Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Canucks 3 Rangers 2

The Vancouver Canucks broke a three-game losing streak on the road by beating the New York Rangers 3-2 at Madison Square Garden. Matt Cooke returned from a broken jaw and scored the game-winning goal, and Alex Auld stopped 34 of 36 Rangers shots to lead the Canucks. With the win, the Canucks regained first place in the Northwest Division with 40 points (19-9-2) and a game in hand over the Calgary Flames.

Game Recaps: canucks.com . Vancouver Sun . ESPN
Statistics: Score Sheet . Stat Sheet
My notes from the game:
  • The Canucks, once again, came out flying in the first period. They controlled the play for most of the period, and at one time, were outshooting the Rangers 12-3. A lot of those shots were from high-quality scoring chances and if not for Henrik Lundqvist, the Canucks could have had a multi-goal lead. Instead, both teams finished the period scoreless.
  • In his first game since the Canucks announced that Dan Cloutier was most likely done for the seaosn, Alex Auld was great. The Rangers pressed hard in the second half of the game but Auld made big saves when he needed to, some of them from in close. He was especially sharp in the third period, stopping all but one of the Rangers' 16 shots.
  • Matt Cooke returned to the lineup and immediately paid dividends for the Canucks. He got his first hit a couple of minutes into the game and set the tone for the team. Cooke checked hard and finished checks all night before scoring the game-winner with four minutes left in the game. He also had 4 shots, 4 hits and a +1 rating in 14:33 minutes of ice-time.
  • For the second game in a row, Todd Bertuzzi was grouchy and effective. Can someone explain how he got the instigator penalty when he came to Naslund's defense? As John Garrett pointed out - and replays showed - Hollweg dropped the gloves before Todd did.
  • More on Hollweg - here's what's wrong with the NHL... a relative-unknown throws a questionable elbow to the head of one of the league's star players then gets away fairly lightly. Two minutes in the penalty box is hardly a deterrent. Neither is knowing the other team can't come after you without taking 17 minutes (or more) in penalties.
Next up: Philadelphia on Thursday.
posted by J.J. Guerrero, 11:20 PM


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