Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Canucks retake the Northwest

After having fits against teams from Alberta, the Canucks were probably a little concerned to see the Nashville Predators come into town and immediately take a two goal lead. But with an antsy home crowd waiting to see how they would respond, the Canucks came out flying in the second period and took control of the game and their home crowd.

Things didn't look promising after the first however, as the Canucks let the Predators take the play to them in the first twenty with the Nashville cats taking advantage of Canuck miscues and some nervous moments by Alex Auld. With a goal in the net after thirty eight seconds there were murmurs in the GM Place crowd while Nashville carried the play in the first.

But once the Canucks got untracked it was a pull out the stops second and third periods with the Canucks battling back to tie the game in the second and again in the third before finally taking the lead for good on Richard Park's first goal in seventeen games. After that it was up to Alex Auld to hold down the fort, a job he did well as the Canucks were outshot 35-32 by Nashville.

The key to the Canuck's 4-3 victory in the third was a return to a more physical style of play, something that they had been getting away from in the early going. Led by Ed Jovanovski the Canucks played the man at almost every opportunity, knocking them off the puck and giving them cause to think about those journeys to the front of the net.

With the win the Canucks sneak one point ahead of their rivals in Calgary and Edmonton for first place in the Northwest Division. The Canucks now head out on a lengthy road journey, with 14 of their next 18 games to be played in opposition rinks.

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