Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Burrows Leads Vancouver to 3-1 Win Over Predators

Alexandre Burrows scored two goals and that was all the Vancouver Canucks needed for a 3-1 victory to clinch the top seed in the Western Conference and end the Predators six game winning streak.

Roberto Luongo out-dueled Pekka Rinne in a match-up of potential Vezina finalists. Rinne held the season edge giving up only five goals to Vancouver to the seven allowed by Luonga. For the game, Luongo stopped 16 of 17 Predator shots while Rinne gave up two goals on 31 shots faced. The final shot was an empty netter.

Mike Fisher scored the lone Preds goal to keep his meager two game goal streak alive.

The opening period was played close to the vest with tight defense at both ends and neither team taking any chances. The Preds out shot the Canucks 10-7 while the Corsi was tied at 14.

The second period was more of the same with the both teams taking a pair of penalties but neither squad was able to capitalize on the man-advantage.

The Predators finally got on the scoreboard at 14:01 in the second period when Fisher was perfectly positioned in the left face off circle for a big rebound off a Jon Blum shot. Luongo was prone on the ice and Fisher easily lifted it into top of the net to put the Preds ahead 1-0.

For the second period, Vancouver out shot Nashville 11-5 and led the Corsi 17-9.

The Canucks jumped on the board quickly in the third period at 1:17 when Henrik Sedin centered a perfect pass from behind the net to Burrows who was situated on the right edge of the blue goal arc and slipped it past Rinne to make it 1-1.

After a rousing TV time-out ovation with 2:59 remaining in the contest, the Canucks killed the enthusiasm when they picked up a loose puck in their own zone and sent it through both Sedins to Burrows who had broken free and went in on Rinne and beat him on the breakaway for a 2-1 lead and the eventual game winning goal.

Trotz described the fatal blow, "It was a little bit of a scrum in the corner and they popped it out. Sedin threw it right up the middle and Burrows just cracked the seam and took off. He blew the zone and we got a little flat footed while he got it in full flight and he walked right in."

The empty netter by Aaron Rome with nine seconds left was the icing on the cake for the Canucks.

In the final period, the Canucks out shot the Predators 14-2 as the Preds had few offensive chances to recover once Vancouver got the momentum when they tied the game.

Trotz summed it up well, "In the third period, we were defensive minded because they were on offense. We just turned too many pucks over in the third."

"We just didn't have enough of that 'bite' in our game, that determination, that urgency, you could use a multitude of words."

Trotz continued, "You've got to take care of business. If we get to within three minutes of a point, we got to make sure we get that point. Worry about the second point after that. That's the biggest disappointment. You play 57 minutes of the game and you don't get a point."

Shea Weber was ready to look forward to the next game, "It's tough, Those were some big points, but there's nothing we can do now. We played forty good minutes and we have to move forward,"

The Predators will practice on Wednesday and then head to Colorado for Thursday night's match with the Avalanche at the Pepsi Center.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

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