#1 Power Play
The Vancouver Canucks stuck to their strategy of power plays over punches as the road team tallied two first period goals on the way to another convincing 4-1 win Saturday.
Alex Edler made Ottawa pay for an early penalty with a tally on the man advantage just over a minute into the hockey game, establishing a lead the Canucks would never surrender to the Senators. While the emphasis on points rather than physical play has helped propel the Canucks to recent success, the hits began to take their toll on Saturday as Cody Hodgson and Ryan Kesler were both caught on low, hard hits.
Nick Foligno’s hit caught youngster Cody Hodgson with his head down after stumbling forward in his own zone, resulting in a devastating hit that Foligno would later answer for in a spirited tilt with Dale Weise.
Hodgson attempted to skate back to Vancouver’s bench under his own power but had his Bambi legs out following the collision, and required assistance to return to the Canucks dressing room.
Colin Greening’s short-handed goal gave the Senators the momentum shift they needed late in Saturday’s third period but wasn’t enough to catch the Canucks.
After getting the job done with his fists in the first period, Weise put his heavy hands to good use driving wide around the Ottawa defence only to cut back in front of Craig Anderson for one of Vancouver’s more impressive personal efforts of the season.
Roberto Luongo was solid opposite Anderson with only the one blemish on Saturday’s performance which could hardly be blamed on the goaltender.
After following Jason Spezza’s rush behind the net, Vancouver’s defence has to bail out its goaltender rather than watch a pair of Senators post up in front of the net.
Without the slow start to the game that almost cost the Canucks against the Canadiens, the visitors rolled on to another controlled road win Saturday.
Vancouver’s emphasis on converting power play opportunities rather than becoming involved in post-whistle scrums has helped focus the team on points and wins rather than taunts and trash talk.
Despite all the extra-curricular activities against Ottawa, the visiting Canucks kept their focus and refused to give in to the antics of Chris Neil and other distractions, content to kill their opposition on the power play instead.
BOXSCORE | Q’s POST GAME RECAP
Vancouver 4, Ottawa 1
When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, December 10, 2011
Where: Scotiabank Place, Ottawa, Ontario
Referees: Marcus Vinnerborg, Kevin Pollock
Linesmen: Pierre Champoux, Derek Nansen