Canucks 4, Thrashers 2
Vancouver's Daniel Sedin made the most of his breaks, while the Atlanta Thrashers kept waiting for one to come their way.
Sedin got a couple of good bounces and scored the Canucks' first three goals in a 4-2 victory over the Thrashers on Thursday night.
Sedin opened the scoring on a wraparound 3:09 in, deflected in his second goal with 1:22 left in the first period, and got some help for his hat-trick goal 1:39 into the second. Atlanta forward Nik Antropov accidentally tipped Sedin's backdoor pass to twin brother Henrik Sedin into the net.
``Sometimes you have open nets and you don't score and sometimes these pucks go in, so it evens out, I guess,'' said Sedin, who wasn't sure if he touched the puck on his second goal before it trickled over the line.
It was first credited to Henrik, but changed during intermission. So when Daniel bounced his third one in off Antropov, it took the sellout crowd a minute to start littering the ice with hats.
``I didn't know what to think,'' Daniel said. ``I was a little unsure there, but it's nice.''
Mason Raymond also scored, and Roberto Luongo made 23 saves as the Canucks started an eight-game homestand by snapping a two-game losing skid.
Colby Armstrong and Antropov, on a power play, scored for the Thrashers, who were coming off a 2-1 loss at Calgary on Wednesday.
It was tough enough for Atlanta to give up Sedin's third, but the Thrashers also had an apparent goal by rookie Evander Kane called off late in the second period. Atlanta dropped the final three games of a four-game road trip.
``We've been getting bad breaks the last two or three games, and when that one went off Antropov, when you are a fragile team your team starts to sag,'' coach John Anderson said. ``And then when Evander Kane scores and they don t allow it, again it starts sucking the life out of your team.''
Ondrej Pavelec started in goal for Atlanta after Johan Hedberg played Wednesday at Calgary. Pavelec, pulled from a 5-2 loss in Toronto on Monday, gave up four goals on the first 12 shots. He took little solace in stopping the final 27.
``For half the game, it was a struggle,'' Pavelec said.
Henrik Sedin, Alex Burrows and defenseman Shane O'Brien each had two assists for Vancouver, which lost the final two games of a four-game trip after winning the first two. That dropped the Canucks to 6-10 on the road, leading to Luongo holding a captains-only meeting after the morning skate Thursday.
He stressed the importance of a strong homestand, especially with a 14-game road trip when them team leaves Vancouver for the Olympics.
``We all know what the standings are like and how tight it is, and we need some wins,'' Luongo said.
Vancouver, 11-4 at home, asserted itself against the weary Thrashers, who played for the third time in four nights. The Canucks threw their top line of Daniel and Henrik Sedin with Burrows out early and often. The trio responded with seven points in the first 22 minutes. They have 35 points in nine games since Daniel Sedin returned from an 18-game absence caused by a broken foot.
The Sedin twins also extended their point streaks to five games. Henrik has 10 assists, and Daniel has five goals and four assists during that span.
``Every time they're on the ice, you have to be careful because those two guys are (two) of the best players in the NHL,'' Pavelec said.
Armstrong banged in a rebound with 4:51 left in the second period, and Kane almost pulled the Thrashers within a goal 2 minutes later. Kane, a Vancouver native with more than 100 friends and family on hand, cut in off the right wing and snapped a quick shot that Luongo trapped against his pad with his glove.
Luongo fell into the net, though, taking the puck with him. After a short review it was announced that the play was over when the save was made.
``He rolled over right away into the net so I thought it was in,'' said Kane, who missed Wednesday's game with the flu. ``Our whole bench thought it was.''
NOTES: It was Sedin's third NHL hat trick and first since Feb. 26, 2007. ... Canucks D Alex Edler missed the game because of an apparent left arm injury sustained Tuesday. Mathieu Schneider took his spot in the lineup after being scratched for four games. ... The 18-year-old Kane, taken with the fourth pick in this year's draft, has eight goals and five assists.