After losing the services of starting goalie Roberto Luongo for the indefinite future with a broken rib, the Canucks may have breathed a sigh of relief too soon after backup goalie Andrew Raycroft’s performance in his first game in relief. After an excellent effort in an overtime victory over Los Angeles, Raycroft was torched for four goals in two periods before being pulled from the game. Corey Schneider, recently recalled from Manitoba of the AHL, played the third period in net giving up three more goals as Anaheim cruised to a 7-2 victory. The Canucks scored twice in the first five minutes of the game to lead 2-0 before giving up seven unanswered goals.
Anaheim has struggled to a 4-6-1 record this season, but rewarded their backers who chose to lay the -164 price as home favorites with the Ducks. The Canucks evened their record on the season at 7-7 with the loss. The 9 combined goals put on the board sailed OVER the posted total of 6. Anaheim has gone OVER in 6 of 11 while Vancouver evened their NHL totals record at 7-7.
The Ducks snapped a four game losing streak with the offensive outburst. After spotting Vancouver a 2-0 lead early in the game, Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan each tallied two goals and an assist in the lopsided victory. Mike Brown had the eventual game winning goal in the second period with his first career shorthanded marker, and even enforcer George Parros got in on the act with his first goal of the year. Jonas Hiller was sharp in goal for Anaheim, stopping 36 of 38 shots in the victory.
Vancouver’s problem this season has been not getting enough shots on goal and giving up too many. In the shootout victory over Los Angeles on Thursday, they were outshot 29-12 in regulation. They’d been kept in a number of games they should have lost due to the goaltending virtuosity of Luongo, and this game didn’t bode well for his absence. This was only the second time in eight games Vancouver has allowed more than two goals, a testimony to the ungodly skill of Luongo more than their defensive tenacity. They actually held a 38-34 shots on goal advantage despite the one sided tally on the big scoreboard.
Raycroft is expected to be back between the pipes for Vancouver’s next game, a Sunday home date against the Colorado Avalanche. The Canucks will host the New York Rangers on Tuesday night before a road game against the Minnesota Wild on Thursday. Anaheim will play at Phoenix on Saturday night before returning to the Honda Center for the next two games. They’ll host the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday before welcoming the Nashville Predators to southern California later in the week.
Ross Everett is a freelance sports writer and respected authority on football betting. His writing has appeared on a variety of sports sites including sportsbooks and sportsbook directory sites. He lives in Southern Nevada with three Jack Russell Terriers and an emu. He is currently working on an autobiography of former interior secretary James Watt.