Vancouver Canucks vs. Florida Pantheres @ BankAtlantic Center
It's homecoming for two people! Roberto Luongo made just his second return to the city that started it all for him, and Tanner Glass after being claimed as a free-agent by Mike Gillis and the Canucks.
This game is also where the Canucks look to try and get .500 before the near-about sum up their epic road-trip.
Half-way through the period, Tanner Glass and former team-mate, Nick Tarnasky, dropped the mitts for what would've been a fisticuffs. Turned out more of a shoving match more than anything. Tarnasky put an end to it all with a takedown on Glass.
Sunshine Cats had two golden scoring opportunities! One of them was from David Booth on the PK. Booth gave his team a glimmer of hope with the opening goal on the short-handed end, but Louie snuffed his flame out with the big glove save!
Over the course of this road-trip, our top line of the Sedin triplets have been relatively quiet. But not 2 minutes into the second! Henrik Sedin shot the puck at the sharp-angle and somehow, Alex Burrows was lucky enough to get the puck in his skates and have it go in off of them! That was a lucky break for the Canucks, who haven't gotten the first goal in a long, long time.
From 2:39 to about 5, I was up in arms with both of the teams! First Rostislav Olesz took an unsportsmanlike misconduct and put the Nucks on the PP. Not one minute later, Mikael Samuelsson ended that and gave the Cats a 4-on-4. But jsut 15 clicks into that, Shane O'Brien took a tripping penalty and put the Sunshine, Florida residents on the 4-on-3, and eventually the 5-on-3. To our lucky break, Florida got caught with too many men on the ice.
Nevermind all that though. Before the period could end, we gave the Panthers another a PP-opportunity. But having incredibly bad luck, they gave up a 2-on-1 scoring chance to the Canucks. SH, 2 of skaters took the zip-line in. Who were the two? It wasn't Burrs or Kess this time around; it was Jannik Hansen and Tanner Glass! Glass picked off Bryan McCabe and allowed Jannik to streak on in and just snap the puck past Tomas Vokoun's shoulder, into the far-side.
Third period would be more about the goals not made than anything else. And more than anything else, it was for the Panthers. They had a golden opportunity at one point. They had Luongo beat, but as it sauntered into the crease, Christian Ehrhoff cleared the crease and saved Luongo. The captain acknowledged it with a salute to his defenceman.
Two nights ago, the hockey gods were on Tampa Bay's side; tonight, they were on ours. On the Florida PP, I counted a total of 5 posts! FIVE! All in the matter of under 2 minutes! Each time ringing the posts, it sort of sounded like a rave where everyone had whistles.
Just for security, Ryan Kesler added a PPG before the game came to a final end.
Now I know the obvious story here would be Louie's shutout, but that isn't it for me. It's the fall of the Panthers. The loss wasn't because Vokoun wasn't good enough. Okay, partially it is, but you can't leave 100% of the saving to the goalie; your D has to help you out!
The fall was really brought down upon the home team because of not only horrible puck-luck, but also the lack of effort from the defence and lack of defensive support from the forwards. They had their moments, and they looked good in the first. But at one point, it started to unravel. It may have been Burrs's goal, but I don't think so. Florida will just be one of a few teams that will really prosper from the long break, I'm just sayin'
(1) Roberto Luongo
(2) Alex Burrows
(3) Jannik Hansen