The wheels came off in the third period, which started with a score of 2-1 for Vancouver. Within 1:11, it was 4-1 and the chance of a comeback against Roberto Luongo and Co. was all but dead. Alex Burrows potted the first after nobody bothered to keep an eye on him in the slot and Ryan Kesler outfought David Hale for a rebound in front for his second goal of the night. Done and done.
Ryan Kesler, Canucks
He was in the right place at the right time when he scored to give the Canucks a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Senators winger Alex Kovalev had two giveaways on a second period shift, the second of which was fed down low to Kesler. With no defenceman in sight, he walked right out front and deposited the puck into Ottawa’s net to make it 2-1. Kesler just missed out on the hat trick when he clanged a breakaway shot off the crossbar midway though the third period.
Erik Karlsson, Senators
Just when the super sophomore seemed to be getting back on track (four points in the last two games), we was seeing red against the Canucks. Red, as in the colour of the light behind Ottawa netminder Pascal Leclaire. Karlsson looked lost against the overwhelming Vancouver attack, finishing the night a minus-three. There were plenty of good candidates to take his place in this slot however.
The Canucks’ late flurry — something we probably should have seen coming. The low score through two periods completely belied what a shootout this game was, and it was only a matter of time before the dam broke at one end or the other. When it did, the Senators were quickly swept away.
YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED
The Senators had so many wires crossed on their bench Thursday night they could have used an electrician. They should have been whistled for blatant too-many-men penalties no less than three times — a dangerous game when facing the NHL’s No. 1 power play (31 per cent success rate on the road coming in). Fortunately for them, the officials weren’t on their games and missed each and every one.
- .818: Pascal Leclaire’s save percentage.
- 5: Senators who were a minus-two or worse.
- 1: Goals on the season for Ottawa’s Peter Regin and Vancouver’s Tanner Glass, Mario Bliznak and Alex Burrows. All found the scoresheet in this one.
- 2: Fights for Canucks tough guy Rick Rypien (one loss, one no-decision).
WELCOME BACK, GOALER
Twenty-two was Pascal Leclaire’s unlucky number Thursday night. The Canucks’ No. 22, Daniel Sedin, scored just 22 seconds into Leclaire’s first start in almost a month. It wasn’t his fault — Daniel Alfredsson gave the puck away at the blue line — and he deserves a lot of credit for bouncing back with some big saves immediately after. The team’s late collapse quickly snuffed out any talk of a goalie controversy in Ottawa, however. Expect to see Brian Elliott back between the pipes Saturday night against Boston.