Nucks Win In OT


Kevin Woodley – Correspondent

OT Winner Derek Cain Photography


(ISN) – VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Canucks don’t count on Luca Sbisa for goals, but the stay-at-home defenseman picked a good time to jump into the rush on Tuesday.

Sibsa finished off a 2-on-1 rush with Radim Vrbata 36 seconds into overtime and beat a sprawling Ondrej Pavelec to lead the Canucks to a 3-2 comeback win against the Winnipeg Jets at Rogers Arena.


OT Winner Derek Cain Photography


It was Sbisa’s first point in 25 games, his third goal this season and his first-ever NHL overtime goal, but that didn’t stop him from going into the extra period aggressively.

“You don’t want to leave the OT with regrets,” Sbisa said. “Just go out there and try to win, don’t play scared to lose. Sometimes it pays off, sometimes it doesn’t, but I think you’ve got to try something in OT.”

Jets center Bryan Little scored the go-ahead goal on a power play 2:13 into the third period, but Vancouver’s fourth line tied it with 7:28 left when Ronalds Kenins, who was in the penalty box for holding on Little’s goal, scored his second goal in his third NHL game.


OT Winner Derek Cain Photography

Canucks goalie Eddie Lack robbed Blake Wheeler with a glove save on a nice three-way passing play off a 3-on-2 rush, and after a faceoff in the Canucks end, Kenins beat Pavelec short-side under the blocker from below the left faceoff dot at the other end 19 second later.

“We were just talking in the locker room that in the third period we had to try and not take a penalty. I went out my first shift and got a penalty, so that was kind of bad,” Kenins said. “I felt really bad. Lucky I got back that and we turned around and we won the game.”

Alexandre Burrows also scored and Lack made 26 saves in his first start since Jan. 13. The Canucks (28-18-3) moved into a tie with the Calgary Flames for third place in the Pacific Division.

“Some guys took the All-Star break to rest, I took it to work on some stuff,” said Lack, who had watched while Ryan Miller started seven straight games. “I’m feeling a lot more comfortable out there. Big night.”

Pavelec made 30 saves in his first start in four games for the Jets (26-18-9), who were coming off a 5-2 loss against the Flames on Monday and had given up 20 goals in four straight losses.

Wheeler also scored for Winnipeg, which recorded its first point in five games since the break to move within three points of the Chicago Blackhawks for third place in the Central Division. The Jets are two points ahead of the Flames in the Western Conference.



OT Winner Derek Cain Photography

“It’s the first good game we’ve played since the break,” Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice said. “I’m not talking about things being easy or nice or pretty but our fight was right on, our final five we were competing. It’s not an easy thing to go from the east coast to the west coast, five games in eight nights and I like that game. You hate the result. You hate losing a game that you fight so hard, but it’s fun on the bench. Guys are into the game, it’s a man’s game, it’s the way it should be played.”

It was the first game this season between the Canucks and Jets, who came in separated by three points in the two wild-card spots, and it featured lots of big hits and post-whistle confrontations.

“The most physical team we faced all year,” Sbisa said. “We knew that going into the game. It makes it fun. The boys reacted well to it.”

There was breaking news before the game; Jets forward Evander Kane, who is from Vancouver and played his junior hockey locally, was a late scratch. The 23-year-old left wing has 10 goals and 22 points in 37 games, but hasn’t scored a point and is minus-7 in his past three.

“Coach’s decision,” Maurice said, twice declining to elaborate.

Wheeler opened the scoring midway through the first period for the Jets, chipping the puck around defenseman Dan Hamhuis off the boards for a breakaway and put a shot past Lack under the glove.

Lack kept it close with a right-pad save off a Dustin Byfuglien one-timer from the slot. Burrows, who moved back to the top line with Daniel and Henrik Sedin, tied it less than three minutes later.


OT Winner Derek Cain Photography

After Alexander Edler made a nice play at the blue line to hold the zone, Henrik Sedin quickly moved the puck across to Daniel Sedin in the slot for a 2-on-1 down low. Daniel Sedin passed to Burrows at the bottom of the left faceoff circle and he dropped to one knee to one-time a shot past Pavelec’s out-stretched glove.

“We had some chances, we made some good plays,” Burrows said. “At the end of the day, if we keep doing that we will be all right.”

Lack stopped Wheeler on another breakaway late in the first period, but got a break when an apparent go-ahead goal for the Jets was called back for incidental contact with the goaltender with 3:17 left in the second. Defenseman Jacob Trouba went end-to-end on a brilliant rush from behind his own net before being stopped by Lack in tight. Trouba tried to jump over Lack but clipped his right pad as he went through the crease, spinning the goalie while Adam Lowry put the rebound into an empty net. Initially called a goal despite some animated protests from Lack, the call was overturned after a brief discussion among the officials near center ice.

“He skated right into me and a different guy scored,” said Lack, who is 4-6-2 this season. “It’s the right call.”

Lack got another break when Michael Frolik hit the post on a partial shorthanded breakaway in the final minute of the second period, but the break literally went the other way early in the third.

With the Jets on an early power play, Edler’s stick broke on an easy clearing attempt and the puck went right to Ladd for a 2-on-1 from the inside the faceoff circles. Ladd passed cross-ice to Little, who one-timed his 20th goal of the season past Lack’s blocker.

“It’s a step in the right direction, even though it would have been nice to have the two points,” Little said.



Luca Sbisa
G: 1 Shots: 2
A: 0 Hits: 1
PTS: 1 PIM: 0
+/-: 0 TOI: 15:44
Vancouver Canucks
Andrew Ladd
G: 0 Shots: 0
A: 1 Hits: 4
PTS: 1 PIM: 2
+/-: 1 TOI: 19:15
Winnipeg Jets
Alexandre Burrows
G: 1 Shots: 2
A: 0 Hits: 2
PTS: 1 PIM: 0
+/-: 0 TOI: 18:30
Vancouver Canucks