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The Goods: Shooting Stars

Friday, 03.30.2012 / 10:35 PM PT / Features
By Derek Jory
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The Goods: Shooting Stars
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I guess the blue print for winning will have to be altered.

The Vancouver Canucks broke out for five goals from five different scores in a 5-2 route of the Dallas Stars Friday night at Rogers Arena for their fifth consecutive win.

Chris Higgins, Sami Salo, Andrew Alberts, Alex Burrows and Maxim Lapierre all scored and Cory Schneider made 28 saves in the convincing victory against a potential first round opponent.

Going into the game Vancouver’s top line was made up of Burrows and Lapierre flanking Henrik Sedin, but with how coach Alain Vigneault juggles lines, no one knew how long it would last.

It went a full 60-minutes and more than delivered.

The HAM line combined for seven points, led by Lapierre and Henrik with three each. Turns out Lapierre lied to the media earlier in the day when he said he wasn’t going to
adjust his game to suit his linemates.

“He’s a guy that I think is a big key to where we are in the standings,” raved Henrik of Lapierre, who had a goal and two assists. “He’s a guy that’s a fourth-liner, but he’s a much better player than that. That’s what we have a lot of, we have guys that are playing certain roles on this team, where on other teams they’d be in different roles.”

This was a complete team effort that had Higgins open the scoring in the first period and Salo and Alberts net back-to-back goals in the second before Burrows and Lapeirre finished the Stars off in the third.

In between all the scoring, Schneider was stupendous in a surprise start.

When Roberto Luongo arrived at Rogers Arena for morning skate Friday, he informed the coaching staff of some stiffness he was experiencing in his neck. The training staff attempted to loosen him up throughout the day, but to no avail, and instead of risking injury, coach Alain Vigneault made an easy decision to play Schneider.

Had this been an extreme situation, Vigneault said Luongo could and would have played; if Lu feels good to go tomorrow, he’ll be in net for the Canucks to finish off
back-to-back games.

It didn’t make a lick of difference who was between the pipes for Vancouver on this night with all the goal support the Canucks had.

“It’s great, we’ve done it before in the past and you can never take too much for granted, but it was a great job by the guys to never give up and not just sit back,” said
Schneider, who found out midday there was a good chance he’d be making his 27th start of the season.

“We completely dominated that third period and I think it sent a message that’s the team we can be and want to be.”

Henrik Sedin said the Canucks that won consecutive 1-0 games earlier this week and the Canucks who hit the five-goal plateau for the 15th time this season Friday are the

Like shopping lines during the holiday season, it was a matter of patience.

“I don’t think we played any different tonight than we did in the past. We always thought that this is the way we want to play, if the other team breaks down, we’re going to score goals. We’ve been up against teams that haven’t had a lot of breakdowns and that’s when you have to patient and we did a good job of that. Tonight they had a couple of breakdowns in the second and third and we took advantage of that.”

Vancouver looks to take advantage of Calgary Saturday night at Rogers Arena.


When Chris Higgins shrugs off questions about the scoring tear he’s on, he means it.

This is nothing new to the Vancouver Canucks forward.

Higgins opened the scoring 6:17 into the first period with his snap shot past Kari Lehtonen counting as his fourth goal in four games and the fourth goal of five scored by the Canucks going back four games.

This is Higgins’ best scoring streak as a member of the Canucks, but it’s hardly his best ever. He had four goals in four games twice with the Montreal Canadiens and as far as point streaks go, he’s had a six game streak (1-5-6) and an eight gamer (2-8-10) this season. His personal best is 10 goals and four assists over 10 games to singlehandedly carry the Canadiens to the playoffs in 2005-06.

He’s been here before and knows that when you’re hot, you’re hot.

Enjoy it while it lasts because, as he said, the media will be back on the Canucks for low scoring games in no time.

“It’s good because everyone was giving us a lot of flack for it, but we were still winning games – that’s Canada I guess,” he laughed. “It’s good that a couple of guys that hadn’t scored in a while scored and hopefully that keeps coming over our last four games.”


There’s a reason fans are told to watch out for flying pucks.

During pre-game warm-up a pair of Dallas Stars fans were taking it all in, the woman had a Kari 4 Vezina #1 sign, the man was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Kari Lehtonen sent a puck out of play and it hit the guy in the face and he began bleeding his own blood. Having seen this, Lehtonen threw a towel over the glass for the distressed fan, a towel the woman turned a grabbed as a souvenir she’d treasure forever.

The guy, still bleeding, gives her the evil eye and continues to leak until she realizes and embarrassingly turns the towel over.

Lehtonen, being the standup guy he is, gave the stick he used in warm-up to the exuberant fan, who now has a puck, a stick and a great story.

Still, watch for flying pucks.

When taking a self-shot of yourself with the ice in the background, do it before anyone arrives. Ridicule will follow otherwise.
Tweet of the Night - "@canucksgame can you sneak into the room, take whatever higgy is drinking and share it with
the others? just sayin' #likeinspacejam" -@ajtuliao. A Space Jam tweet will always get you TOTN.
Streaking - When Steve Ott scored at 3:16 mark of the 2nd period, he snapped a shutout streak that spanned
more than seven periods and finished at 174:55 of shutout hockey for Vancouver.
Getting closer... - Andrew Ebbett took part in pre-game warm-up for the first time since breaking his
collarbone on January 7th against the Boston Bruins. Will he play Saturday?
50/50 - Congratulations to Linda and Brent King, and family, who surpassed the million dollar mark for 50/50
tickets sold during Friday night’s game. This is an accomplishment beyond words.