CANUCKS 4 @ RED WINGS 3 (OT)
The Vancouver Canucks opened the 2008-09 regular season with two consecutive wins, but their third game of the season, a 5-1 loss to the Washington Capitals last Monday night, quickly erased the memory of those opening wins. The Canucks (2-1-0) look to bounce back tonight as they visit Joe Louis Arena to play the defending Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Wings. The Wings (2-1-0) are coming off two straight road wins after starting the season with a 3-2 loss to the Maple Leafs, they'll be looking for some redemption in front of their home crowd tonight, and the Canucks who want to prove their worth on the road.
This is Vancouver's third game on a six-game road trip, and their keys to victory tonight are getting more shots on net (Washington outshot them 35-10), Roberto Luongo needs to stand his ground (he's allowed nine goals in his last two outings) and shutting down Detroit's big offensive weapons (if that's possible).
The Canucks may be without Taylor Pyatt tonight as he bruised his foot against Washington, he's to be a game-time decision. Kevin Bieksa is feeling better but he won't likely be back for Vancouver until later on this road trip, and Lawrence Nycholat is still hurt with a bad back, but coach Vigneault said he could see time on this road trip as well.
According to the Red Wings' website, Henrik Zetterberg has a strained groin so 21-year-old Darren Helm has been called up for tonight's game. Veteran Darren McCarty and senior citizen Chris Chelios are both also currently in the infirmary so they won't hit the ice.
It's the Canucks and the Red Wings, and it's next!
20:00 - What's up everybody, Derek on the keyboard once again bringing you everything you need to know throughout tonight's game. I don't know about you, but I think the Nucks are going to be up for this game. Playing the defending champs should bring the best out of almost all the Canucks, more goals will hopefully be the result. Predictions anyone?
19:37 - Vancouver is looking to get the early jump on Detroit, they've already flown offside twice to start this one.
17:30 - The second line of Pavol Demitra, Mason Raymond and Taylor Pyatt hasn't been too explosive through three games, but they're showing some life already against the Red Wings. They cycled the puck nicely in the Detroit's zone but didn't get any shots on net.
14:52 - 1-0 VANCOUVER - You can thank the live boards in Detroit for that goal. Alex Burrows shot the puck on net, it went wide left, but bounced to the right of the goal and Jannik Hansen tucked it in. That's Hansen's first NHL goal; Vancouver has now scored on their first shot on net in two straight games.
13:35 - A fluster of activity in front of the Canucks' net forced Roberto Luongo to make his first big save of the game before falling to his back. Detroit retained possession and were able to draw a penalty, they'll put their power play to work for the next two or less. Alex Edler is in the box for interference.
13:03 - 1-1 TIE - POWER PLAY GOAL - Pavel Datsyuk's got some kind of shot, he just demolished the puck from just over the left side of the Vancouver blueline. It looked like it went off the left post and out, but upon review it was tipped by Tomas Holmstrom and went off the back post in the middle of the net and out, so it's a goal. That's Holmstrom's fourth goal of the season.
13:03 - Play continued when it was thought that Datsyuk hit the post and Rafalski took an interference penalty, so despite scoring on the play, he's now serving an interference penalty. Power play Canucks.
9:23 - 2-1 VANCOUVER - The Canucks couldn't do anything while up a man, but they kept the pressure on and it led to another goal. The third line of Hansen, Burrows and Kesler worked the puck in deep before sending it around to Shane O'Brien at Detroit's blueline, he shot from the point and Kesler was able to get a stick on it to re-direct it past a confused Chris Osgood. That's Kess' second goal of the year and O'Brien's first point as a Canuck; Sami Salo also drew an assist on the play, he now has three this season.
7:11 - With the Canucks on the power play for the second time, Steve Bernier had a great chance to increase his team's lead to two goals. He got the puck alone in front but couldn't beat Osgood from the doorstep.
5:15 - One shot for Vancouver on that PP, they now have five this period to Detroit's six and are 0-for-2 with Detroit in the penalty box.
4:04 - Willie Mitchell and Johan Franzen are getting to know each other as they take part in a heated conversation. Both players take a seat in the box, but not, they didn't stop beaking each other.
3:01 - Marian Hossa just teed one up and it almost eluded Luongo. Louie made the save, but just barely.
1:30 - Vancouver's third line has been its best so far tonight and Kes, Burr and Hansen were just snooping around in Detroit's zone once again. No real scoring chances came of it, they've got some kind of energy tonight though.
00:00 - That's it for the opening period, it was a quick one. The Canucks played a near perfect road period, they played well defensively but also took some chances in the Red Wings' zone and it led to two goals. Shots are 11-8 in favor of Detroit, nothing else really jumps off the scoresheet except Vancouver was 10-for-16 in the face-off circle (63%).
19:12 - Daniel and Henrik Sedin just had a promising two-on-one but it was broken up deep by Nicklas Lidstrom before the Sedins could get a shot.
17:44 - Superb chance there for Raymond to net his first of the season. Demitra hit Raymond as he slashed through two defencemen but was unable to get a good shot on net before running into Osgood. Somehow the puck stayed out of the net.
16:52 - Detroit caught Vancouver on a bad change, it led to a partial breakaway for Kirk Maltby down the right side. His shot was easily smothered by captain Louie.
16:18 - 2-2 TIE - POWER PLAY GOAL - Another bad bounce leads to a goal. Lidstrom torched the puck wide of Luongo, but once again a weird bounce got the biscuit to the side of the net where Brian Rafalski was waiting to roof his first goal of the season from the right side. The Red Wings are now 2-for-2 on the power play.
