Into the Break…
The Vancouver Canucks worked hard to get back to their winnings ways in a 4-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks Saturday afternoon at Rogers Arena.
The Hat Trick
Hodgson Plays Hero
Cody Hodgson had two goals on four shots and only 13:35 of ice time to lift the Canucks to victory in their final regular season matchup with the Sharks. Hodgson buried a backhand rebound in the second period then threw the puck on net late in the third for the game-winner thanks to a nice own-goal tip-in by Handzus.
Ryan Kesler rushed down the left wing and roofed a go-ahead goal past Antti Niemi for a highlight-reel finish on Saturday that silenced critics of the center’s recent play.
Fans and teammates recognized “vintage Kesler” several times on Saturday as he let his play do the talking against the Sharks.
Despite Alain Vigneault’s previous criticism Kesler did not need to use his teammates on the way to his 13th goal of the season.
With Saturday’s win over the San Jose Sharks Roberto Luongo became the Vancouver Canucks’ career leader among goaltenders with his 212thvictory. Luongo passed fellow former “captain” Kirk Mclean on the all-time list with the win, appropriately relegating Dan Cloutier out of the top three.
Luongo stopped 23 of 26 shots faced on Saturday including the Sharks’ first of the game taken from center ice roughly ten minutes into the opening period. Yet in classic Cloutier-like fashion Luongo was solid when he needed to be against the Sharks.
It’s a shame the all-time wins leader will likely receive Cloutier-like respect from the city of Vancouver until a Cup comes to the BC coast.
The Canucks survived another rough and tightly checked afternoon affair to take two points Saturday against the Sharks. After pitiful performances against previous California competition the Canucks’ victory over San Jose was a solid step in the right direction with all lines playing effectively in both ends of the ice.
As seen on Saturday Vancouver’s depth and defensive ability will be the keys to clinching another playoff berth down the stretch.
“More ice time!” Roberto Luongo shouted in the Canucks locker room as the team praised Cody Hodgson’s impressive performance.
1st. Cody Hodgson – GOALS: 2| PTS: 2| ASST: 0 SOG: 4| PLUS/MINUS: 1
2nd. Logan Couture – GOALS: 2| PTS: 2| ASST: 0 SOG: 4| PLUS/MINUS: 1
3rd. Ryan Kesler – GOALS: 1| PTS: 1| ASST: 0 SOG: 3| PLUS/MINUS: 2
Vancouver 4, San Jose 3
When: 4:00 PM ET, Saturday, January 21, 2012
Where: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia
Referees: Mike Leggo, Brad Meier
Linesmen: Jay Sharrers, Shane Heyer