Vancouver - Nov. 11, 2011 - The Vancouver Canucks did all their damage in the first period, then literally hung on for the remaining 40 minutes to narrowly beat the Los Angeles Kings 3-2. Roberto Luongo looked shaky, almost nervous at times, but came through with some big saves when it mattered, resulting in Staples Arena erupting in LOOOOUUUUUU’s. It’s nice to see almost as much white and blue in the crowd as home town black and silver! Socal do love the Canucks!
It was the Canucks special teams again that pumped in the goals early thanks to the Kings Trevor Lewis’ stupid, untimely, unnecessary, flagrant elbow to the chops of Kevin Bieksa away from the play in the first period that put the Canucks up 2-0 by scoring twice on the 5 minute power play. But as is usual Canuck habit lately, they let the Kings crawl back into the game to take it to the final minutes of the third before they actually win the it.
The Kings offered up their welcoming gift to the visiting team early as by the 5:35 mark of the first period the Canucks were enjoying a 5 on 3 power play thanks to a Trevor Lewis major for elbowing and a Drew Doughty cross checking penalty, and Canucks Sami Salo was only too happy to oblige as he opened the scoring with his patented Howitzer blast from just inside the blue line. 1-0 Canucks, and they were still on the power play when Andrew Ebbett showed what he spent his time doing on the 3 day break, as he skillfully banked his shot off Willie Mitchell as he battled for position with David Booth in front of goaltender Quick. It was a nice bank shot to make it 2-0 and not even 10 minutes had passed in the game yet!
Aaron Rome, playing in just his second game back from a pre-season injury is doing his part to make himself an early household name in Canuck Nation as he scored his second goal in as many games with a seeing eye blast from the blue line to put the Nucks up 3-0 over the home team. The Canucks were up by three and Luongo was on his second issue of MAD magazine as he only faced 3 shots in total in the first period, so the rout was on, right?
After totally dominating the Kings in the first period, thanks in large part to the Kings’ penalty trouble early, the Canucks found a way to keep the their opponent hanging around long enough to make a game out of it. With Captain Henrik sitting in the box, the self-important Drew Doughty took time away from his money counting machine and wired a shot just under the crossbar on Luongo’s glove side to put the Kings on the board. It was a Sami Salo type shot that had a vapor trail behind it so there was no fault on Luongo at not being able to stop it. Hell, he couldn’t have even it! But Luongo had to put his reading material away because the Kings were bringing the play in the second, almost keeping pace with the shots on net as the Canucks. With only 3 shots on Luongo in the first, they manged to force Luongo to make a 12 in the second period as both teams couldn’t really get anything going offensively in the middle frame.
The Kings owned the third period, out-shooting the Canucks 15 to 6, but couldn’t get anything past Lou until the 18:50 mark to if noting else make the score respectable at 3-2. Again, it was the 5 on 5 play of the Canucks that seriously needs some work as the Kings pressed hard in the third, seemingly pushing the well rested Canucks to their breaking point. If it was any other team besides the goal starved Kings, the results of the game could have been different.
Some notable bright spots were Hank and Daniel Sedin as they continue their points streaks, Daniel with two, and Hank one with assist. Aaron Rome with a goal and only one penalty! Nice to see that for a change! David Booth is like a bomb ready to explode as he has two fantastic scoring opportunities but just missed on both attempts. Seriously, when he gets it into gear, he and the second line are going to be fun to watch!
So with back to back wins it’s off to Anaheim to face the Quacks who have their problems as they are mired in a six game losing streak. Seems like a perfect opportunity for the Canucks to get in some duck hunting on this road trip before heading home!