Nothing has come easy so far this National Hockey League season for the Vancouver Canucks. Not even their first win.
For the second straight game, the Canucks blew a two-goal lead, but this time managed to rebound and salvage a much-needed victory.
Alex Burrows and Zack Kassian scored in the shootout and goalie Cory Schneider bounced back with a strong performance as the Canucks clipped the Calgary Flames 3-2 Wednesday night at Rogers Arena to close out a season-opening three-game homestand that yielded three of a possible six points.
That sound you hear is the collective sigh of relief coming from the Vancouver dressing room.
"You can't start with three at home and come up empty-handed in the win column," Schneider said. "Sometimes that first one is the hardest one and once you get it your team settles down a little bit and you get on a roll and that's what we are hoping we can do here as we head out on the road.
"We are by no means satisfied, we can obviously improve ourselves individually and as a team. Like I said, we want to be a good road team again this year and hopefully we can get some points."
The Canucks head out on the road for a three-game California swing with a record of 1-1-1. The Flames, meanwhile, have lost all three of their games this season under new coach Bob Hartley.
Schneider stopped 34 of 36 shots and turned in just the kind of performance he needed after his shaky start in Saturday night's opener against the Anaheim Ducks.
"It was extremely important," Schneider said. "I had to have a bounce-back game. I had to show myself and my teammates that the first game was a fluke."
Kassian, playing his first full game with the Sedin twins, had a terrific game. He scored Vancouver's first goal on a brilliant individual effort and then scored the winner in a shootout that went five rounds. He looked right at home playing with the twins and was named the game's first star.
"From the management, from the coaches, I definitely feel more comfortable and as a player the more comfortable you feel the better you play," Kassian said.
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Canucks rebound to down Flames in shootout
Vancouver Sun | Jan 24