The Vancouver Canucks out-defended the St. Louis Blues breaking through with a bank-shot past Brian Elliot in the third period to maintain top spot in the National Hockey League.
The Hat Trick
Burrows Banks One
After over forty minutes of scoreless play in Rogers Arena the Canucks broke through with the opening goal, taking advantage of a bounce off the end boards before Alex Burrows banked in the eventual game-winner off the mask of Brian Elliot.
Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin were kept off the score sheet on Burrows’ winner but played a key part in controlling the zone and setting up the cycle before their blue liners passed the puck and sent it on net only to be buried by Burrows.
In a game featuring two of the most defensively responsible teams in the league, the Canucks and Blues traded chances but the visitors were unable to convert their chances around the crease under the watchful eyes of newly acquired center Samuel Pahlsson and resident checker Manny Malhotra.
Vancouver’s checking line consisting of Pahlsson, Chris Higgins and Jannik Hansen consistently kept the Blues at bay, defending the crease and turning the tables on their opposition with a quick transition game.
Higgins was rewarded late in the game with an empty net goal, having been evacuated by Brian Elliot seconds earlier.
Luongo on Lockdown
Roberto Luongo secured his fourth shutout of the season opposite Ken Hitchcock’s Blues, edging Brian Elliot in a goaltender’s duel at Rogers Arena.
Luongo made 13 saves in a busy first period but settled into the final forty minutes behind the comfort of Sami Pahlsson, Manny Malhotra and Vancouver’s disciplined defensive forwards.
The Canucks played a gritty and disciplined game against the Blues, embracing their opponents’ flair for the low scoring affair in the home debut of all three trade deadline acquisitions.
Zack Kassian threw a number of solid hits and Samuel Pahlsson put the clamp down on the Blues’ shooters after the Canucks established the early third period lead.
Marc-Andre Gragnani was solid in his Canucks debut, as I’m willing to give him a pass for the first period cross-checking penalty.
“A lot of credit goes to the boys on that one,” Roberto Luongo was more than complimentary of his teammates for the shutout win over the Blues.
1st. Roberto Luongo – SAVE PCTG: 1.000
2nd. Alexandre Burrows – GOALS: 1| PTS: 2| ASST: 1 SOG: 1| PLUS/MINUS: 2
3rd. Zack Kassian – GOALS: 0| PTS: 0| ASST: 0 SOG: 4| PLUS/MINUS: 0
Vancouver 2, St. Louis 0
When: 10:00 PM ET, Thursday, March 1, 2012
Where: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia
Referees: Justin St. Pierre, Eric Furlatt
Linesmen: David Brisebois, Derek Amell