Back on track?
The Vancouver Canucks did it for the kids on Thursday, beating Winnipeg 3-2 for their first win in over fifteen years at home against the Jets.
As the Canucks for Kids telethon rang on throughout the night the Canucks took care of business on the ice , leading to Samuel Pahlsson’s rocket past Ondrej Pavelec that was sure to put a smile on the faces of young fans.
The Hat Trick
Ryan Kesler beat Pavelec for the opening goal of the game Thursday, taking advantage of a fortunate bounce off of an official to sneak one through the wickets of the visiting goaltender.
The Canucks’ second line center lead the American Express in a huge game against the Jets, sure to re-establish credit with Alain Vigneault after he united the line in attempt to re-gain early season chemistry.
Kesler, Chris Higgins and David Booth combined for 16 shots on Thursday in their first game back together as a unit. Kesler also rang a pair of blasts off the crossbar behind Pavelec in a busy game for the feisty forward.
The Winnipeg Jets kept it close against the Canucks on Thursday thanks to a pair of pretty plays by Kyle Wellwood and Blake Wheeler.
Wellwood worked his magic mittens to quickly stick-handle the puck past Cory Schneider during the second period in a goal reminiscent of his signature finish Canucks fans came to know so well.
With the game tied early in the third period Wheeler wound around Alex Edler to break in on goal, catching Schneider sneaking off his near post with a sneaky wrist shot.
The Canucks responded with a big third period against the Jets Thursday, forcing a pair of goals past Ondrej Pavelec after the visitors took an early lead in the final frame.
Alex Edler ripped home the tying goal with one of his seven shots put on net against the Jets, setting the stage for newcomer Samuel Pahlsson to prove he hadn’t lost his hockey sense during those depressing days in Columbus.
Kevin Bieksaset up the two-way center with a well-weighted pass in the Jets’ zone late in the third, allowing Mike Gillis’ least-sexy acquisition to fire home the game winner.
The Canucks fought through the bad breaks on Thursday but made the most of their lucky bounces, edging out the Jets in a tight game at Rogers Arena.
The Jets may have a legitimate beef after Ryan Kesler’s opening goal bounced directly off the leg of a linesman, allowing the center to snatch up the puck and open the scoring in the second after a period of defensively disciplined hockey.
“It hasn’t been going in for me at all this season, it’s nice to get the first one for the new team.”
Samuel Pahlsson was happy to put his days in Columbus behind him with his first goal as a Canuck on Thursday.
1st. Ryan Kesler – GOALS: 1| PTS: 1| ASST: 0 SOG: 6| PLUS/MINUS: 1
2nd. Chris Higgins – GOALS: 0| PTS: 1| ASST: 1 SOG: 7| PLUS/MINUS: 0
3rd. Blake Wheeler – GOALS: 1| PTS: 1| ASST: 0 SOG: 4| PLUS/MINUS: -1
Vancouver 3, Winnipeg 2
When: 10:00 PM ET, Thursday, March 8, 2012
Where: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia
Referees: Dave Jackson, Tom Kowal
Linesmen: Greg Devorski, Lonnie Cameron