Game 33: Stork's Egg-cellent Debut
The rookie goaltender affectionately known as "Stork," playing in his first home game as a Canuck, stopped all 31 shots he faced to lead his team to a 2-0 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday.
The win extended the Canucks' win streak to a season-high five games and improved their record on their current five-game home stand to 3-0-0.
Lack, who was making just the sixth start of his NHL career, didn't exactly have to face a flurry of chances from the visiting Hurricanes throughout the contest but was very sharp when called upon.
His best stop of the night, arguably, came late in the second period when he denied Gordie Dwyer at the top of the crease on a rush started by Riley Nash. He did also have a dandy save on a point shot by Justin Faulk with Eric Staal screening him with just over three minutes left in regulation.
The Canucks actually began the night looking like they might blow the Hurricanes out of the water.
They out-shot Carolina 13-10 in the opening frame and had more than a handful of glorious scoring chances but only managed to beat Hurricanes' netminder Justin Peters once on Chris Tanev's marker at 3:35 into the contest. Jannik Hansen added an empty netter with 74 seconds to remaining seal the deal for Vancouver.
Peters finished with 25 saves on 26 shots in the loss for the Hurricanes.
The Canucks have three days off before resuming their home stand on Friday when they host the Edmonton Oilers.
HEROES OF ZEROES: Eddie Lack became the first Canucks' netminder since Johan Hedberg on October 11, 2003 (3-0 win over Edmonton) to pitch a shutout in his home debut. The last Canuck netminder to pitch a shutout in his home start prior to Lack was Andrew Raycroft, who blanked the Colorado Avalanche 3-0 on November 1, 2009 (he had previously allowed a goal in a relief appearance at home that season). Lack also became the first Canucks' rookie to pitch a shutout since Cory Schneider blanked the Anaheim Ducks 3-0 on March 6, 2011. He's also the first Canuck to shutout the Hurricanes since Garth Snow did it in a 1-0 win back on February 26, 1999.
NOTES AND NUMBERS: Ex-Hurricane Jeremy Welsh returned to the lineup after sitting out the past seven games as a healthy scratch. He took the lineup spot of Tom Sestito. Monday was Welsh's first game against his former team... Jason Garrison had his four-game point streak snapped... Jannik Hansen snapped a nine-game goal drought with his empty net tally... Hurricanes captain Eric Staal had his four-game point streak snapped... Manny Malhotra played in his first game back at Rogers Arena since February 9, 2013 as a Canuck. He received a warm ovation when shown on the scoreboard during the first play stoppage. He finished the night with just over 11 minutes of ice-time and zero shots.
MISALIGNED STARS:: Tonight's game would have featured a clash between the NHL's reigning First Star of the Week, Carolina's Jeff Skinner, and the reigning Third Star of the Week, Roberto Luongo. Luongo, however, got the night off on Monday after beating the Avalanche on Sunday night. Skinner's impact on the game was just about as much as Luongo's. He had a team-leading five shots but failed to get on the scoresheet as did the rest of the Hurricanes. He finished the contest with a minus-two rating.