The Goods: Shot down in Columbus
Vancouver did its best Tim Tebow impression, the Canucks just couldn’t stick the landing.
But they still walked away with a point for the late comeback effort.
The Canucks were slow out of the gates Tuesday night at Nationwide Arena in Columbus and it set the tone for a sluggish game where Vancouver uncharacteristically played down to its opponent, the last place Blue Jackets.
Scoring chances were few and far between for the Canucks, who were foiled by Steve Mason to the tune of 19 saves when they did get in on net through two periods.
The good news is Roberto Luongo was equally up to the task with 20 saves on 21 shots; the Blue Jackets held a 1-0 lead going into the third.
Over the final 20 minutes Vancouver, winner of nine straight games against Columbus and five-straight in Ohio over that stretch, flexed some muscle, got on the scoreboard at
the 8:03 mark thanks to Maxim Lapierre’s first goal in nine games and battened down the hatches defensively to salvage at least a single point forcing overtime at 1-1.
With the game up for grabs in the extra session, Luongo stopped three shots and Mason stopped a pair, leaving a shootout to determine the winner for the second time in three outings for Vancouver.
Three Columbus shooters beat Luongo, while only Alex Burrows solved Mason.
The optimists and pessimists will look at this game differently and both sides have a case to make, but all that matters is the Canucks were able to steal a point on a night they probably didn’t deserve it.
Who knows how important that point will be come April.
“I think we’ve got to look at the positive things, we played better in the second half and Lu made some big saves for us tonight and he got us the point,” said Lapierre, who
scored his fifth goal of the season off a great hustle play from Chris Higgins.
“We’ve got to be better than that at the beginning of the game. We talked about that after the first and we played better in the second and third, but we need a better start next game.”
Some power play prowess would help as well.
The Canucks possessed the NHL’s top ranked power play unit coming into the game and the Blue Jackets found themselves at the other end of the spectrum as the bottom
ranked penalty killing team. Vancouver finished 0-for-4 on the man advantage with eight shots.
It was just one of those nights, especially with how well the Canucks have been playing of late with four straight wins, nine victories in 10 games and 12 in 15 going into the
Lapierre maintains this game was a mere hiccup for the Canucks, who had their five-game road winning streak snapped.
“We said since the beginning of the year we’ve got to forget about the last game and focus on the next one. The next game is huge for us; the standings are so tight so we need those two points.”
The Canucks are in Carolina to face the Hurricanes Thursday.
top 6 power forward winger. #canucks" -@jephfung, tongue-in-cheek.
door + glass repeatedly. Thank me later #Canucks" -@Lucmeister, who will get a gift basket in the mail.
point in regulation. Nash has just one assists in his last eight games against Vancouver.
Thirty-one of those minutes have come in two games versus the Canucks.