NORWESTER BLOWS IN
A hat trick by Todd Bertuzzi and two quick scores on two Islanders goaltenders early in the second period helped the Canucks to a 8-1 win Saturday night on Long Island.
After avoiding a bullet early by killing a penalty on Radek Martinek just a minute into the game, the Islanders found themselves on the wrong end of a bad bounce, as Matt Cooke put a pass out in front of Rick DiPietro, where Todd Bertuzzi and Oleg Kvasha were battling for position. Somehow, the puck took a hop off the forwards and past DiPietro to the stick-side, giving Bertuzzi his 13th goal of the year.
A pair of penalties around the five-minute mark, on John Erskine and DiPietro, put the Canucks back on the powerplay, this time with 1:23 of 5-on-3 time. This one cost the Islanders, as Bertuzzi tucked it through DiPietro, five-hole, on a clean pass from the corner by Markus Naslund. Vancouver still had 5-on-4 time left, but New York was able to shut them down.
The Islanders were stung again around the halfway point of the first, as a blocked shot by Chris Campoli at the point of the Canucks' zone sent Vancouver up-ice. Sami Salo fed the Sedin brothers in the neutral zone, with Henrik setting up Daniel for a 2-on-1 on DiPietro. Cutting to the crease, Sedin threaded a pass across to Anson Carter, who found daylight to put the visitors up 3-0.
Down by three goals, the locals came back with the line of Eric Godard, Kevin Colley and Sean Bergenheim to put some muscle on Vancouver, culminating in a dual hit on defenseman Kevin Bieksa by Godard and Colley. Bieksa didn't take kindly to it, and responded by throwing hands with Colley in a wild whirlwind of punches. At the end, Bieksa yanked down Colley and got in a few final blows before both men headed to their respective penalty boxes.
With nine saves on 13 shots, Rick DiPietro's night ended early when a one-timer by Bryan Allen from the point blew by the netminder 5:35 into the second period. The puck squirted free from the right boards all the way across the Islanders' zone to Allen who ripped it into the net. To loud cheers from the crowd, Wade Dubielewicz entered the game, making his fifth appearance of the season.
Before DiPietro could get comfortable on the bench though, Dubielewicz was victimized behind the net, helping the Canucks to a 5-0 lead. Stopping the puck behind his goal, the goalie was caught holding onto it by Anson Carter, who poked it free to the front of the crease, where Henrik Sedin hammered it into the empty net. The tally gave Vancouver two goals in nine seconds.
More open net resulted in a third goal by Bertuzzi, as the Canucks' powerplay units converted on their eighth man-advantage of the night. Markus Naslund put a perfect pass on the stick of Brendan Morrison to the left of Dubielewicz, setting up an apparent one-timer, which the goalie dived to stop. Instead, Morrison spun and found Bertuzzi on the other side of the now-open goal, and the puck was quickly deposited for the hat trick.
The third period got off to a good start for the Islanders, as a bounce went their way, ending Alex Auld's shutout bid. Miro Satan slid the puck to Mike York between the cirles in the Canucks' zone, who fired a one-timer on Auld. Kicking out a rebound, Auld deflected the puck off a forechecking Alexei Zhitnik and into the net, making the score 6-1.
Unfortunately for the Islanders, the five-goal deficit would only last until the Canucks' ninth chance on the powerplay. Some hard work by Bergenheim and Colley kept Vancouver away from the net for most of the kill, but with a few seconds left with the 5-on-4, the Sedin brothers once again hooked up with Carter, feeding him to the left of the Islanders goal for a one-timer he wired into the top of the net for the Canucks' fourth powerplay goal of the evening. Jarkko Ruutu followed up with an eighth goal for Vancouver in the final five minutes.
OFF THE ICE: Three Stars of the Night: 1. Todd Bertuzzi, 2. Anson Carter, 3. Alex Auld... For the Islanders, Garth Snow (knee), Mattias Weinhandl (healthy), Tomi Pettinen (healthy), Brad Lukowich (ribs) and Petteri Nokelainen (knee) were scratched, while the Canucks sat Tyler Bouck (healthy), Richard Park (knee), Rick Rypien (leg) Ed Jovanovski (groin) and Dan Cloutier (knee)... The Canucks bring Todd Bertuzzi and Trevor Linden back to Long Island with them, while Brent Sopel plays host to his old team.
--additional reporting by Brian Bohl
DiPietro on the efficiency of Vancouver:
"They worked hard and capitalized on their chances and we weren't able to match that. They are a really good team that will take advantage of mistakes."
On what needs to be done to improve:
"This is unacceptable. All you can do is get back to work on Monday. We just have to work hard, because when it seems like we are getting out of it, we don't. It's time to start breaking some of those bad habits."
Mark Parrish on the turning point of the game:
"I don't think we grabbed the momentum. We didn't get a whole lot of scoring chances. They put us back on our heels early. They did a good job scoring in front of our net."
(12) Oleg Kvasha-(79) Alexei Yashin-(37) Mark Parrish
(7) Trent Hunter-(16) Mike York-(81) Miroslav Satan
(55) Jason Blake-(17) Shawn Bates-(45) Arron Asham
(10) Sean Bergenheim-(62) Kevin Colley-(49) Eric Godard
(77) Alexei Zhitnik-(3) Brent Sopel
(14) Chris Campoli-(6) Bruno Gervais
(24) Radek Martinek-(44) John Erskine
(39) Rick DiPietro
(34) Wade Dubielewicz
(7) Brendan Morrison-(19) Markus Naslund-(44) Todd Bertuzzi
(22) Daniel Sedin-(33) Henrik Sedin-(77) Anson Carter
(24) Matt Cooke-(16) Trevor Linden-(44) Todd Bertuzzi
(37) Jarkko Ruutu-(20) Ryan Kesler-(14) Alexandre Burrows
(2) Mattias Ohlund-(25) Kevin Bieksa
(5) Bryan Allen-(4) Nolan Baumgartner
(6) Sami Salo-(28) Wade Brookbank
(26) Steve McCarthy
(35) Alex Auld
(1) Maxime Oullet