The Canucks managed to pull out a regulation time victory against the visitors from the mile high city last night. The 3-1 victory by the Canucks over the Colorado Avalanche was only the fourth regulation time result for the team in their last 14 games.
Early on it looked as if the Canucks would prevail by the end of the first, never mind regulation. David Booth scored 13 seconds into the game on a feed from Mason Raymond who had made a nifty move inside the blueline against Avs defenceman Jan Hejda who momentarily overplayed Raymond to the outside. For large parts of the first period, Canucks controlled the play hemming the Avalanche in their own end for prolonged periods of time. The only thing missing was the dulcet melody of “Sweet Georgia Brown”. JS Giguere kept the Avalanche in the game but the strain of the pucks being peppered at him from all angles was too much for the old war horse’s groin to take and as a result he was forced to leave the game during a TV timeout late in the first, giving way to Semyon Varlamov.
Despite controlling the play in the first, the Avs limited the deficit to one and regrouped for a much more evenly played second. Erik Johnson evened the score halfway through the second on a heady pass from Milan Hejduk with the second assist going to local boy David Jones.
A series of competent saves from either netminder kept the game tied through much of the third until with six and a half minute to go Hodgson found Hansen with a crisp cross ice pass. Hansen utilized a one timer and “ginoed top chedd” as the kids like to say. The goal proved to be the winner as the Canucks would add an empty netter to seal it late in the third.
An honorable mention in a losing effort goes to Gabriel Landeskog who led all Avalanche in time on ice. The strength on both the puck and the man exhibited by this former Kitchener Ranger belies the fact that he is only 19 years of age. He may not become a top goal scorer in the league but I expect he will become one of its best two-way players in the years to come.
Next up the Canucks host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday. Note the 4:00 PM start time (to cater to those big shots in the East).
Photograph by: Ian Lindsay, PNG