The Goods: Canucks take lead in West
New game. New hero.
The Vancouver Canucks rallied from a 2-1 deficit to beat the Calgary Flames 3-2 in overtime Saturday night at Rogers Arena for their sixth straight win, in the second half of back-to-back games.
For the second consecutive night an unlikely game-winning goal scorer stepped up in the clutch with Andrew Ebbett scoring his fifth goal of the season with 62 seconds remaining in overtime.
I’ll let you off the hook for forgetting Ebbett was still with the Canucks. This was the 29-year-old’s first game back after recovering from a broken collarbone suffered exactly twelve weeks ago against the Boston Bruins.
Then he earned some power play time.
Then he was on the second line with Ryan Kesler.
Then he was on the ice in overtime.
And he made it count.
Ebbett re-directed a point shot from Sami Salo past Henrik Karlsson for his fifth goal of the season and second game-winner.
The Canucks forward was a little red post-game, not because he was embarrassed from the shrine of media surrounding him, but from all the celebratory face washes he got
from teammates after scoring.
“My face is probably a little red, I got a little burn on there from all the guys,” he laughed. “It was well worth it after a three-month comeback.”
It couldn’t have been scripted any better, especially for such a hardworking player, and genuinely nice guy, who put in the effort needed to recover from an injury that originally
had him out of the Canucks line-up for the rest of the season.
Now Ebbett is another weapon in Vancouver’s toolbox and the Canucks are looking increasingly lethal by the day.
“We pretty much the whole game rolled four lines and I think in the second period we really picked it up there, got a few good shifts in a row and all of the sudden you start
rolling 12 forwards and six D and you can see how dangerous we can be,” assessed Ebbett, who couldn’t stop smiling.
“That was a fun night,” he added. “I was just happy to be out there, and then to get a couple of extra shifts there, especially with Kesler in the third period, it kind of gave me
some confidence and it was a fun game tonight.”
Maxim Lapierre scored his second goal in as many games to open the scoring in the first period before back-to-back scores from the Flames had the Canucks down 2-1 midway through the third period.
Another unlikely scorer, Marc-Andre Gragnani, netted his first with the Canucks at the 11:45 mark of the third period to help force overtime, which allowed Ebbett to do his thing.
His teammates couldn’t be happier for him.
“It’s nice,” said Roberto Luongo, who had 31 saves, of Ebbett’s goal. “First game back, scoring a huge goal like that must be an unreal feeling for him. He’s got a knack for
scoring big goals.“
Ebbett scored a similar game-winner against the San Jose Sharks earlier this season and said his now patented tip-in from in front of the net is something he and Cory Schneider will continue working on in practice.
HOW THE WEST WAS WON
The Vancouver Canucks are once again on top of the Western Conference. How long they remain kings of the castle will depend on their final three games of the season.
The St. Louis Blues lost to the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-2 earlier Saturday, so with the win the Canucks leapfrogged the Blues into top spot with 107 points to St. Louis’ 106.
A few weeks ago when it was clear this battle for first was forming the Canucks didn’t let on that it mattered to them. Now it clearly does. Vancouver found out St. Louis lost in the second intermission and knew it had to bring it in the third period.
The Canucks said they’ll enjoy the standings tonight, but realize there’s hockey to be played before the dust settles.
”It’s huge for our team, we’ve worked so hard to get there all year, but there’s nothing done yet, there’s still three games left, but it’s a huge step for us,” said Maxim Lapierre.
“It’s been a tough journey and obviously there’s still some games left and we want to make sure we take care of business, but a huge win for us tonight no doubt,” added Roberto Luongo, who surpassed the 30-win plateau for the seventh time in his career.
The Canucks have Sunday off and will practice Monday before the Anaheim Ducks fly to town Tuesday.
HOW TO SAVE A LIFE
Keeping up with an active three-year-old is a handful for anyone, let alone a dad on one leg.
RCMP Constable Jim Moir is that dad. Late February 2, 2011, Moir was doing what he’s trained to do when he responded to a call near Yale, BC, of a car that had slid off the road during less than ideal driving conditions.
The 45-year-old had everything under control from the crash; a family of five travelling in a Dodge Ram truck hit a patch of ice before hitting the ditch. No one was injured, just a tad shaken up.
As Moir spoke with the driver’s 15-year-old daughter near the truck’s tailgate, a sanding truck approached trying to improve road conditions in an area that was now home to a few wayward vehicles sprawled across the road.
Like something out of the movies, the sanding truck also lost control and slammed into another truck that was sent careening into Moir and the girl.
Moir didn’t think, he acted.
Instinctually he grabbed the girl by the shoulders launching her out of harm’s way before the oncoming vehicle crashed into Moir, trapping him between two vehicles.
Moir was honoured for his bravery during Saturday night’s game as Vancouver’s Local Hero for March.
And through the post-season. #Canucks " -@7thCanuck, with a nice shout out to our Northwest rivals.
'DOOBLER' with the jersey number 420'" -@heatherspon, with a report from the stands.
You are my hero for the cotton candy moustache and goatee you were sporting. That is all.
Light my Fire, Sex is on Fire, Jump into the Fire, Fire on the Mountain and Hang Fire.