Canucks save goal of the week for bitter rivals
While Roberto Luongo was earning 3rd star of the week honours, Vancouver’s offensive game quietly got the job done this week against one of the league’s toughest teams.
Cory Crawford has yet to allow more than two goals against during regulation this season, and Friday’s contest against the Canucks was no exception.
Crawford and Luongo stole the spotlight while the two bitter rivals squared off in a quiet and controlled matchup, trading sparse chances before settling things in a shootout.
While defenceman Alex Edler has been oddly effective in the shootout in the past, it was his in-game finish that had Canucks fans buzzing on Friday night.
After earning goal of the week honours to begin the season, Zack Kassian also played another big part in Vancouver’s goal of the week.
Entering the zone alongside puck carrier Henrik Sedin, Kassian made himself open along the wall to set up for another return pass in the slot.
With Mason Raymond driving the net for a backdoor pass and Bryan Bickell backchecking to close the gap, Kassian paused to allow a passing lane for the late man on the rush, earning Alex Edler his chance to slip in the high slot.
As Edler accepts Kassian’s perfect pass Chicago forward Michael Frolik had nothing to do but reach for the puck as it slides towards his check. With space in the slot and a lane towards the net Edler made no mistake, snapping a shot above a helpless Cory Crawford to give the Canucks the lead.
The one goal lead provided by Alex Edler may not have held to be Friday’s winner over the Blackhawks, but Vancouver’s recently re-signed defenceman has made it a habit of jumping into the rush earlier and often this season.
Edler’s goal against the Blackhawks marks three straight games with a point, while Zack Kassian’s primary assist also established a three-game personal point streak.
Look for Vancouver’s defenceman to continue to jump up into the rush as the season moves forward.