Nucks own T.O.
The Vancouver Canucks traded chances in a game of speed and skill with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Hockey Night in Canada, keeping their foot on the gas pedal on the way to a 5-3 road win.
Alex Burrows earned Saturday’s first star of the night after tallying a pair of pretty points at the Air Canada Center, setting up Daniel Sedin for his 13th of the season in the second period only to outdo himself with a goal of his own in the third.
The Hat Trick – Three Game Changers
The 2nd Line
Vancouver’s second line was especially sharp on Saturday totalling five points as a unit in the victory.
Chris Higgins’ opening goal of the game set the tone in Toronto on a night the road team refused to give up their early lead.
Mason Raymond’s third of the season less than a minute into the second period restored Vancouver’s lead after Joffrey Lupul brought the Leafs level with a power play goal in the first.
Both goaltenders were tremendous in Toronto on Saturday as Jonas Gustavsson and Roberto Luongo traded saves in an all-out affair lacking defensive responsibility.
After both keepers had a goal graciously disallowed by officials in the first period, Luongo and Gustavsson put on a show for the remainder of the game.
While Toronto’s stars came out to shine on the score sheet, a number of skaters let their team down on Saturday with poor performances in their own end.
Captain Dion Phaneuf was also beaten like a bad dog by Jannik Hansen on Vancouver’s fifth goal Saturday as the Great Dane danced by the Buds blueliner with ease on his way towards Gustavsson.
Flying V’s Thoughts
The Canucks and Maple Leafs skated at a frantic pace on Saturday, trading scoring chances and big saves on the way to an entertaining victory for the visitors.
Toronto’s top trio of Phil Kessel, Tyler Bozak and Joffrey Lupul kept the Canucks busy all night; however without any secondary scoring to speak of the Leafs wouldn’t last against a team as deep and defensively responsible as the Canucks.
“End to end at 100 miles an hour and the Great Dane gives the Canucks a 5-3 lead.” – CBC’s Jim Hughson on Jannick Hansen’s 5-3 goal.
BOXSCORE | Q’s POSTGAME RECAP
Vancouver 5, Toronto 3
When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, December 17, 2011
Where: Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario
Referees: Ian Walsh, Kelly Sutherland
Linesmen: Scott Driscoll, Michel Cormier