Kesler and the Canucks proved they can play with the best the Western Conference has to offer, but were unable to maintain an up-tempo style of play for a full sixty minutes against the Red Wings.
Despite Roberto Luongo’s best efforts to keep his team in the game during regulation, the Red Wings relied on their skill to win easily in a shootout.
The Hat Trick
Ryan Kesler pounced on a rebound in the first period to pull his team even with the Red Wings but was unable to will the Canucks to victory in final forty minutes. Kesler and his teammates came up with another terrible second period on Thursday, managing only three shots in the middle frame as Detroit took over the hockey game.
The Red Wings generated 15 shots including Jiri Hudler’s 17th goal of the season that gave Detroit their second lead of the game.
Big Bad Bert
Todd Bertuzzi looked at home in the comforts of Rogers Arena on Thursday, dancing past defenders and busting out one-handed power moves as if the game was being played a decade ago.
Big Bert broke in on Roberto Luongo with a pretty first period power move but was robbed of a birthday goal by big bad Roberto.
After Bertuzzi broke through in the first period the Canucks completely lost their legs in the second, giving any skater wearing the winged wheel full permission to pepper Roberto Luongo.
While the skaters in front of him slowed, Luongo kept pace with the Red Wings, making 14 stops in the second period in an exemplary effort to keep his team in the game.
As was the case on Tuesday, the lone point earned against Detroit can be completely credited to their goaltender.
The Vancouver Canucks brought a bland performance versus top Western Conference competition again on Thursday but were unable to sneak out a victory against the disciplined Red Wings.
Look for more line juggling and new combinations as the Canucks head out on a four-game road trip beginning Saturday night in Colorado.
“Great goaltending again,” Vigneault said. “We found a way – by not playing a very good game – to get a point.”
The 3 Stars
1st. Danny Cleary – GOALS: 1| PTS: 2| ASST: 1 SOG: 6| PLUS/MINUS: 0
2nd. David Booth – GOALS: 0| PTS: 1| ASST: 1 SOG: 1| PLUS/MINUS: 1
3rd. Roberto Luongo – SAVE PCTG: 0.930
Detroit 4, Vancouver 3
When: 10:00 PM ET, Thursday, February 2, 2012
Where: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia
Referees: Marc Joannette, Greg Kimmerly
Linesmen: David Brisebois, Thor Nelson