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The Goods: Edged by Wild

Monday, 03.19.2012 / 11:00 PM PT / Features
By Derek Jory
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The Goods: Edged by Wild
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Stringing wins together continues to be an issue for the Vancouver Canucks.

The Canucks dropped a 2-0 decision to the Minnesota Wild Monday night at the Xcel Energey Center in the sixth and final matchup between the Northwest Division rivals this season, to kick off a four-game road trip.

Erik Christensen scored the game-winning goal on the power play with 24 seconds remaining in the first period and Kyle Brodziak potted an empty net goal with three seconds left in regulation to help Minnesota break a five-game losing streak on home ice.

So much for Vancouver carrying over any momentum from its 4-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets this past Saturday.

The Canucks got off to the start they needed and wanted with dominating puck possession as they outshot the
Wild 8-3 midway through the first period. Then the tides changed, Minnesota pushed back and it led to an Alex Burrows penalty and an ensuing Wild goal.

It then became clear this was a playoff game for Minnesota, while Vancouver treated it like Game 72 of the regular season against the third worst team in the Western

The Canucks were their own worst enemy on this night failing to score for the fourth time this season not because of shots, but because of a lack of quality shots. Wild
goaltender Josh Harding saw almost every one of the 33 pucks Vancouver sent his way and was subsequently able to stop them all, many attempted from a ways out.

That was the biggest topic of discussion post-game in a quiet Canucks locker room.

“It was tough to penetrate their defence and a lot of wristers we put in there form the point, their defence stepped up and blocked them,” said Kevin Bieksa, who got one shot through and had two attempts blocked. “Give them credit, they sacrificed their bodies and we need to get a little bit dirtier to get some offence against a team like that.”

Vancouver’s energy was low, the intensity in the building was low, heck even the 50/50 jackpot was a mere $1,400, but the Canucks know this was a winnable game they let slip away.

They also wasted a fantasic effort from Cory Schneider, who had 32 saves, including 21 over the final two periods, to keep Vancouver within striking distance.

The Canucks remain composed, despite having not won back-to-back games since late February. There is no concern this team is in trouble with only 10 games remaining
before the real games begin, said captain Henrik Sedin.

“We’re always looking for wins, it doesn’t matter if it’s 10 games left,” said Henrik, who passed Dr. Mark Recchi for ninth on the NHL’s all-time iron man streak playing in his 571th consecutive game on the night.

“It’s about playing our game and trusting that our system is going to win us games and not individual efforts. That’s what won us games last year and that’s what won us games earlier this year.”

The Canucks now head to Chicago where they’ll face the Blackhawks Wednesday night in a game that will not lack drama or emotion.

If visiting with your 22-month-old son over Skype pre-game, make sure he hasn't just learned the word poop because he will yell it out. A lot.
Tweet of the Night - "This game is like watching aggressive figure skating competition at times, the rest it's just stick
figure skating!" -@Steph_Machmer, calling a spade, a spade. Apologies to figure skating for this tweet.
Hurtin' Wild - Since Pierre-Marc Bouchard suffered a concussion and was placed on IR on
January 10th, Minnesota has gone 11-24-7. That injury bug bit hard.
Jiminy Cricket - Now I know how Pinocchio felt. My seat in the press box was directly below the Team 1040 play-by-play
box, so I got full details of what I was already watching from Rick Ball & Dave Tomlinson. Thank you?
#CanucksHP - Those following this game via @CanucksGame had a chance to win an HP mini notebook. The question:
how many saves would Schneider make in the 2nd & 3rd period? The answer: 21. The winner: to be announced.