Monday, May 10, 2010

Pride & Prejudice: Canucks respond to force Game 6

Who knew? Vancouver has pride after all, and maybe we were too prejudiced against its tendency to go ape-shit and take stupid penalties.

Three goals from defensemen and a relatively disciplined game helped Vancouver avoid elimination after a 4-1 victory in Chicago. The Canucks return home still trailing the series three games to two.

Kevin Bieksa netted a pair of goals, one as part of a two-goal first period that gave Vancouver a 2-0 lead at the first intermission. In the game's opening minute, Christian Ehrhoff's slap shot eluded Antti Niemi for a quick 1-0 lead.

Bieksa made it 2-0 late in the period on a nifty play, receiving a nice pass from Kyle Wellwood and deking Niemi out of his shorts. Bieksa's second of the game came about 19 minutes of game time later when he one-timed a shot past Niemi on the power play with a perfect Alex Burrows screen for a three-goal lead.

Vancouver avoided getting into scrums and taking undisciplined penalties like roughing or cross checking. When the Canucks were shorthanded, the penalty killing actually worked, foiling Chicago on four opportunities.

Instead it was the Blackhawks who were taking bad penalties and showing frustration with an inability to get pucks past Roberto Luongo, who finished with 29 saves. Only Jonathan Toews' goal with 7:09 remaining in the third period went into the Vancouver net.

Burrows sealed the win with an empty net goal in the final minute. Bieksa earned an assist for a three-point night. Wellwood, Henrik Sedin and Mikael Samuelsson each posted two helpers.

Stat of the night
4 - Bieksa's well-rounded game also included four blocked shots.

Quote of the night
"We got zapped right off the bat and didn't respond after that. We had excitement in the building and we didn't take advantage."
Chicago coach Joel Quenneville

Monday predictions
Montreal 3, Pittsburgh 1
Boston 4, Philadelphia 2

No comments: