This was a nice little win for the home team. While they started off slow and flat-footed — with Florida scoring two soft goals early — the Canucks found their wheels in the 2nd frames, scoring 5 unanswered goals for the win.
The game started badly, with Corey Schneider looking very shaky and handling the puck with minimal confidence. Every time the Panthers had a shot in the 1st period it qualified as a legitimate scoring chance as the rookie tender struggled to find his game. However, he came through on a key save off a Shawn Matthias breakaway, that could have bumped Florida up 3-1, instead the Canucks used it as a turning point to scale a full offensive assault.
Darcy Hordichuk put the Canucks on the board with a laser from the point. The tough-guy from Kamsack, Saskatchewan continues to excel on the fourth line with his 3rd of the season. Key goals like this, from roll-players, really adds a spark to a team gaining momentum. This was no different, turning a difficult Vancouver start into a paradigm shift for the whole squad.
With Pavol Demitra chipping in two goals (one on the PP) and Kyle Wellwood continuing his PP success with a marker, the special teams looked fierce. When Ryan Kesler cut hard to the net on a short-handed breakaway and crashed goalie Craig Anderson, the gritty forward sealed the fate of the surging Panthers.
It was a very fun game to watch. Lots of actions, good hits and end-to-end rushes. While at times each team did not play well in front of their respective goalies, the home team struck with the iron hot and it paid off for the home crowd.
If you are watching Mats, just think what Vancouver will look like with you and Louie sharing the same ice. Scary.
Next Up — Edmonton