In Kess We trust: Canucks win in shootout 5-4
1) Ryan Kesler. Two goals, one assist, most dominant Canuck on the ice
2) Christian Ehrhoff: 2 assists before leaving game with injury
3) Teemu Selanne: Dangerous all night, 1 goal, 1 assist for 40 year old.
It was tense, nerve wracking, and when it was all over, cheers echoed through the rafters in Rogers Arena. Ryan Kesler scored two goals, including the game tying mark with 21.6 seconds left, and the Cancks stole two points from the Ducks, winning 5-4 in a shootout.
The game was far from beautiful, but it was deliciously entertaining. Corey Perry, starting to become very disliked in Vancouver, had the opening tally on the Powerplay, and the Ducks looked to be in control. However, just over two minutes later, Ryan Kesler scored his first of the night his 11th, also on a powerplay. Kesler, who had been playing marvelous hockey this homestand will little result, finally got rewarded by tipping a point shot home.
A mere eleven seconds later, Jeff Tambellini whacked a rebound past backup goaltender Curtis McElhinney for his fifth of the season, and the Canucks were the ones who seemed to be in control, 2-1.
It was a seesaw battle however, as Joffrey Lupul wristed a shot past Luongo just nine minutes into the second. It was a questionable goal for sure, and Luongo didn't really look as dominant as he had looked previously at home. Then, with only seventeen seconds left in the second period, Teemu Selanne, the 40 year old finnish flash wristed a knuckler over Luongo and into the back of the net.
Just like that, the Ducks had all the momentum going into the third, and it showed.
Eleven minutes into the third, Cam Fowler had his shot go off Luongo, and then off the inside of Alexander Edler's knee and past Bobby Lou. It was a weird goal, and the life was sucked out of the building; It was 4-2 with nine minutes left. It seemed that the Canucks would drop another contest at home, where they had previously been invincible!
Cue the comeback.
It all started when Daniel Sedin knocked his 15th goal of the year past McElhinney on a rebound. The goal wasn't without controversy though; The original shot had hit McElhinney in the mask, and he fell to the ice clutching his face. While he was falling to the ice, Daniel Sedin had already deposited the puck into the net. Ducks head Coach Randy Carlyle was livid, claiming that the referees should have blown play dead, as is customary to do when a goalie is hit in the mask. Nevertheless, it was 4-3 ducks.
Then, with the stage set for a dramatic finish, Ryan Kesler showed why he is a leader on this team. He would not give up on the play, whacking at the puck, getting shoved to ice, and then continuing to hit the puck while on his behind, finally banking it in off Jonas Hiller's stick for his 12th of the season and second of the game.
Hiller had come into the game to replace McElhinney, and it was clear he was not warmed up at all. It was 5-5 with 21.6 seconds left, and Rogers Arena was rocking.
The Canucks had plenty of opportunities to end the game in the first Overtime session, especially at the end of the period. Corey Perry, showing all types of class and hockey smarts, decided it would be in his teams best interest if he punched Daniel Sedin in the face. The Canucks ended up with a powerplay with under a minute left, but couldn't capitalize.
The shootout, usually Luongo's nightmare, was kind to him this time, as he managed to just, and I mean just, get his glove on Joffrey Lupul's hard wrister, after Jeff Tambellini had made a perfect shot under the crossbar to give the Canucks a lead.
Then, after a Ryan Kesler miss, one that will end up on blooper reels for years to come, Teemu Selanne tried to go under the bar, but ended up going over the net. Lastly, after Hiller made a brilliant stop on a Daniel Sedin deke, Corey Perry shot right into Luongo's leg pads.
Just like that, the Canucks had stolen two points.
The Canucks will now get two days off and host old friend Mattias Ohlund and the Tampa Bay Lightning Saturday night at 7:30 pm pacific time.
Notes: Jeff Tambellini has been producing, getting 5 points in 9 games since being called up..
Markus Naslund will have his jersey retired on Saturday. His number 19 will join Stan Smyl's number 12 and Trevor Linden's number 16 as the only official retired jerseys in Canucks Franchise history..
Ryan Kesler has matured apparently, as he has pledged he will no longer "beak" or trash talk in hockey games, instead opting to focus on his game. Alex Burrows has also agreed to do this.
Mason Raymond was involved in a collision in the third period and only had one shift afterwards..
Curtis McElhinney was hit in the mask with the puck, bled profusely, and did not return to the game.
Christian Ehrhoff was hit in the ear with a puck, left game and did not return