Canucks 5, Senators 1
Home never felt so good for the Canucks.
Mikael Samuelsson scored twice and added an assist, and the
Vancouver Canucks returned home to GM Place after playing an
NHL-record 14 straight on the road to beat the Ottawa Senators 5-1
on Saturday night.
“We were just excited to get back,” Roberto Luongo said after
making 13 saves. “It’s been such a long time that we haven’t
played here and guys were just excited to play in front of the home
Samuelsson picked up where he left off at the end of a six-week
road trip made necessary because Vancouver hosted the 2010
Olympics. He extended his scoring streak to six games with a power
play goal late in the first period, and added his ninth goal of the
run – and 30th of the season – on a partial breakaway midway
through the second to make it 3-1.
“When you score some goals, you see a lot of net and I do right
now,” Samuelsson said. “I’ve scored five in a row (before), but
nothing like this.”
Samuelsson, who was left off Sweden’s Olympic team despite
playing well with Daniel and Henrik Sedin en route to the 2006 gold
medal, now has seven goals in 10 periods since being moved onto the
Canucks’ top line with the identical twins.
“No secret those two guys are really good, they find each other
really good and right now I try to stay open and get the puck once
in a while,” Samuelsson said of playing with the Sedins. “We
think the game in the same way.”
Alex Burrows broke a 1-1 tie on a short-handed breakaway 9:12
into the second period, and Daniel Sedin made it 4-1 on a power
play with 3:53 left.
Sami Salo rounded out the scoring on a delayed penalty in the
third and Vancouver improved to 5-1-1 in its last seven games and
24-7-1 at home.
“Probably one of our best games of the year tonight,” Luongo
Jason Spezza scored, and Pascal Leclaire made 30 saves for
Ottawa, which has lost five of six since the Olympic break after
winning 14 of 16 going into it.
“I don’t know what to say about that effort,” coach Cory
Clouston said. “They played like it was a playoff game and we
weren’t ready to step our game up.”
Playing at home for the first time since Jan. 27, the Canucks
didn’t look at all road weary, outshooting the Senators 17-2 in the
opening period and taking the lead on Samuelsson’s power play goal
with 2:14 left.
It could have been a lot worse if not for Leclaire.
He made several great saves, including a stellar sliding right
pad stop on Ryan Kesler’s one-timer after a 2-on-1 feed with 6:21
left in the period.
“We knew they were going to come out hard,” Leclaire said.
“They’ve been away from home for such a long time with all the
Olympic stuff and they are a pretty good team when they get
Samuelsson finally beat Leclaire with a wrist shot over the
glove from the slot, but Leclaire robbed Daniel Sedin from the same
spot on another power play in the final minute and somehow gloved
Henrik Sedin’s screen shot at the buzzer.
It seemed to give the Senators life early in the second
Ottawa had the first eight shots, and Spezza walked around
defenseman Andrew Alberts off the rush and snapped a quick shot
past Luongo to tie it 3 minutes in.
The Senators, whose only two shots of the first period were on a
power play, had a chance to go ahead on their first advantage of
the second. Instead Burrows scored his fifth short-handed goal of
the season – tying him for the NHL lead – on the Canucks’ first
shot of the period.
“After that, we’re not even in the game,” Spezza said.
Samuelsson’s second goal came 2 minutes later, and he had a
chance for his second hat trick in three games, but was turned away
on a 3-on-2 before setting up Salo’s goal on the rebound.
“He’s scoring in bunches right now,” Henrik Sedin said about
Samuelsson. “We knew each other from before and he’s not a tough
guy to play with.”
NOTES: Kesler extended his points streak to 12 games (5 goals, 9
assists) by setting up Burrows’ breakaway. Daniel Sedin has two
goals and 12 assists in a nine-game streak. … Spezza’s goal was
his first in six games since the Olympics after going into the
break with 10 in 11 games. … Canucks D Kevin Bieksa returned
after missing 25 games with lacerated ankle tendons that required