Demitra nets two as Canucks top Panthers

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Ticker) — It took the Vancouver
Canucks a little while to get adjusted, but they definitely
enjoyed being back at home.

Pavol Demitra scored a pair of goals as the Canucks overcame an
early two-goal deficit to post a 5-3 victory over the Florida
Panthers on Sunday.

“You can tell even before the game everybody was ready,” Demitra
said. “We got a little speech before the game: ‘Make sure
you’re ready for this game.’ Obviously, they score two goals
but after that we just took over.”

Ryan Kesler added a shorthanded goal and an assist and Darcy
Hordichuk and Kyle Wellwood also scored for Vancouver, which was
playing its first home game since November 27. The Canucks went
2-4-1 over their seven-game road trip.

Rookie Michael Frolik and defensemen Nick Boynton and Jay
Bouwmeester each netted a goal for the Panthers, who had their
three-game winning streak snapped.

“We got off to a great start, up 2-1, and the second period just
got away from us,” Florida defenseman Bryan McCabe said. “We
got away from the system, turned a lot of pucks over that ended
up in our net.

“Let’s be honest, they got some lucky bounces tonight and we
really didn’t. That’s the way it goes.”

Facing a 2-0 deficit, Vancouver started the comeback with
Hordichuk’s third goal of the season with 7:18 left in the first
period. Kesler picked off a clearing attempt and fed Hordichuk,
who fired a wrist shot past netminder Craig Anderson from the
right faceoff circle.

“Hordy’s goal was huge for us,” Demitra said. “He scored a goal
and after that everything started going our way. It’s nice to
see guys like that score goals. That was the nicest goal

The Canucks then scored four unanswered goals in the middle
session, starting with a pair of goals by Demitra, who has 10 on
the season.

READ ALSO:  Alexander Radulov assigned to AHL farm team by Nashville Predators

“First one, I just saw the puck and I used my speed and just
tried to walk it in and it somehow goes in,” Demitra said. “And
the second one, I try to hit (Canucks left wing Taylor Pyatt)
and I just hit somebody’s skate and goes in. It’s a lucky one,
but I’ll take those goals any night.”

“It’s just one of those nights, just one of those periods where
things weren’t going our way and it’s a snowball effect,”
Anderson said. “We needed a big save by myself and we didn’t
get it when we needed it to maybe change momentum and there goes
the night.”

Demitra tied the contest at 2-2 at the 5:25 mark when Panthers
defenseman Karlis Skrastins mishandled the puck behind his net
off a faceoff. Demitra then managed to jam a loose puck at the
side of the net past an unsuspecting Anderson, who finished with
25 saves.

Following Demitra’s power-play goal with 8:13 left in the
period, Vancouver tacked on other two goals in just over two
minutes. Wellwood added another man-advantage goal with 7:13
remaining and Kesler scored on a breakaway while a man down 38
ticks later.

It was all the offense needed by rookie Cory Schneider, who
settled down after surrendering two goals in the first 6:50 of
the contest. He turned aside 18 shots.

“I wouldn’t say this was a picture perfect game by any means,
still some things I could have prevented,” Schneider said. “I’m
learning it’s when you make the saves. If you make them at
certain key times or keep (your team) in the lead, sometimes
it’s more important than how many you make. Obviously, I want
to stop every puck, but a win’s a win. We’ll take it.”

Panthers center Stephen Weiss suffered an upper-body injury in
the first period. He was taken to a local hospital for
precautionary X-rays.