The end result meant little. The effort reflected that.
Neither the Vancouver Canucks or Anaheim Ducks brought their A-games Thursday night in a 3-1 Ducks win at Rogers Arena.
With the playoffs now a game away for both clubs and both securely locked into the second and third slots, respectively, in the Western Conference, there was little on the line on this night and the first period intensity reflected that.
Vancouver was outshot 11-5 in the opening frame and 14-4 in the second; Roberto Luongo could only do so much allowing a pair of goals less than two minutes apart in the middle stanza.
In the third the Canucks finally brought the action outshooting the Ducks 20-5 and Jason Garrison beat Jonas Hiller with a blast from the point on the power play to break Hiller's shutout bid, but an empty net goal sealed the deal and ended Vancouver's eight-game home winning streak.
Canucks award for Best Beard: Higgins or Garrison? Garri gets my vote.
Tweet of the Night -"Apparently 4 Ducks felt the need to converge on Raymond after that snow shower of Hiller.. He was just trying to make sure Hiller was awake" - @blakeprice1040. Okay, so it wasn't the most interesting game ever. It was a little pre-season-ish. But now we'll truly apprecaite playoff hockey at its finest come next week. Right? RIGHT?!?.
This and that - Derek Joslin made his Canucks debut on defence playing 15:01; Keith Ballard skated at forward once again, (pre-game he said he might line up alongside the Sedins, he wasn't sure what he wanted to do) and we can confirm he did not play with the Sedins; the Ducks sat forwards Teemu Selanne, Bobby Ryan, Ryan Getzlaf and Saku Koivu.
And the award goes to... - The Canucks handed out some hardware pre-game Thursday night with Cory Schneider taking home the top prize as the team's Cyclone Taylor MVP. Jannik Hansen was a double winner capturing the Fred J. Hume Unsung Hero and Most Exciting Player awards, while the Walter (Babe) Pratt award for the best defenceman went to Dan Hamhuis. Press release.
Oh Cannata - With Cory Schneider out the line-up with an undisclosed injury (the Canucks are hopefully he'll be back for Game 1 of the playoffs), Joe Cannata was recalled to play back-up behind Roberto Luongo. He wore a blue cap and a deer in headlights look on his face. Welcome Joe!