13:58 - Vancouver's third line is at it again (we need a nickname for that line...), they just hemmed the Wings in deep and got two great scoring chances out of it. First Hansen danced his way around before setting up Kesler for a nice one-timer, then Burrows almost put it home after the puck deflected off the boards and stayed in Detroit's zone.
11:28 - The pace of this game is picking up by the minute, these teams are playing like it's overtime. Vancouver's speed is too much for Detroit as the Canucks eventually draw a penalty from Dan Cleary who tripped up Raymond. Vancouver is 0-for-3 on the power play.
10:01 - The Canucks can't even get set up on this power play, Detroit's had more chances to score than Vancouver has. No shots for the road team yet while up a man, the Wings have three.
8:53 - 3-2 DETROIT - That was ugly. Just as the time expired on the Cleary penalty, Demitra fired the puck around the boards trying to get it to his teammates at the point, Datsyuk caught hold of it and sent it to Cleary who had just stepped out of the box. He went in all alone on Luongo and tucked it in. Louie made the first save but couldn't hold the rebound as Cleary scored his first of the season; Datsyuk picked up his second assist of the night on the goal.
7:45 - Save of Osgood's life there, he just took away a goal from Hansen with his glove. I hate to admit it, that was as pretty as saves get.
5:00 - O'Brien's in the sin bin for roughing as this game gets physical, but the Canucks are keeping the Wings at bay on the power play.
4:03 - Some momentum for Vancouver as they kill off the penalty. A strong finish to the second period will go a long way in helping them get back into this game in the third.
1:40 - Both teams look like they're content heading into the second intermission with things the way they are, there's a lot of dump and chase going on. The shots are now 25-20 for Detroit, Burrows, Hansen and Kesler have combined for nine Canucks shots so far.
00:00 - Detroit leads by one goal through two periods, the Wings were simply more lively in the middle frame and it allowed them to take the lead. The good news is that Vancouver was still getting pucks at the net, despite being outplayed, they tested Osgood 12 times. The Sedins haven't done much good or bad this game, look for them to play a part in the third period come-back for the Canucks, should there be one. Vancouver is 150-49-20 when the twins both record at least a point, so a contribution from them in the final 20 minutes would be huge.
18:40 - Luongo just had to come up with a nice save at the right side of his net as Hossa was streaking down and he snapped a quick shot on net. Louie made the save, his 24th of the game.
17:38 - 3-3 TIE - Demitra and Pyatt went in on defenceman Andreas Lilja on a two-on-one, Demitra swung it back to Willie Mitchell the trailer who was stopped by Osgood, but the rebound was flung out to Raymond who streaked in and put it into an empty net. Nice goal to tie things up, that's Raymond's first of the season.
16:21 - Point blank save there by Osgood. The Sedins and Bernier got something going deep in Detroit's zone, Daniel fed Bernier who was alone in front again, he couldn't one-time it in. That's Bernier's third miss in front, he must be getting frustrated.
13:26 - The Canucks aren't mailing this one in, they've had the Wings on their heels on a few consecutive rushes now. They've outshot Detroit 5-3 this period and they look hungry right now. It's anyone's guess which way this game goes at this point.
11:01 - Henrik Sedin is headed to the box for interference. What a weak call. Someone is stuffing dolla dolla billz into the refs pocket to make that call.
9:01 - Hank is back on the ice, that two minutes didn't do anything but pad Luongo's stats. A few nice saves for Booby Lu while on the penalty kill.
8:10 - Detroit is really pressing here, Luongo is holding his ground though. Hossa just handled the puck low on the left side, he looked to pass but instead snuck out in front and almost tucked it past Vancouver's MVP goaltender. Louie was up for the test.
7:26 - The Canucks just responded with some pressure of their own, Pyatt, Raymond and Demitra circled the puck around a few times looking for the right angle. With Pyatt running a screen on Osgood Demitra nearly put Vancouver ahead.
6:20 - Great chance there for the Canucks on a three-on-two. Pyatt, Raymond and Demitra again, they were quick into the Detroit zone in transition, Raymond hit Demitra with a nice cross ice pass but his shot was easily handled by Osgood. These three are making things happen out there right now.
5:36 - Henrik's in the box again, this time for hooking.
4:54 - Hossa just took a holding penalty as he couldn't keep pace with Burrows. It's four-on-four for roughly a 1:30.
3:26 - Short power play now for the Canucks...the Sedins and Kesler are on the ice along with Salo and Edler.
2:07 - Hossa's penalty is over, the teams are back at full strength.
1:04 - Big save by Luongo, Cleary just set up Draper who ripped a nice one-timer right at Louie. He shrugged it off with a nice shoulder save.
00:00 - We're headed to overtime. Shots are 35-28 for Detroit as we head into the final five where a golden goal will win it. This is Vancouver's second OT game of the season, Demitra was the hero last Saturday night in a comeback win over the Flames in Calgary. The Wings have yet to play extra time this year.
4:33 - 4-3 VANCOUVER - Alex Burrows with an individual effort for the ages, he wins it for Vancouver. He gained the blueline by himself, fired a shot wide to the left, then grabbed it off the boards and put it under Osgood's right arm. CANUCKS WIN! CANUCKS WIN! CANUCKS WIN!
FINAL SCORE: VANCOUVER 4 - DETROIT 3 (OT)