The Vancouver Canucks played a clean first period on the road versus the Red Wings but couldn’t hold the home team off for long, allowing two goals in the second on the way to a 2-0 road loss in Detroit.
Justin Abdelkader registered two-thirds of the Gordie Howe hat trick and Jimmy Howard stood tall in the Detroit crease stopping all 24 shots in his first shutout of the season, the Red Wings’ second as a team.
Linemate Alex Burrows had the Canucks’ best chance of the night when he rung a pass off the crossbar behind a down-and-out Jimmy Howard in the third period, but a goal was not meant to be for the visitors.
Cody Hodgson continues to impress at the NHL level after keeping stride for stride with the speed and skill of the Red Wings Thursday.
The line changes come in response to some sour games for Mikael Samuelsson and Marco Sturm who had struggled to find any chemistry previously with Hodgson.
As Ryan Kesler makes the final strides towards his return to the lineup both Samuelsson and Sturm could find the fourth line in their future if they are unable to elevate their game.
With Mason Raymond on a much longer road to recovery, there is the potential for at least two roster spots to be cleared in order to make room for returning talent later in the season.
Keep an eye out for Sturm and Samuelsson as they battle to find a permanent roster spot, players of their skill set can find themselves on the outside looking in faster than they think.
The Canucks will close out the road trip Saturday in Edmonton on Hockey Night in Canada.
Did You Notice?
Alex Edler broke his stick on a shot three times Thursday night in Detroit, this coming after Edler broke two twigs in Columbus early in the week. Something has got to be up with the Swede’s big stroke.
When: 8:00 PM ET, Thursday, October 13, 2011
Where: Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan
Referees: Dan O’Halloran, Wes McCauley
Linesmen: Matt MacPherson, David Brisebois