Slump comes to an end in Ohio
Canucks shootout win helps turn things around after four-game skid
2 GAME OVER 1
It went in two seconds after the Canucks power play expired, so it didn't end Vancouver's historic man-advantage slump.
But it was a goal. And those don't come easy in Columbus, which happens to be home to the hottest team in the west.
A Jason Garrison blast beat Sergei Bobrovsky and the teammates who surround him like an Occupy Bob protest. A protest that never ends.
It came at the 16: 11 mark of the second and it was huge for a Vancouver team that needed to escape Columbus with a point.
They did better, getting two in a 2-1 shootout win.
Yes, huge. Yes, it has come to this. Having lost four straight and nine of 12, the Canucks were desperate for at least a point against a team that was once a league laughingstock.
Not anymore, as Vancouver has learned in the past week.
The Jackets have done a terrific job becoming Nashville East.
They beat Canucks Thursday 2-1 in overtime and Tuesday's game was nearly a carbon copy.
The difference being this one got to a shootout. And in this one, Mason Raymond pulled out his spin-a-rama for the winner while Roberto Luongo stoned all three shooters.
At least the Canucks didn't give up a goal this time 23 seconds into the game like they did against Minnesota Sunday. Instead, they took a penalty off the hop when David Booth was called for interference in the offensive zone on his first shift.
The Jackets didn't score on the power play. But they gained momentum. They had two decent chances in the first eight minutes. On one, Colton Gillies fired off a shot at point-blank range. Roberto Luongo, however, was solid, getting his first start after sitting out three straight games. He made a big glove save on Gillies and then four minutes later stoned Cam Atkinson, who was chopping at a rebound off of a Brandon Dubinsky slapper.
His best save though came with 14 seconds left when he got his shoulder on a RJ Umberger blast, taking the game to OT.
The Canucks had some decent shifts in the first period but had only one scoring chance. It's been typical of them during this three-game road trip, which started in Columbus Thursday and ended back here Tuesday, with a humbling loss to the Wild sandwiched in the middle.
The Jackets don't give up much. They came into the game with four straight wins and points in seven consecutive games. They do it by piling up bodies in front of their net like a landfill. They have little interest in forechecking and force opponents to work the perimeter. The Canucks did plenty of that, but when they pushed the puck to the front of the net they regularly got outmuscled.
Fedor Tyutin was all over the Sedins all game. He tied up Henrik's stick when they were looking at a loose rebound in the first, and absolutely buried Daniel Sedin in front of the net in the second, making sure he had no chance at a loose puck.
He hooked, hugged and mugged, doing a wonderful job of shutting down the twins.
Columbus scored first, finally put a puck in the net 3: 04 into the second period. Mark Letestu fired a shot off Luongo's left pad then glided into the slot as Andrew Alberts just watched him pick up the rebound and flick it in.
It wasn't Alberts' finest moment. The game was playing out identically to Thursday's 2-1 overtime game. Almost like it was according to script, the Canucks scored to tie it. Garrison's goal came at the end of a dominating stretch of Canucks hockey.
The sequence started when Jared Boll took out Cam Barker's head with an elbow. There was no call despite the obvious head shot. Not long after Ryan Johansen got a much softer call and the Canucks beleaguered power play went to work.
The Canucks power play came into the game on its worst slump in years. It had gone eight games without a goal and was 0-for-23. In the first period they had a chance but the implosion only worsened. It took the Canucks almost the entire two minutes just to set up and they managed just one shot on net.
The team has talked about urgency all week, and finally on the Johansen penalty showed some. The Canucks kept Columbus pinned and created five straight opportunities to score.
They got rewarded when Garrison scored just two seconds after the power play ended.
Nashville at Vancouver
Thursday, 7 p.m., Rogers Arena TSN, TEAM 1040 AM
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