Game 63: Classic collapse

Sunday, 02.03.2014 / 7:30 PM / Features
By Daniel Fung
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Game 63: Classic collapse
Sunday\'s game was billed as the Heritage Classic but there was hardly anything that was classic about it.
Sunday's game was billed as the Heritage Classic but there was hardly anything that was classic about it.

In fact the only thing that was all-too-familiar in Sunday's contest was that the Canucks, for the ninth time in their last 10 outings, skated off the ice as the second-best team.

Cody Ceci's second period goal proved to be the game-winner as the Senators rallied from an early 2-0 deficit to defeat the Canucks 4-2 at the 2014 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic at BC Place.

Clarke MacArthur, Erik Karlsson and Colin Greening also scored for the Senators while Jason Garrison and Zack Kassian had the goals for the Canucks, who fell for the first time in seven head-to-head meetings against Ottawa.

Even before puck drop on Sunday it was no secret the game would not offer the prototypical outdoor experience. The uncooperative weather outside during the first-ever NHL game held in a retractable-roof facility forced the league to make full use of that amenity as the roof was kept closed for the contest.

The scene inside BC Place, complete with the faux snow set-up, gave the venue the look of a winter wonderland and, for a brief time, the Canucks' play looked like it would be just as magical as the building seemed.

A Garrison power play tally and an unassisted Kassian goal gave the Canucks a 2-0 lead before the game was even 12 minutes old. But, just like the decor inside BC Place, the appearance of a Canucks team capable of hanging on to a lead and winning proved little more than an elaborate illusion.

MacArthur and Karlsson scored back-to-back goals in a span of 108 seconds to square the affair before the end of the opening frame. Ceci would give the Sens the advantage just past the midway mark of the second period with a wicked snap shot coming down the right wing on a Senators' rush set up by Jason Spezza.

Greening would to round out the scoring by putting the puck into an empty net with 1:33 remaining in regulation.

Eddie Lack, who was a somewhat surprise starter ahead of Roberto Luongo, had a solid if unspectacular outing turning aside 24 of 27 shots in the loss.

Craig Anderson made 29 saves on 31 shots in the victory for Ottawa.

The Canucks begin a two-game road trip on Tuesday when they visit the Phoenix Coyotes.


NOTES AND NUMBERS:
Road teams improved to 10-2-1 all-time in NHL outdoor regular season games... Every player that participated in Sunday's contest was making their NHL outdoor game debut... The official announced attendance was 54,194... The winner of the 50/50 jackpot on Sunday took home $103,722... Jason Garrison skated in his 300th career NHL game and snapped a six-game goal drought... Alex Burrows skated in his 600th career NHL game... Daniel Sedin lasted just 6:10 before leaving the game in the second period with an apparent lower-body injury. He was hit into the end boards by Ottawa's Marc Methot and had to be helped off the ice.

BOO(LUU)-BIRDS: The decision not to start Roberto Luongo in the Heritage Classic was an unpopular decision to say the least amongst Canucks fans, many of whom took the opportunity during the announcement of the starting lineup to voice their displeasure and even going as far as starting a "We Want Lou" chant shortly after the Sens' third goal. The biggest jeers of the day, however, didn't come at the goaltender announcement or even immediately following any of the four goals scored by the Senators. Instead, they were reserved for a Ski-Doo Snowmobile ad that played during a TV timeout that featured none other than ex-Canucks captain Mark Messier.

QUINN HONOURED: Hosting the Heritage Classic wasn't the only big moment for the Canucks' organization on Sunday. During the second period of the contest, they also announced that former head coach and general manager Pat Quinn would be inducted into the team's Ring of Honour at Rogers Arena on April 13 prior to the game against the Calgary Flames. Quinn, who is most remembered for leading the Canucks to the Stanley Cup Final in 1994, was on hand at the Heritage Classic along with several other members of that 1994 team and was acknowledged in a pre-game ceremony prior to puck drop.