Opening Night Jitters
If Roberto Luongo was trying to prove to fans that he had forgotten about the playoffs.. well.. insert your own pithy comment in here.
Luongo was shaky-very shaky- and the Canucks lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 in a shootout. Despite Luongo, the Canucks showed toughness and resilience, however, they also took dumb penalties at dumb times. Worse, they couldn't kill them off.
First, however, the game.
James Neal started the party by scoring his first of the season 5:04 into the game. Neal threw a shot at the net from a bad angle. It bounced off Luongo's back leg and trickled in. Not the best way to ring in the new season.
Then, with Kevin Bieksa off for hooking, Matt Cooke roofed a sweet feed from Pascal Dupuis for his first of the season, on the powerplay.
Fan favourite Max Lappierre got the Canucks back in the game, by mirroring Neals earlier goal. He threw it on net, and Pittsburgh goaltender Marc Andre Fleury accidentally kicked it in.
In the second, Matt Cooke continued to haunt his former team, wristing a weak shot through Luongo for his second goal of the game.
However, with less than three minutes in the period, the much maligned Keith Ballard took a great feed from Henrik Sedin and put the puck past Fleury for his first of the year.
In the third, It was Daniel Sedin wristing a shot past Fleury to tie the game at 3. Cody Hodgson, filling in for Ryan Kesler on the second line, almost won the game with minutes left, but watched his shot trickle JUST wide.
Overtime proved nothing, and in the shootout, both Mikael Samuelsson and Alex Burrows missed their shots. Kris Letang and Evgeni Malkin did not, and the Penugins skated away victorious.
October has not been Luongo's month; with Ryan Kesler out for another 4-5 games, the Canucks need that trend to change immediately.