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The Goods: Spin-o-Raymond

Tuesday, 01.10.2012 / 8:50 PM PT / Features
By Derek Jory
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The Goods: Spin-o-Raymond
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It’s not his go-to move, but it’s starting to look fairly foolproof.

Mason Raymond pulled a dandy spin-o-rama move out of his bag of tricks to score the only shootout goal and lift the Vancouver Canucks to a 5-4 win over the Tampa Bay Lighting at the Tampa Bay Times Forum Tuesday night.

If the goal looked familiar it’s because 354 days ago Raymond used the same move for the very first time to sneak a puck past Kevin Poulin of the New York Islanders in helping the Canucks beat the Islanders 4-3 in a shootout.

Just like last January 11th, Raymond knew at centre ice he was going to get creative.

“It’s one you have in your back pocket, you practice it from time to time and it just felt right and I was lucky enough to hang on to it,” said Raymond, explaining the move is as tricky as it looks.

“Sometimes when you’re stopping real quick like that and trying to spin, you’ve really got to focus on holding that puck and making sure you put it in the net.”

He did just that and Cory Schneider stopped Ryan Malone, Dominic Moore and Steven Stamkos in the shootout as the Canucks rebound from a snoozer in the Sunshine State
a night earlier.

The win is Vancouver’s second in three games with one outing remaining on its four-game road trip.

The game opened just as the Canucks drew it up, with Alex Edler opening the scoring with his first goal in 10 games before Jannik Hansen scored a shorthanded goal to put Vancouver up 2-0.

Stamkos and Manny Malhotra traded goals in the second before a hectic final minute of play had Vincent Lecavalier and Ryan Kesler score 30 seconds apart; Kesler’s goal,
scored with 1.4 seconds remaining in the period, gave the Canucks a 4-2 lead.

Steve Downie cut it to a 4-3 Canucks advantage and that looked like it would be enough to hand Tampa Bay a four-game home losing streak.

Don’t touch that remote.

Malone beat Schneider on a controversial goal off his skate with a minute left to play in regulation and after overtime failed to produce a winner, a shootout was needed.

Raymond, called upon for the first time this season, was grateful for the opportunity and he cashed in on it.

It certainly wasn’t a picture perfect win, but considering this was the second of back-to-back games of the third game in four days for the Canucks, they’ll gladly take the two points.

“Last night I think we were pretty lethargic, just after that emotional high in Boston that some of the guys were pretty drained,” said Schneider, who made 27 saves in regulation
and overtime. “So to come back tonight and have that energy and start the game with a two goal lead, then to keep battling like that, it says a lot about our team and our guys.”

Now it’s on to St. Louis to face the Blues Thursday. Closing the road trip out with a win would give the Canucks a 3-1-0 record on this trek, but it won’t be easy. Vancouver is
0-2-0 with just two goals for and six against versus St. Louis this season.

“St. Louis has been rough on us so far this year, they’re always a tough team to play against, they play really hard games, so we have to be on our A-game if we want to get anything out of there," assessed Hansen.

If free Little Caesars pizza is served to the media during the second intermission, just smile and say thank you. Don't do your happy dance.
Tweet of the night - "Cory Schneider looks great. But I can't believe they shielded luongo from stamkos. What if
they meet in the finals in 2014?" - @BotchonCanucks, taking another shot at the Boston media.
Arena upgrades - The Lightning recently spent $40 million in upgrades and that included a huge jumbotron
with no corners allowing for wrapped video and two tesla coils that zap lightning.
Arena upgrades II - The Tampa Bay Times Forum is now home to the world's biggest digital theater organ
and they make great use of it. The organist rocks the seats to open the game and during stoppages in play.
Apples for Cory - Cory Schneider holds the Canucks franchise record for assists in a game by a goaltender
with two, which he racked up the last time Vancouver played Tampa Bay in 2010.