Canucks chase Lundqvist, double up Rangers

By Larry Fleisher
PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

NEW YORK (Ticker) — The Vancouver Canucks became the latest
team to jump ahead at Madison Square Garden. As opposed to
previous visitors, they added more goals and held on.

Alex Burrows scored twice and defenseman Mattias Ohlund notched
three assists as the Canucks continued to roll with a 6-3
victory over the New York Rangers on Wednesday.

Kyle Wellwood, Ryan Johnson, Pavol Demitra and Daniel Sedin also
tallied for the Canucks, who improved to 5-0-2 in their last
seven games.

“We came out really strong,” Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said.
“We were able to capitalize on some of our chances.”

Taylor Pyatt and Jannik Hansen each recorded a pair of assists
and captain Roberto Luongo made 39 saves for Vancouver, which
has gone 3-0-1 over its last four road games.

Captain Chris Drury, Aaron Voros and Ryan Callahan scored for
New York, which had its three-game winning streak snapped.

“We weren’t where we needed to be,” Rangers coach Tom Renney
said. “Again, we come out with good intentions and all those
kind of things, but we seem not to quite be there. A couple of
bad breaks and they are up 3-0, and they are on their way.”

Henrik Lundqvist allowed five goals on 17 shots before being
replaced by Stephen Valiquette 5 1/2 minutes into the second
period. Valiquette turned aside all 15 shots he faced.

“Sometimes it doesn’t have to be that the goalie is playing
bad,” Lundqvist said. “Sometimes you need a change, a momentum
change. I think it was a good call.”

Burrows recorded his third career two-goal game, scoring on a
shorthanded breakaway midway through the first period and
tallying just 83 seconds into the middle session.

“That’s what you want,” Burrows said of scoring off turnovers.
“Get on their D and put some pressure on them and create some
turnovers. That’s how we’re going to create our offense.”

The Canucks also improved to 7-0-1 when leading after two
periods while joining the Edmonton Oilers, Boston Bruins and
Ottawa Senators as the fourth straight visitor to the Garden to
open a lead. The Oilers and Bruins all built two-goal
advantages, while the Senators had a one-goal edge.

The Rangers managed to earn five of a possible six points over
that span. But in this one, New York was unable to overcome a
pair of four-goal deficits.

“We have been going pretty good with all the points,” Drury
said. “The record indicates that. Our stats have been poor,
and that really caught up to us tonight.”

The Canucks improved to 9-0-0 when scoring at least four goals
and began their early onslaught on Wellwood’s eighth goal of the

Ohlund started the play with a long pass to Wellwood, who split
defensemen Michal Rozsival and Dmitri Kalinin before deking
Lundqvist to the ice and sliding it around the goaltender’s
right pad just 4:16 into the game.

For its second goal, Vancouver also capitalized on a misplay by
a blue-liner.

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Wade Redden attempted to make a cross-ice pass from the left
point, but the puck got caught in his skates. Hansen grabbed it
and dished to Burrows, who easily skated ahead of Redden and
fellow defenseman Dan Girardi and beat Lundqvist low to the
stick side for his fifth tally of the campaign and first in
eight games.

“We scored a lot of goals early, especially against a goalie
like that,” Luongo said. “It was some great plays in the first
on both of our goals. It’s not going to happen every day, so
we’ll take it.”

Turnovers continued to aid the Canucks as they needed less than
2 1/2 minutes in the second period to double their advantage.
Burrows tallied 83 seconds into the session after Brandon
Dubinsky coughed up the puck in the left faceoff circle, and
Johnson beat Lundqvist to the stick side from the doorstep at
2:21 after a turnover by rookie Lauri Korpikoski.

“That was our focus at the start of the second,” Vancouver
defenseman Willie Mitchell added. “We knew we came out and
accomplished what we wanted in the first, getting up 2-0. We
just said, ‘We’ve been in the position before and getting that
third goal is the driver’s-seat goal.’ It kind of takes the
wind out of the sails. Two goals (up), they score one, they’re
back in it. To get that third one, it gives us real breathing

Drury scored a power-play goal at 3:12 to get the Rangers on
the board, but Demitra chased Lundqvist 2:21 later with a shot
from the top of the left circle that caromed into the net off
the right goalpost during a two-man advantage.

“We had some good chances and we found a way to get (the puck)
behind (Lundqvist),” Burrows said. “That 5-on-3 was a great
play by Pavol, and even Johnnie’s (Johnson’s) goal was inside
the post. And Wellie’s goal was a nice move. He couldn’t do a
lot on those plays, and we’re happy he wasn’t in the net after.”

“We talked about it after the first period,” Luongo said.
“After that Long Island game (on Monday), we were up 1-0 after
the first and we didn’t play very well in the second. So we
wanted to make sure we were ready to play coming out of the
second. We got three quick goals, which is huge.”

Voros made it 5-2 at 8:33, when the puck banked in off a
sprawled Luongo after being thrown into the crease, and Callahan
drew the Rangers within two when he tipped a pass from former
Canucks captain Markus Naslund over Luongo’s left pad at 7:45 of
the third.

“They are one of the top teams in the league,” Vigneault said.
“We battled hard and made it an interesting finish.”

Sedin sealed the win with an empty-netter in the game’s final