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The Goods: Edged by Predators

Friday, 02.12.2011 / 1:55 AM / Features
By Derek Jory
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The Goods: Edged by Predators
NASHVILLE PREDATORS
6
Scoring summary
  1 2 3 OT SO
NAS
VAN
3
1
2
4
1
0
-
-
-
-
5
VANCOUVER CANUCKS
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Of the four goaltenders that played Thursday night, only one finished the game happy.

Vancouver’s 6-5 loss to Nashville will be filed under nightmare for Cory Schneider, Roberto Luongo and Pekka Rinne, thrilling for Anders Lindback and somewhere between exciting and strange overall.

The Predators, who had just five goals in their last four games, beat Schneider twice on the team’s opening two shots to take a quick 2-0 lead. A stunned Schneider, starting his seventh straight game, didn’t face another shot until the final minute of the first period when three sailed his way, the third from Shea Weber, a screamer that put Nashville up 3-1.

That was it for Schneider as Luongo started the second period and seemingly sparked the Canucks to an
improbable comeback win.

Daniel Sedin, Aaron Volpatti, Alex Burrows and Jannik Hansen all scored in a span of 7:19 allowing Vancouver to take a commanding 5-3 lead with 30 minutes of hockey to play.

The Canucks were jovial, fans did the wave and press row started typing furiously.

Then the real comeback began, the one that had Nashville score twice in 1:21 to close out the second period leaving the game even at 5-5.

The Canucks and Predators combined for just 14 goals in four regular season games last season, so while two periods of high-scoring hockey was unlikely, a third would have been unprecedented.

It was clear early on that a golden goal was going to win it and with overtime looming, the Predators snapped the Canucks five-game winning streak scoring with 1:16 remaining.

Fans may have been entertained, but the Canucks weren’t as this game was theirs for the taking.

“We had a lot of chances, but they hung in there,” said Kevin Bieksa, who had a pair of assists. “They do what they do best and that’s what they did to us in the playoffs, they
hung around, hung around, hung around and when it’s a close game like that, one goal makes a difference and they scored one on the rush there and that’s that.”

Vancouver hit Nashville backup Lindback with nine shots over the final 20 minutes, and 19 overall after he came in for Rinne in the second period. The Canucks had numerous scoring chances, especially in the third period, but while Lindback was solid, the home side couldn’t pull the trigger.

“We should have put them away earlier than that, but we’re up 5-3, we make a few mistakes on our PK and they’re right back in the game. We should have put them away
earlier.”

Luongo finished with 12 saves in his first action since November 13th.

RAYMOND'S DEBUT POSTPONED

Let me clear the record right now: although I work for the Canucks, I’m not in charge of filing paperwork.

Mason Raymond was scheduled to make his season debut Thursday night, but a hiccup with his official paperwork forced him from the line-up.

Whether it was a case of someone mistaking a paper shredder for a fax machine or not, Raymond’s first appearance since Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final will wait until Sunday when the Canucks host the Calgary Flames.

It’s unclear whether the Canucks or NHL made the mistake, but it wasn’t Aaron Volpatti, he simply benefited from it. Volpatti was rumoured to be a healthy scratch to accommodate Raymond’s return, but with the speedy forward unavailable, Volpatti was slotted back in.

And he made the most of it.

Volpatti scored his first goal of the season to even the game at 3-3, 3:58 into the second period; the goal was the second of his career and first since December 20, 2010.

Coach Alain Vigneault didn’t clarify the clerical error, he did, however, deliver the news pre-game to a let down Raymond.

“He was real disappointed, he was ready to play, he wanted to come in and help his teammates, it’s unfortunate for him, but things happen sometimes,” said Vigneault.

A GREY CUP SALUTE

One of the most impressive and unlikely turnarounds in the history of the Canadian Football League concluded this past Sunday when the BC Lions beat the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 34-23 to win the 99th Grey Cup Championship.

Before puck drop Thursday, the Lions were saluted by the Canucks and the sellout crowd of 18,890, many of whom were sporting Lions orange and black in addition to their Canucks gear.

Twenty-five Lions took to the ice in their jerseys, with slotback Geroy Simon clutching the Grey Cup, BC’s sixth, as they walked the Canucks blue and carpet. After being cheered for their win, they made their way off the off and were jeered by one disgruntled Winnipegger.

Cameron Caldwell flew to Vancouver a week ago for the Grey Cup and he decided to stick around to see the sights, which included a Canucks game. What he didn’t expect/need/want to see was the Lions flaunting the Cup right in front of him, but that’s what he got.

Simon and Brent Johnson gave Caldwell, in a Bombers hat and jacket with a flag, a hard time asking him if he wanted to pose for a photo; the jest was taken as it was intended and Caldwell, who has attended 29 Grey Cup games, returned to cheering on the Bombers at the Canucks game.

RULES OF THE PRESS BOX
If the "team" that beat your "team" in a certain "big game" for a certain "greyish cup" is in the house, clap politely. Plot revenge later.
Tweet of the night - “Gotta say, best Movember 'stache in the #Canucks organization belonged to @canucksgame.
#ShouldaKeptIt" -@passittobulis, giving some MO love to Murray, my deceased stash. #RIPMurray
Two for planking - Even when Ryan Kesler isn't scoring, he's doing his best to entertain. Late in the second period he drove
to the net and was forced to jump onto it to avoid crashing into the goaltender. Without even trying, it was a perfect plank.
Throw the flag, ref - When the BC Lions were making their way off the ice following a pre-game ceremony, JR LaRose and
Jesse Newman posed for a photo with Cory Schneider. He then allowed three goals on five shots. Blame the Leos.
Windaturd - Alex Burrows has no idea what he started. I'm not sure when it first happened, but Burrows said, in his french accident,
the Canucks needed to win the third. That led to the hashtag #WINDATURD, which was trending worldwide on this night. Amazing.