013. That's a drought. #Canucks— Brad Ziemer (@BradZiemer) January 7, 2015
After a rather uneventful start to the period, Nick Bonino snapped his scoring drought to give the Canucks a 2-1 lead. Kevin Bieksa sent a shot on net, and Bonino positioned himself in front of the net for Vancouver's second rebound goal of the night.
The goal was much needed for Bonino, who had been on a bit of a drought for the past couple of months.
#Canucks take a 2-1 lead as Nick Bonino bumps the slump. 1st goal since Dec. 16th, only his 2nd goal since Nov. 6— Rich Brown (@richbrownradio) January 7, 2015
Funny that Bonino has been an offensive wasteland for more than 25% of the season and has still exceeded my expectations.— Thomas Drance (@ThomasDrance) January 7, 2015
The Canucks nearly added to their lead later in the period when Alex Burrows came up with a turnover in the Islanders' zone. Burrows hit Daniel Sedin with a cross-ice pass, and Daniel quickly found his brother in front of the net, but Henrik's shot was disrupted, keeping the game at 2-1.
Soon after, Linden Vey would build Vancouver's lead to two goals, beating Halak with a breakaway goal off a turnover. In keeping with the theme of snapping scoring droughts, the goal was Vey's first in 13 games.
Linden Vey's Twitter Puns
We've exhausted just about every possible pun with Linden Vey, but they never get old.
JINGLE ALL THE VEY!!!— Vancouver Canucks (@VanCanucks) January 7, 2015
Canucks lead 3-1 thanks to Linden’s breaka-Vey goal. That wasn’t original, but absolutely necessary.— Canucks Misconduct (@nucksmisconduct) January 7, 2015
Even the Islanders got in on the fun.
Canucks goal. Oy Vey. Linden Vey makes it 3-1 Vancouver. #Isles— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) January 7, 2015
The 3rd period also got off to an uneventful start before the Islanders started to pick up the pace a little as the final period went on. It was reported during the period that Brad Richardson wouldn't return due to a lower body injury. During the 2nd period, Richardson blocked a shot and looked to be in significant discomfort as he got to the bench.
With just under nine minutes to play, Eddie Lack made a quick save, denying Matt Martin of his second goal of the night. Lack's reflexes were impressive as Martin snapped a shot on net off a quick pass from behind the net. The nifty save drew "Eddie! Eddie!" chants from the crowd.
After the save, Vancouver went to the power play as the Islanders were called for too many men on the ice. However, the Canucks struggled to get anything set up. During the power play, Yannick Weber was rocked with a hard hit and had to head off to the locker room as the Canucks lost their second player during the period. Weber was having a rough night as he took a stick to the face earlier in the night without getting a penalty called.
The Islanders would cut into Vancouver's lead after Kevin Bieksa couldn't get the puck out of the Canucks' zone and wound up turning over the puck. Kyle Okposo came up with the turnover and set up Michael Grabovski for the one-timer goal to make it 3-2 with 5:27 to go. And of course, we were remembered of the nightmarish collapse against the Islanders last season.
On the bright side, the Isles aren't on pace for seven.— CanucksArmy (@CanucksArmy) January 7, 2015
Halak would head to the bench with a minute left in the game as the Islanders were looking for the game-tying goal. There were a couple close calls, but the Canucks worked their asses off defensively in the final minute, hanging on for the win. No embarrassing collapses this time around!
Guess who is coming to town? The one, the only, Bobby Luuuuu!!! That's right. On Thursday night, Roberto Luongo will return to Rogers Arena in what should promise to be a thrilling return. In regards to whether he will hear cheers or boos, Luongo pointed out it all sounds the same.
Roberto Luongo on Vancouver fans reaction Thursday, " Lou's and boos sound the same anyway." #FlaPanthers— Steve Goldstein (@goldieonice) January 6, 2015