The Canucks won three of four games in a busy week that included a three game road trip. Monday in St. Louis the Canucks bested the Blues 3-1. Wednesday saw the Canucks play Detroit in a battle for first place in the Western conference. Despite holding a late lead, the Canucks lost 5-4 in overtime in a very entertaining game. One night later Vancouver avenged the loss to Detroit, beating the Columbus Blue Jackets 7-1 before heading home for the final game of the week Sunday, a game which saw the Canucks come back from two goals down to beat the Oilers.
The Canucks arrived in St. Louis on Monday riding a three game winning streak. The game remained scoreless throughout the first period, with the Canucks playing very well defensively, holding the Blues to only three shots in the period. Fourth liner Aaron Volpatti scored his first career NHL goal midway through the second period to give the Canucks a 1-0 lead. Vancouver extended the lead just two minutes later when red hot Ryan Kesler netted his 16th goal of the season. The Blues cut the lead to one at 17:57 of the second on an Alex Steen goal, however, that would be the only goal St. Louis would score on the night. Jeff Tambellini scored on the power play late in the third to give the Canucks a 3-1 victory. Solid defense was the key to victory for the Canucks, as they allowed the Blues only 16 shots in the game. The Canucks headed to Detroit for a meeting with the Red Wings on Wednesday in a battle for first overall in the Western Conference.
The highly anticipated game Wednesday versus the Red Wings lived up to its billing as the Canucks and Wings battled in a high scoring game. The Canucks surrendered the first goal of the game for the first time in the last two weeks when Danny Cleary scored on a two on one on a set up by former Canuck Todd Bertuzzi. Henrik Sedin tied the game just 1:11 into the second period on the Canucks top ranked power play before Valtteri Filppula buried an opportunistic rebound off of Roberto Luongo to regain the lead for Detroit. Goals by Daniel Sedin and former Red Wing Mikael Samuelsson gave the Canucks a 3-2 lead heading into the third period. Early in the third Henrik Zetterberg tied the game on a shot from along the goal line that somehow found its way past Roberto Luongo. The game remained tied through the midway point of the third despite both teams generating quality chances before Ryan Kesler set up Jeff Tambellini who fired a laser beam of a wrist shot over the glove of Jimmy Howard giving the Canucks a late 4-3 lead. The lead was short-lived, however, as Alex Burrows took a cross checking penalty with five minutes left in the game. Detroit’s ageless wonder Nick Lidstrom drifted in from the left point and found himself wide open to bury a rebound past Luongo to tie the game and send it into overtime. The teams traded chances in overtime before Alex Edler and Christian Ehrhoff both misplayed the puck in the defensive zone, leading to it ending up on the stick of Henrik Zetterberg who wasted no time putting a slap shot on Luongo that probably should’ve been saved, but wasn’t. The Red Wings won an entertaining game 5-4 and the Canucks would have no time to dwell, playing the next night in Columbus.