Canucks shrug off lopsided loss
H. Sedin: Defeat provides lessons
In the moments after Saturday night’s 3-2 overtime decision in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final, Henrik Sedin said the Canucks basically stole the win because it was the team’s poorest performance of the playoffs.
The Vancouver captain surely underestimated his team. Turns out the Canucks could play a whole lot worse — and they did in Game 3 last night at TD Garden.
The Bruins scored four goals in the second period and four more in the third on the way to an 8-1 rout, which pulled Boston to within 2-1 in the best-of-seven series.
Defenseman Andrew Ference put his team up to stay at the 11-second mark of the second period. The Bruins added a power-play goal at 4:22, which was credited to Mark Recchi, though it was Canucks center Ryan Kesler who redirected the puck between Roberto Luongo’s legs. They added a shorthanded goal at 11:30 with Brad Marchand breezing through the Vancouver defense, and David Krejci added a fourth at 15:47. Daniel Paille buried another shorthanded tally at 11:38 of the third. Jannik Hansen scored the Canucks’ only goal at 13:53, which was essentially garbage time, and Recchi, Chris Kelly, and Michael Ryder (power play) closed it out with goals in the final minutes.
What looked like a commanding series lead has been whittled by half.
As painful as the loss was, Sedin said it wasn’t devastating.
“I’d rather lose 8-1 rather than like the way they’ve lost their games,’’ he said. “This is not about goal differential. We got outplayed and we’ve got to be better, we know that. This can turn in our favor if we treat it the right way and learn something from it. It’s not fun, we have a lot of pride in here, and to do that in the playoffs, that’s not fun. But it’s one game.’’
Because the game was so lopsided, it can be tempting to chalk it up to an anomaly and cast it aside entirely. Sedin said that would be a mistake.
“No, you don’t want to do that in the playoffs,’’ he said. “You have to look at it and learn something from it. Again, I think our first period wasn’t bad. We took a five-minute penalty and killed it off and took over the game. Then we break our stick [defenseman Alexander Edler] and they score right away in the second and that’s when they get their momentum. Then they score [two] power-play goals and two on our power play and that can’t happen.’’
In Game 1, the Canucks had to play with five defensemen for the majority of the contest when Dan Hamhuis was lost to injury four minutes into the second period. The team lost blue liner Aaron Rome for a different reason. He was assessed a five-minute major and game misconduct at 5:07 of the first for a frightening hit on Bruins right winger Nathan Horton.
Being shorthanded for the second time in three games adds to the already difficult challenge.
“We’ve done that throughout the playoffs a lot,’’ said Sedin. “It’s not the first time and I’m sure it’s not going to be the last time. These are things that happen and it’s tough for them, of course it is, because it happened so early, too. A lot of guys have to play 27 or 28 minutes . . . so that’s tough.’’
As regrettable as Sedin said the hit was, he called it “late but not a blindside hit.’’ Sedin didn’t feel it impacted the game.
“I didn’t think it did at all,’’ said Sedin. “In a game where you give up two goals on your power play, you’re not going to win those and that’s not good enough. We’ve got to change a few things. We’re too stationary, first of all. They stay in their box and they keep us to the outside. We’re not getting enough shots through. I’m sure we’re going to take a look at it. We didn’t start out well against San Jose either, but we made some adjustments and we got a lot better so that’s what we need to do.’’
Nancy Marrapese-Burrell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.