“De-Schneid in the desert”
Cory Schneider and the Vancouver Canucks failed to hold on to the late lead and a third period rebound as the goaltender let the puck loose for Ray Whitney to tie the game in the third, allowing the Phoenix Coyotes to win 2-1 in a shootout on Tuesday.
The Hat Trick
The Canucks got out to an early lead off the stick of Alex Edler, taking advantage of a pair of bounces off Coyotes defenders and into the net past Mike Smith. Edler’s power play goal was the lone piece of offence from the Canucks, who struggled as a whole to generate solid chances around the Coyotes crease on Tuesday.
The Canucks managed to generate 40 shots in Phoenix but struggled to put together anything substantial consistently against the Coyotes.
Ray Whitney has been on fire in the desert and continued his impressive pace against the Canucks on Tuesday, tapping home a long rebound through the legs of Cory Schneider late in the third period.
Keith Yandle drove a slap shot from center towards Schneider and the puck squirted free, bouncing out towards the Coyotes’ hot hand.
Whitney wired home the opening goal in the skills competition to give the Coyotes the edge in extra time, allowing Mike Smith to take over, shutting down all three of Vancouver’s shooters in the process.
Mike Smith stopped 39 of 40 shots in the shootout victory, keeping the Canucks under control for 65 minutes and two rounds in the skills competition after Alex Edler and Mason Raymond failed in the shootout.
Smith was all over Raymond’s notorious spin move on Tuesday, covering both posts as the speedy winger brought his backhand around on net.
The Canucks were simply unable to generate any considerable amount of offence on Tuesday, relying on the lone goal from Alex Edler to give the illusion of a well-earned lead.
The Canucks couldn’t find free space under the confines of Dave Tippett’s defensive system, and need to focus on breaking through against the better teams as the playoffs approach.
With teams like the Coyotes, Blues and Predators in the Western Conference playoff race, the Canucks are sure to encounter a number of defensive dynamos during springtime hockey.
“Is it time we see the spin again?” John Shorthouse, John Garrett and Mike Smith were all on the same page as Mason Raymond chose his shot at center ice on Tuesday.
1st. Mike Smith
2nd. Ray Whitney
3rd. Mikkel Boedker
Phoenix 2, Vancouver 1
When: 9:00 PM ET, Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Where: Jobing.com Arena, Glendale, Arizona
Referees: Ian Walsh, Chris Lee
Linesmen: Steve Miller, Jean Morin