See you soon Dallas?
The Vancouver Canucks broke out of their scoring slump in a big way against the Stars, chasing Kari Lehtonen from the net in a 5-2 win Friday night at Rogers Arena.
The Hat Trick
Chris Higgins continued his strong play as the Canucks’ hottest forward on Friday, slipping one through the wickets of Kari Lehtonen early in the first period to open the scoring. Higgins, Samuel Pahlsson and Jannik Hansen gave the Stars fits in their third line checking role, keeping Dallas forwards off their game with a controlled checking style focussed on puck-possession.
Over the past few games Alain Vigneault’s checking unit has been the best line on the team and will be relied on heavily to protect plenty of leads come playoff time.
Henrik Sedin racked up a trio of assists on Friday, setting up Sami Salo, Alex Burrows and Andrew Alberts of all people for goals against Dallas. Henrik was barely missed a step on the ice without his proper, making it clear to his competition that the Sedins are not a two-for-one package.
While the Canucks are cautiously projecting a first round return for Daniel Sedin, the captain continues to lead his team on the ice and on the score sheet without his twin brother.
Cory Schneider received the surprise start thanks to Roberto Luongo’s stiff neck but had no trouble stretching out for several stunning stops on Friday, keeping the Canucks in a tight game before the flood gates blew open in the final forty minutes.
Schneider stopped 28 of 30 shots on Friday including a ridiculous left-toe stop on Louie Eriksson who one-timed a Mike Ribeiro saucer pass while streaking down the right wing.
The Canucks finally broke through with one of their performances over the past several games, getting through a frantic first period before breaking through with four unanswered goals over the final forty minutes.
Without Daniel Sedin to help carry the load offensive it was nice to see five different goal scorers for the Canucks on Friday.
Vancouver will need to continue a team game offensively in order to replace Sedin’s scoring touch while he remains out with a concussion.
“It was a fun game, these guys are unbelievable with the puck and I wanted to go into that game and be physical and play my role, it was a fun night.” – Maxim Lapierre enjoyed his time on the top line with a goal and two assists on Friday.
1st. Henrik Sedin – GOALS: 0| PTS: 3| ASST: 3 SOG: 2| PLUS/MINUS: 2
2nd. Maxim Lapierre – GOALS: 1| PTS: 3| ASST: 2 SOG: 3| PLUS/MINUS: 3
3rd. Chris Higgins – GOALS: 1| PTS: 1| ASST: 0 SOG: 3| PLUS/MINUS: 1
Vancouver 5, Dallas 2
When: 10:00 PM ET, Friday, March 30, 2012
Where: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia
Referees: Ghislain Hebert, Kevin Pollock
Linesmen: Lonnie Cameron, Bryan Pancich