The Vancouver Canucks played game two of their four game road trip tonight when they visited the Atlanta Thrashers and Phillips Arena, heading into tonight’s game the Canucks had won eight of their last nine games and were looking for their seventh straight road victory. Vancouver also had a chance to set two club records with a win tonight, if they were successful in beating Atlanta they would set a club record of 24 wins and most points in a season 107. The last time Vancouver was this successful in the regular season was in the 2006-2007 when they accumulated 105 points, the Montreal Canadians hold the record for the most points in the regular season with 131. Entering tonight’s game the Sedin twins were top two in scoring, with Daniel having 95 points and Henrik 88 points, Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning is in third with 86 points.
While Vancouver is in a race with Philadelphia for the President’s Trophy for the most points in the regular season, things are not looking so rosy for Atlanta, going in to tonight’s game they were eleventh in the East, seven points behind Buffalo for the eighth and final playoff spot.
Just like their game against Detroit on Wednesday when the first period ended with no scoring, Vancouver and Atlanta could not light the lamp and the first period ended scoreless. Atlanta outshot Vancouver 10 -7 and had the better chances to score, beating Vancouver to the puck and being more aggressive. Evander Kane was Atlanta’s best player in the first period, buzzing around the Vancouver net and Roberto Luongo. The only real chance to score for Vancouver was when Daniel Sedin was awarded a penalty shot, but was stopped by Chris Mason; Daniel Sedin has had four penalty shots and has failed to score.
Vancouver opened the scoring in the second period when Mason Raymond beat Chris Mason between the legs on a 2 on 1 with Raffi Torres and then about seven minutes later Alex Bolduc scored his second goal of the year and Vancouver led after two periods 2 – 0, out shooting Atlanta 14 – 9.
In the third period it looked like Atlanta was the team who had already clinched a playoff spot and Vancouver was the team struggling to make the playoffs, out shooting Vancouver 12 – 5. Atlanta scored their only goal of the game when Bryan Little beat Roberto Luongo on a breakaway. Atlanta carried the play but could not beat Roberto Luongo who once again played a great game and was the reason Vancouver was able to win their seventh straight road game. Alex burrows scored an empty net goal with .13 seconds left to secure the victory and increased the odds that Vancouver will have home ice advantage throughout the playoffs.
Vancouver’s next game is Sunday in Columbus when they face another team who’s playoff hopes are fading away.
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Written by Kevin Kelly