Stu Walters | Email Stu.Walters@corusent.com
Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader scored two goals each to lead the Detroit Red Wings past the Vancouver Canucks 5-2 on Saturday night.
It all started well for the Canucks with Alex Burrows opening the scoring with his first of two on the night just six seconds into the game, which set a new franchise record for fastest game opening goal in the clubs history. Detroit responded with Justin Abdelkader’s first of the night to tie it a one after the first period despite the Canucks enjoying a 16-6 edge in shots.
The Red Wings took over in the final forty minutes beginning with Henrik Zetterberg’s first of two straight, this one on the power play just over midway thru the second period. The middle frame would end with a Detroit leading 2-1 after Jannik Hansen failed to convert on a penalty shot opportunity. The Danish forward ringing his shot off the cross bar after it appeared he beat Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard who was very solid on the night.
Zetterberg increased Detroit’s lead just over a minute into the third period one timing a fluttering puck past Roberto Luongo stick side to make it 3-1. Dan Cleary and Abdelkader with his second of the night put the game out of reach before Burrow’s added his seventh of the season.
Detroit has now handed the Canucks two lopsided losses in the last three weeks, combining to outscore Vancouver 13-5 in both meetings. More troubling news for the Canucks on the injury front, already playing with Zack Kassian who was dealing with a back issue appear to have lost forward David Booth for the foreseeable future. The Right Winger pulled up lame in the Detroit zone after a late first period collision and couldn’t put any weight on his left leg. He was seen leaving Rogers Arena on crutches and with a walking boot, Canucks coach Alain Vigneault confirmed it was an ankle injury and that he’d have an MRI on Monday.
Also of concern is the Canucks anemic power play which failed to score for an 11th straight game, going 0 for 6 on the night and is now zero for its last 30 attempts. Making matters worse was the Canucks was being leapfrogged by the Minnesota Wild for first place in the Northwest Division. The Canucks who dropped to seventh in the Western Conference standings host the Wild on Monday night for a first place showdown.