COLUMBUS, Ohio – Vancouver’s Sedin twins were so dominant—even playing a second game in two nights—that Columbus coach Scott Arniel apologized to the club’s fans immediately after the game for the “embarrassing” performance of his rested team.
NHL assists leader Henrik Sedin had a goal and three assists to match his career high with four points, brother Daniel had a goal and two assists and the Canucks routed the Blue Jackets 7-3 on Thursday night.
The Sedin’s linemate Alex Burrows had a goal and two assists, former Blue Jacket Raffi Torres scored twice, and Christian Erhoff and Ryan Kesler also scored for Vancouver, which raced to a 6-0 lead just past the midpoint of the second period a night after an overtime loss in Detroit.
“We knew that they were sitting here waiting for us, that they would be ready and come out with a good start,” Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said. “We got the lead and then they had to open it up a little bit. When they made a few mistakes we were able to capitalize.”
The Blue Jackets weren’t anywhere near close to ready as the Canucks scored three goals in the opening 13:13 behind a 16-1 shots advantage. The Blue Jackets didn’t have a shot on goal until nearly 13 minutes into the game.
“It didn’t look like we really wanted to play tonight in the first period, let alone the rest of the game,” Arniel said. “It was an embarrassing game. I want to apologize to the fans. Professional athletes are paid to perform and when you don’t do your job you’re going to get criticized.”
Backup goalie Cory Schneider made 24 saves to improve to 4-0-2 for the Canucks, who have won 10 of their last 13.
R.J. Umberger had two goals and Tom Sestito also scored late for Columbus, which has one win in its last six games while being outscored 13-23.
Blue Jackets goalie Mathieu Garon was replaced by Steve Mason in the second period.
“There were a ton of things that bothered me very early in that game,” Arniel said. “The turnovers, the no compete and lack of professionalism bothered me, and that wasn’t just the first period.”
With the shots already 12-0, Burrows finally found the net for the Canucks, burying a close-range shot off a slick pass from Henrik Sedin from behind the net at 9:08.
Three minutes later in the Columbus zone, every Canucks skater handled the puck before Henrik Sedin flicked a backhand pass to Erhoff at the top of the right circle for a one-timer that beat Garon.
Arniel used his timeout after the goal to settle his club, but Torres made it 3-0 3 minutes later, redirecting Andrew Alberts’ slap shot from the point.
“It was one of those games if you don’t score early it’s going to be one of those nights where they’re going to come back and score the other way,” said Henrik Sedin, the league’s leading scorer and MVP a season ago. “We were lucky we got the first one. After that we started to relax more and got our chances.”
Vancouver continued the onslaught in the second period, scoring three more times.
Daniel Sedin finished a pretty tic-tac-toe passing play that started with Henrik Sedin, over to Alexander Edler at the left circle to Daniel Sedin for the stuff shot at the back post at 4:13 for his 18th.
Kesler converted on a 2-on-1 break for his 17th 4 minutes later to make it 5-0, stretching his points streak to six games.
The home crowd voiced its displeasure as the Blue Jackets fumbled their first power play of the game moments later.
Henrik Sedin made it 6-0 at 12:46, roofing a shot over Garon on a feed from Daniel Sedin as he fended off Rostislav Klesla behind the cage.
“They made some plays that are going to be highlights,” Vigneault said of the twins.
Garon was replaced by Steve Mason after the goal.
Umberger made it 6-1 at 13:43.
Torres tallied his second, a power-play goal, and 10th of the season on a close-range redirection at 6:46 of the third.
Umberger responded with his second and 10th of the season three minutes later with a wrist shot.
Sestito capped the scoring six minutes later.
NOTES: Vancouver is 5-0-1 in its last six road games. … Columbus has three wins in its last 14 games. … The Canucks have beaten Columbus five straight times. … Kesler has seven goals in his last eight games. He scored three times against visiting Columbus last week in a 3-2 overtime win. … The seven goals scored by Vancouver matches a season high and ties the most the Blue Jackets have allowed this season.