The Vancouver Canucks hadn't been in a shootout since November 20 in a loss to the Anaheim Ducks at Rogers Arena. Based on the way they looked in Thursday's shootout with the New York Rangers, you'd think they did it everyday.
Ryan Miller stopped Mats Zuccarello and Derek Stepan with blocker saves while Alex Burrows and Radim Vrbata scored to give the Canucks a dramatic 5-4 shootout win at Madison Square Garden. It was the first time the Canucks have won a game in a shootout since November 9 when they did so against the Ducks in Anaheim.
Ryan Miller didn't have his greatest night in the crease with an .882 save percentage, but came up big in the shootout to give the Canucks a chance to win. Miller made 30 saves on 34 shots during the night.
Had it not been for the late heroics of Henrik Sedin, the Canucks would not have even had a chance to win it in the shootout. With Ryan Miller at the bench and the Canucks trailing 4-3, Henrik Sedin scored his second goal of the night and tied the game with 2:00 left in regulation. The goal came thanks to a rebound after a shot on goal by Dan Hamhuis with Henrik there to knock it in.
Henrik's second of the night, the goal that led to OT. https://t.co/0276ua0qpq— Vancouver Canucks (@VanCanucks) February 20, 2015
The scoring play came shortly after Willie Desjardins put four forwards on the ice, with Radim Vrbata playing "defense," to try and come up with the late goal.
The Canucks had been put in that tough position after surrendering a 3-2 lead in the third period when the Rangers scored two goals in just 21 seconds.
At 5:03, Martin St. Louis played a bank pass off the boards from Derek Stepan and beat Ryan Miller while being closely defended by Dan Hamhuis for his 16th goal of the year.
Then, at 5:24, Carl Hagelin tipped in a shot from Dan Girardi at the point, giving the Rangers a 4-3 lead. Girardi's shot opened just enough space for Hagelin to tip in the puck.
Miller slid halfway out of the net on the initial shot. Gave himself no chance on the tip.— Daniels Wagners (@ADanielWagner) February 20, 2015
Before the two quick goals from the Rangers, Henrik Sedin gave the Canucks their first lead of the night on the power play at 3:55 in the third period as he came in to tip in a shot from Adam Clendening at the point, putting the Canucks up 3-2 with a heads-up play.
The Rangers had opened the scoring at 11:39 in the first period when Derek Stepan sent in a one-timer from the slot off an assist from Martin St. Louis. The Canucks were so focused on St. Louis, that Stepan was able to slip into the slot to set himself up for the goal.
6 points in 3 games? Wow he's really Stepan up big time— CanucksArmy (@CanucksArmy) February 20, 2015
After a fast start with three shots in 19 seconds, the Canucks registered just two shots the rest of the first period, being outshot by the Rangers 14-1 the rest of the way during the opening 20 minutes.
The Canucks evened things up early in the second period at 1:43 as Shawn Matthias took a pass from Jannik Hansen and patiently waited until Talbot overcommitted and went down, opening the net for Matthias to score his sixth goal in the past seven games. Matthias now has 14 goals on the year, second to only Radim Vrbata (21) on the team.
Patience. Patience. Patience. And SCORES! Check out how birthday boy Shawn Matthias rolls. https://t.co/sXJeNKfNqT— Vancouver Canucks (@VanCanucks) February 20, 2015
With a little help from the officiating crew, the Rangers reclaimed the lead in the second period. After a clearing attempt by Alex Biega deflected off a linesman in the neutral zone, Rick Nash slipped in behind the Canucks' defense and beat Ryan Miller at 11:00 for his 36th goal of the year. Nash's 36 goals this year are second in the league behind Alex Ovechkin, who has 38.
After the Canucks fell behind for the second time of the night, Bo Horvat tied things up at 13:18 of the second period. After corralling a bouncing puck into the offensive zone, Ronalds Kenins hit Horvat for the tap-in goal, his eighth of the year. That goal would help eventually put Vancouver in the lead for the first time during the following period.
The Canucks are right back at it tomorrow night when they take on the New Jersey Devils. Head coach Willie Desjardins has already confirmed Eddie Lack will get the start in net.