Vancouver (W) @ Colorado (OTL) Final Score: 3-2 (Shootout)
Current Record: 32-16-5
Another game in the books, and another game where the Canucks took more points than they probably deserved.
After tying the score late in the game, Vancouver came away with a 3-2 shootout win against the Colorado Avalanche Saturday afternoon. Mason Raymond scored the lone shootout goal after Kevin Bieksa tied the game with just 34.1 seconds left in the third period. Ryan Kesler opened the scoring early in the first period, but the Avalanche, with goals from David Jones and Jay McClement, led for most of the game. Roberto Luongo was once again stellar in goal, making 44 saves, including one in the shootout, while Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped 27 in the loss.
The Canucks appeared to get off to a great start after some early pressure when Kesler one-timed a feed from Alexander Edler past Giguere. David Booth also had an assist on the play, giving him 6 points in 7 games since returning from a knee injury. However, the Avalanche pushed back, and with David Booth in the penalty box for goaltender interference, Paul Stastny managed to find a wide-open Jones who slipped it past Luongo.
Colorado later went ahead early in the second period when Kevin Bieksa turned the puck over in his own zone. The defenseman attempted a backhand pass behind the net to Dan Hamhuis, but the puck took an odd bounce of the end-boards right in front to McClement who promptly ripped it past Luongo for his first goal in 19 games.
Despite getting four powerplays throughout the course of the game, the Canucks were unable to capitalize with the man advantage until the last minute of the game when they pulled Luongo for the extra attacker. After Kevin Bieksa prevented an empty net goal with a diving stop at one end, the Canucks attempted to take possession in the Colorado zone. With time running out, the Avalanche tried to clear the puck, but in a play reminiscent of last year’s Western Conference Finals, the puck deflected off a stanchion right to the stick of Bieksa who wire it past Giguere with Booth screening.
It was Bieksa’s first goal since scoring on New Year’s Eve against Los Angeles.
After either team failed to win the game in overtime, the Avalanche led with Milan Hejduk in the shootout. The forward opened up the net with a deke on Luongo but only managed to put his backhand attempt over the crossbar. Max Lapierre and Gabriel Landeskog followed with two more misses until Mason Raymond was up. The forward skated wide right as he normally does to do a spin-o-rama, but instead opted to shoot, catching Giguere standing and putting it between his legs. The Avalanche’s final shooter was Ryan O’Reilly, and though he came in with speed, Luongo stuck with him and saved his backhand attempt to win it the game for the Canucks.
The Canucks now have a couple of days off as they head to Nashville for their next game on Tuesday.