Not Offensive Enough

The Canucks had not won against the Red Wings in eighteen games, and with their recent record heading south quickly, they were desperate to bring that streak to an end. “We expect they’re going to come out and play hard tonight,” said Kris Draper before the game. The Canucks, with Todd Bertuzzi leading the way, succeeded in shutting out the Red Wings for the first time since 1985 to take a 3-0 victory.

The story of the first period was one of confusing penalties. Just over four minutes into the period, Donald Brashear was sent to the box for a high-stick against Chris Chelios. Detroit made it through a minute and a half of a strong-passing power play when the referees whistles sounded again. This time, Vancouver goaltender Dan Cloutier was given a penalty for tripping Tomas Holmstrom (which was served by Matt Cooke), and Holmstrom was given an offsetting penalty for goaltender interference. When Steve Yzerman protested the penalty to Holmstrom, he was given an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, causing the teams to have thirty-four seconds of four-man even strength play, then 1:26 of a Vancouver power play.

The second period started with a very low offensive output. Even so, the Canucks managed to score on their first shot of the second, which didn’t come until 7:23 had gone by. Matt Cooke carried the puck up the left wing side, on a two-on-one rush against Max Kuznetsov with Todd Bertuzzi on the right side. Kuznetsov tried to take away the cross-ice pass, but the puck got through, and Bertuzzi placed it perfectly in the corner of the net behind Dominik Hasek.

Hasek had a chance to show off his goaltending skill during a hooking penalty to Darren McCarty. “The Dominator” stopped three good scoring chances by the Vancouver power play before the Red Wings could clear the puck away.

Bertuzzi scored again 3:35 into the third period during a holding penalty to Sergei Fedorov. Markus Naslund fired the puck from the blue line, and it tipped into the net off of Bertuzzi’s skate.

Down by two goals, the Red Wings still were not able to muster much in the way of offensive pressure, and Bertuzzi put the game away for his team with fifty-three seconds left by knocking Chelios out of the way and firing into the empty net from a bad angle to score his second career hat trick.

Hasek stopped 15 of the 17 shots sent against him by the Canucks. Cloutier only had to face 16 shots from the Wings.

The Red Wings will travel home on Sunday and face the Chicago Blackhawks at the Joe on Monday night.

NOTE: Bertuzzi’s second goal was reviewed and awarded to Markus Naslund, with Ed Jovanovski receiving the assist.