The Anaheim Ducks took advantage of a drowsy home team for the opening half of the hockey game Monday but let a two-goal lead slip, losing 5-4 in a shootout to Cory Schneider and the Vancouver Canucks.
The Hat Trick
Henrik Sedin notched a pair of assists on Monday including a highlight reel dangle and subsequent set up to Alex Burrows for Vancouver’s opening goal of the game. Henrik was on the ice for every home goal before the two teams decided who earned the extra point in the skills competition.
The captain has been carrying the Canucks since Daniel went down in late March and can be counted on to be the center of attention come playoff time, even if he isn’t the one filling the net or dominating headlines.
Lu Left Out To Dry
Roberto Luongo received a lousy performance from his defenceman and a rough reception from the Rogers Arena masses on Monday, earning the hook from Head Coach Alain Vigneault less than half way through the game.
Luongo left the ice to a smattering of Boos before Cory Schneider was showered with cheers as he took to the crease.
The Ducks drove to the net at will during the first half of the game, but found an unfamiliar resistance once Schneider took to the crease, suddenly unable to create scoring chances free of interference.
Luongo may have taken the fall on Monday, but the goaltending change was nothing more than a mercy pull after the Canucks refused to play defence for their starter.
Burrows’ Big Night
Burrows’ wrister over the shoulder of Jonas Hiller was only the first of a pair of points for the forward who buried a second period rebound to spark the comeback.
After overtime failed to solve anything Burrows lead the shootout off with a fantastic finish, roofing his patented backhand past Hiller for his third “goal” of the game.
The Canucks came up with another pair of points in Monday’s shootout win over the Ducks, but the poor performance in front of Roberto Luongo remains a prime concern as the playoffs approach.
Existing animosity for the skills competition aside, the shootout benefited Cory Schneider and the Canucks on Monday, allowing them to keep pace with the New York Rangers in pursuit of the Presidents’ Trophy.
“Even though there were breakdowns on the plays, I have to come up with the save. I’m disappointed in myself here.” Roberto Luongo took his rough ride in stride on Monday, thankfully regular season games really are below Roberto at this point.
Mike Gillis today on Team 1040 Radio ON the Luongo and Schneider sitch. – “We don’t see it as a goalie controversy. If Roberto’s healthy I’m sure he’ll be starting game 1 in the playoffs”
1st. Alex Burrows – GOALS: 2| PTS: 2| ASST: 0 SOG: 6| PLUS/MINUS: 2
2nd. Bobby Ryan – GOALS: 0| PTS: 3| ASST: 3 SOG: 3| PLUS/MINUS: -1
3rd. Henrik Sedin – GOALS: 0| PTS: 2| ASST: 2 SOG: 1| PLUS/MINUS: 4
Vancouver 5, Anaheim 4
When: 10:00 PM ET, Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Where: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia
Referees: Eric Furlatt, Tom Kowal
Linesmen: Mark Wheler, Mike Cvik