|CAR||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||3|
|VAN||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||4|
PIC OF THE GAME
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) - Maybe it wasn't exactly the way they pictured it would happen, but it was perfect.
Alex Burrows and Vancouver's penalty killers delivered when the Canucks needed them the most.
Burrows scored on a short-handed breakaway with 1:22 left and Vancouver beat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 on Tuesday night to end an eight-game skid.
"Tied at 3 after 57 minutes and we have to kill a penalty and they already had two goals on their power play, a lot of people probably thought it was going to be another one of those games we wouldn't be able to close," Burrows said.
"But we found a way to get it done, that's the bottom line, and now it's a lot of pressure off everybody's shoulders."
This isn't all new territory for Burrows, scoring his third short-handed goal of the season, leading the team and tied for second best in the League with the likes of Rick Nash, Patrick Marleau, and Tomas Plekanec.
With his mind focused on killing a late third period hooking penalty on Mattias Ohlund, he didn't have much time to think about what he would do with the puck so he went with something he already knew.
"First of all, I went out there to kill, that was the main goal to kill the penalty, we had already given up two [power play] goals.
I saw Kes with a one on one race and I knew if he was able to get there first I would have a breakaway. He did a really good job, leaning forward and getting that puck to me and I was able to go with my go-to move."
Ryan Kesler beat pinching Carolina defenseman Joni Pitkanen to a loose puck and chipped it up to Burrows, who skated in alone from the blue line and roofed a backhand deke past the outstretched blocker of goalie Cam Ward.
"We knew we had to be good on that final penalty kill, we didn't want to give up another one," said Kesler, who had a goal and two assists. "It was just kind of a lucky bounce, the defenseman stepped up and Burrows was behind."
Mats Sundin had a goal and an assist, and Kevin Bieksa also scored for the Canucks, who moved back into seventh place in the Western Conference playoff race, one point ahead of Minnesota, Edmonton, Columbus and Phoenix. They also ended a nine-game home skid (0-6-3).
A goal and an assist finishing a plus-2 rating on the night. Won 15 of 19 draws in the circle, good for 79%.
A three-point night for the Canucks most consistent player through the slide. Finished a plus-3 and assisted on the game winner.
Used his signature move to win it for the Canucks in an exciting fashion as he gets a breakaway while shorthanded.
"It seems like when things are not going great it takes a goal like that to get out of a funk," Sundin said. "So, hopefully, we can build on that."
Roberto Luongo made 24 saves for his first win in six games after missing almost two months with a groin injury. Luongo's first win since Nov. 19 also was the Canucks' first victory since Jan. 7, and their first at home since Dec. 28.
"It feels really good, it's been on everyone's minds," Luongo said. "You try not to think about it but it's kind of hard. We just wanted to get this first win out the way, end the streak and get back to normal life."
Defensemen Joe Corvo and Pitkanen scored 25 seconds apart midway through the second period to tie it, and Eric Staal tied it again 33 seconds into the third. But Carolina still lost for the second time in six games, falling one point behind Florida for eighth in the Eastern Conference.
"I thought our team played pretty well, and I didn't help them by any means," said Ward, who made 20 saves in his 17th straight start.
"That was a game I was fighting the puck it seemed like all night on the simplest shots. We made a mistake there on the power play at the end but that's an opportunity for me to step up and make a save because I didn't make a save all game for us. It stings because obviously we really need the points."
After Luongo made point-blank stops on Ray Whitney and Justin Williams in tight in the opening minute, Bieksa opened the scoring on the power play at 2:08 with a point shot that hit the glove of a screened Ward and trickled into the net.
It was just the second power-play goal surrendered by Carolina in 19 chances.
Kesler, who ended an 11-game goal drought with two his last game, doubled the lead with a sharp-angle shot that beat Ward on the short side 10 minutes later.
But Corvo, on a power play one-timer with Luongo trying to find his dropped stick, got Carolina back into the game. Both Canucks defensemen lost their sticks on the next shift, and Pitkanen blew a shot from the same spot atop the right faceoff circle through Luongo's legs to tie it - the third time in the last five games that Vancouver has blown a two-goal lead in the second period.
Sundin, criticized for having three points and a minus-6 rating in his first nine games after signing Dec. 18, restored the Canucks lead on a wraparound with 4:50 left in the second period.
Sundin played on a new line with Pavol Demitra, who had two assists in his first game back after missing three with a groin injury, and Kesler, who was coming off a two-goal game. The new trio combined for seven points.
"Hopefully, our line can keep creating scoring and getting scoring chances, and hopefully, we'll get better from there," Sundin said.
The Canucks' penalty-killing problems hurt them again 33 seconds into the third. Corvo sent a cross-ice pass to Whitney alone atop the left faceoff circle - the exact spot the first two goals were scored from - and Whitney fed it back across to Staal alone on the backdoor for an easy one-timer.
It was the second power-play goal on three chances for Carolina, and the 11th surrendered in the last 25 chances over six games for the Canucks.
"We gave up two goals tonight, but the first one (Kesler) and (Luongo) lose sticks," Burrows said. "The other one was a misunderstanding and they made a tic-tac-toe with one-touch passes and a one-timer and were able to bury it. But we had the last word at the end with a big goal."
Notes: Luongo was 0-2-3 with a .875 save percentage and 3.70 goals-against average in his first five games back from a Nov. 22 groin injury. ... Carolina hasn't won a game in Vancouver since Oct. 15, 1999, losing five straight since the victory.
|PPG - Kevin Bieksa (7) ASST: Henrik Sedin (39), Daniel Sedin (27)|
1 - 0 VAN
|Ryan Kesler (12) ASST: Pavol Demitra (13), Mats Sundin (2)|
2 - 0 VAN
|PPG - Joe Corvo (9) ASST: Eric Staal (16), Bryan Rodney (1)|
2 - 1 VAN
|Joni Pitkanen (5) ASST: Ray Whitney (25), Matt Cullen (10)|
2 - 2 Tie
|Mats Sundin (3) ASST: Pavol Demitra (14), Ryan Kesler (17)|
3 - 2 VAN
|PPG - Eric Staal (22) ASST: Ray Whitney (26), Joe Corvo (15)|
3 - 3 Tie
|SHG - Alexandre Burrows (12) ASST: Ryan Kesler (18)|
4 - 3 VAN
|Rod Brind'Amour Tripping against Kyle Wellwood|
|Tuomo Ruutu Hooking against Taylor Pyatt|
|Darcy Hordichuk Interference against Tuomo Ruutu|
|Kevin Bieksa Hi-sticking against Brandon Sutter|
|Mattias Ohlund Slashing against Sergei Samsonov|
|Ryan Bayda Interference on goalkeeper against Roberto Luongo|
|Chad LaRose Interference on goalkeeper against Roberto Luongo|
|Mattias Ohlund Hooking against Patrick Eaves|
|Joni Pitkanen Slashing against Alexandre Burrows|
|SA: 24||TOI: 59:04|
|Saves: 20||EV: 16 - 18|
|PIM: 0||PP: 4 - 5|
|SV%: .833||SH: 0 - 1|
|SA: 27||TOI: 59:46|
|Saves: 24||EV: 20 - 21|
|PIM: 0||PP: 4 - 6|
|SV%: .889||SH: 0 - 0|