Midway through the game, I had to check the schedule to see if the Canucks were playing Minnesota because this game was wild!
Nashville built up a 3-1 lead after the first, chasing the C-Wall (Cory Schneider) from the game and ending his red hot streak.
Enter Roberto Luongo, making his first appearance since recovering from the injury that opened the door for Schneider.
The Canucks managed to score four straight in the second and threatened to take over the game entirely until Nashville stormed back, tied the game, and found the winner late in the third.
Henrik Sedin was buzzing around the offensive zone all night, picking up two assists. His second was a beautiful play behind the net where Henrik simply waited for the Nashville defender to give chase before passing the puck in off Burrow’s perfectly placed stick.
The Sedins haven’t been quite as offensively dominant this year, but that play in particular is an example of the magic only they can supply.
2. Second Stanza
The Second Period was about as entertaining as you could ask. After Luongo replaced Schneider, the Canucks promptly went to work restoring the lead.
Daniel and Aaron Volpatti found the twine just 48 seconds apart to tie the game and the aforementioned Burrows goal was followed by a Jannik Hansen snipe off the wing that chased Pekka Rinne from the game.
The two goal lead was not held for long however as Jordin Tootoo pulled the Preds back to within one late in the period and Colin Wilson converted on the powerplay just a minute and a half later to send the game to the third tied.
It was a rollercoaster period full of goals that anyone who watched these two teams battle in the playoffs last year surely did not expect. Luckily, the third held truer to script.
3. No Raymond?
A paperwork snafu with the league however made Raymond ineligible last night, so Volpatti was thrown back into the mix just before the pre-game skate.
Seeing the writing on the wall, Volpatti scored a big goal in the second to make Vigneault’s decisions for Sunday that much harder.
He isn’t the most talented Canuck, but Volpatti is a lunch-box warrior that embodies the heart and grit of this team.
1. It rains a lot in Vancouver
Safe to say Pekka Rinne is happy to not have to return to Vancouver again this year.
After giving up five goals in the first and getting pulled at Rogers Arena back in October, Rinne again gave up five and got the hook last night.
He’s having an otherwise fine start to the year, so look for Pekka to seek Rinne-venge when these two teams hook up in Nashville on February 7.
Speaking of underwhelming starters, Schneider returned to earth with a thud.
After giving up two goals in less than three minutes to start the game, Schneider made a beautiful glove stop off Shea Weber on a late Nashville powerplay only to miss on Weber’s second chance.
The performance gave Vigneault an excuse to return to Roberto Luongo, who looked good in his first action back but did give up 3 goals in two periods and will take the loss for last night.
3. Last Minute
Finally, Mike Fisher’s game-winning goal with about 75 seconds left was the quintessential gut-puncher of a goal. It was an emotional game with lots of pretty goals and a chance for Vancouver to pull within two of Minnesota for the division and the conference.
When Dan Hamhuis hit the post with the Canucks up 5-3, did anyone realize how crucial that play would turn out to be?