Canucks 4, Maple Leafs 1
In a game that started slow and sloppy, the Vancouver Canucks
saved their best for late and beat the Toronto Maple Leafs
Alex Burrows scored with 1:07 left in the first period, Jannik
Hansen scored with 2:06 remaining in the second, and Christian
Ehrhoff and Henrik Sedin scored in the final five minutes as
Vancouver beat the Maple Leafs 4-1 on Saturday.
”Obviously, it was a little sloppy at the beginning but it
really doesn’t matter at the end when we get the two points,” said
Ehrhoff, whose goal with 5:03 left restored Vancouver’s two-goal
cushion. ”It kind of put the game away.”
Mikhail Grabovski made it 2-1 8:14 into the third when Roberto
Luongo whiffed on his 30-foot shot with his glove.
”It was a close game score-wise most of it, but I thought we
had control of the game,” Sedin said. ”I thought we had the play
most of he time.”
Luongo finished with 27 saves, including a stop on an early
breakaway by Phil Kessel, as the Canucks improved to 8-1-1 in their
last 10 games.
A rare afternoon start in Vancouver was filled with sloppy play
and early penalties. Toronto failed to convert a 5-on-3 power play
that lasted 49 seconds midway through the first period. Luongo
threw out his right pad to rob Kris Versteeg on a tap-in on the
Maple Leafs’ best chance.
”The save he made on the 5-on-3, it’s one of those plays where
the other team’s top guys get confidence if they score there and he
stopped it and it’s still a tied game,” Sedin said.
Luongo said he saw Grabovski’s shot but wasn’t sure if it
deflected off the stick of Canucks defenseman Alex Edler. Replays
showed it didn’t.
”If it didn’t, I just probably blacked out for a second
there,” Luongo said with a laugh.
Jonas Gustavsson started in place of Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who
aggravated a groin injury Thursday in Calgary. Gustavsson finished
with 25 saves for Toronto, which has lost eight straight to the
Canucks since 2003.
”The bounces weren’t with us,” Gustavsson said. ”A couple of
unlucky bounces. Those bounces are maybe sometimes the bounces you
need when you play away, especially against a good team like
Vancouver opened the scoring after Kevin Bieksa’s point shot hit
a defenseman in front. Burrows, parked in front, spun around and
swiped the bouncing puck in before Gustavsson could dive
Daniel Sedin assisted on the play to extend his point streak to
10 games. He has four goals and 10 assists in the NHL’s
second-longest active run.
The Canucks’ No. 1-ranked power play failed to capitalize on a
four-minute advantage midway through the second period. Gustavsson
made three big saves behind the NHL’s second-worst penalty-killing
unit during that chance. He didn’t have any chance when a pretty
passing play by Jeff Tambellini and Ryan Kesler off a 3-on-2 rush
left Hansen with an empty net late in the period.
”I was a couple of inches from stopping that, too,” Gustavsson
Henrik Sedin hit the post six minutes into the third after a
similar play, and Grabovski closed the gap off a harmless-looking
rush 2 1/2 minutes later with a long shot that tipped in off
Ehrhoff returned to the lineup after he missed three games
because of vertigo that resulted when a puck hit him in the ear. He
scored with a point shot that deflected in under Gustavsson.
”At the end of the day only one line scored again, Toronto
coach Ron Wilson said. ”Other guys have got to do what they re
paid to do which is score.”
NOTES: Toronto C Nazim Kadri, the No. 7 pick in the 2009 draft,
was a healthy scratch. He played 16 games after being called up
from the AHL. … Toronto D Mike Komisarek returned after missing
four games with a hand injury. D Keith Aulie was sent back to the
AHL. … Ehrhoff’s injury was first diagnosed as a concussion. …
Canucks RW Aaron Volpatti, who played at Brown University, made his
NHL debut opposite fellow Ivy Leaguer LW Tanner Glass, who went to