VANCOUVER, CANADA - DECEMBER 6: Kevin Bieksa #3 of the Vancouver Canucks reacts as he is hit by Ryan O'Reilly #37 of the Colorado Avalanche during the first period in NHL action on December 06, 2011 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
Quick and Dirty Summary: First period: good, Second Period : Okay, Third Period: yuck.
The first big play of the game, which was also Ryan Wilson's first shift of the game, is a hit that sends Wilson face-first into the boards. He clutched said face, left the ice and didn't come back. Moser poster on his Twitter during the second period that Wilson wouldn't return due to a head injury. Let's hope he can overcome the injury quickly. The play went un-penalized and on the next shift Daniel Sedin brings the puck to the net as he attempted a wraparound. The puck hit Semyon Varlamov and went into the net. This puts the Avs down 1-0 early in the first. Within moments of that goal, Jay McClement gets a good chance on a set-up by Daniel Winnik, but Roberto Luongo manages to make it to the puck in time. McClement hadn't elevated the puck enough to bury that one. Most of the first period is played in the Canucks' end of the ice as the Avalanche are putting constant pressure on them, but are unable to get the lead where it matters: the scoreboard.
A few minutes later Kevin Porter does what can be called a questionable hit. He seems to have led the hit with his knee. For this hit Porter got a five minute penalty and a ten minute game misconduct. Don't be surprised if he gets contacted by Shanahan regarding that hit. During the five minute penalty kill, served by Brandon Yip, the Avalanche were able to hold Vancouver off and keep them relatively harmless. Colorado was unable to score on their (albeit shorter) power play attempt. The Avs head to the lockerroom down one goal and two players. Avs lead shots 11-6, hits 19-6, and face offs 75% to 25%.
Avs putting a lot of pressure on the Canucks but once again the Avalanche just can't get the puck behind Luongo. There was a scary moment when Gabriel Landeskog took a shot on net and caught Luongo in the neck. Luongo crumpled to the ice and the trainers came out to tend to him. After a short while, Luongo was deemed unable to play and was replaced. The Avs start peppering back-up Corey Schneider with shots, but he stood his ground. On an ensuing Vancouver rush, Matt Duchene was without a stick and the Canucks take advantage of it, scoring their second goal of the night. The Avalanche managed to keep the pressure and puck possession up but are still unable to get onto the scoreboard. The were again dominant in shots 12-5 for the period but didn't pot a goal on two more power play chances.
Are you sure you want to know what happened in the third? Really? Okay... five minutes into the third period, during some hot 4-on-4 action, the Avs watch a third puck creep behing Varlamov. Varly had lost his stick and so Stefan Elliott provided him with his, however no one passed Elliott a stick. Because of this, he was unable to challenge Daniel Sedin, who took advantage and scored his second goal of the night. This is also the second goal of the night that there was an Avalanche player missing their stick. Very quickly after this goal, the Canucks were able to get their fourth of the night and it's best just not to talk about it. About a minute later and Altitude favorite Daniel Sedin notches yet another goal to earn his 5th career hat trick. The put a cherry on this stinkpile, Avs go down 6-0 with ten about minutes left in the third as the Canucks score their first power play goal of the night to add some variety. That would be the end of the night for Semyon Varlamov. He finished with six goals on 21 shots. The remainder of the game didn't feature anything worth re-capping.
- 1 Jay McClement
- 2 Kyle Quincey
- 3 TJ Galiardi
- 1 T.J. Galiardi - Matt Duchene - David Jones
- 2 Gabriel Landeskog - Ryan O`Reilly - Milan Hejduk
- 3 Daniel Winnik - Jay McClement - Chuck Kobasew
- 4 Stefan Elliott - Kevin Porter - Brandon Yip
- 1 Before the game head coach Joe Sacco made the decision to use seven defensemen. This turned out to be a great decision as Wilson had to leave after his first shift due to a possible head injury after a hit into the boards. Forward Chuck Kobasew returned after missing the last game against Detroit.
- 2 Duchene won 86% of his faceoffs, and Galiadi won 100% of his.
- 3 Galiardi and O`Byrne each had 5 hits.
NHL.com Recap & Highlights
The Avs take on the Flames in Calgary on Thursday.