for this game

Sundin, Canucks come up empty again against Devils

Jan 14, 2009 - 7:18 AM
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Ticker) -- The Mats Sundin experiment has gone haywire.

The Vancouver Canucks signed the veteran center with hopes of receiving an offensive boost and surviving the period of time that star netminder Roberto Luongo has missed with injury.

So far, though, Sundin and the Canucks have suffered from constant lapses on the defensive end and the team's chemistry suffered another blow during Tuesday's 5-3 flop to the New Jersey Devils.

"Tonight, obviously, our start wasn't what we expected," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. "A few of those chances that they got or goals that they got were off turnovers from our players. In general, we're far from giving up more chances defensively. We're solid and we're keeping our chances below 12 against a game. We're at exactly what we're doing before. It's a little bit more challenging right now. The opposition seems to be finding ways to score goals against us."

All-Star Zach Parise, Dainius Zubrus and Travis Zajac each had a goal and an assist while Brian Gionta and Brian Rolston added tallies as the Devils bounced back from a loss and improved to 2-1-0 on their current season-high, six-game road swing.

Alex Burrows, Pavol Demitra and Steve Bernier netted goals and Sundin notched his first assist of the season, but the Canucks suffered their fifth consecutive home loss.

"We know how we need to play," Canucks center Ryan Kesler said. "For whatever reason, we came out flat. That first period was terrible and we all know that. I thought we did a pretty good job in the second coming back and unfortunately just came up short. That being said, having a first period like that we didn't deserve to win like that."

A nine-time All-Star, Sundin inked a one-year contract with Vancouver after much speculation and skated in an NHL game for the first time in nine months during its 4-2 win at Edmonton on Wednesday. Since then, the Canucks are winless in three straight games and have been outscored, 15-9.

"Obviously we're facing some adversity," Vigneault said. "We have faced adversity in the past and we've responded. Obviously, we're facing a good deal right now with healthy guys coming back in the lineup, Roberto not being far away, we've held together in the past and gotten it done and I'm very confident that this group will be able to do the same thing here in the future."

Sundin scored a goal in Vancouver's 4-2 setback against the Western Conference-leading San Jose Sharks on Saturday, yet there have been rumors his high-profile arrival has disrupted a club in dire need of Luongo's return.

Luongo has been out since November 22 and may return for Thursday's game against Phoenix or Sunday's contest versus Columbus.

"He's going to practice (Wednesday) and see how he feels," Vigneault said. "I think he left it up to me, but (Wednesday) is five weeks and he's only had one practice with the group. I think the smart and cautious thing to do is to give him another. He had a really hard day today with (Canucks goaltending consultant) Ian (Clark). He's going to have another good practice (Wednesday) and we'll see how he feels."

Jason LaBarbera, who was acquired via trade earlier in the month to ease pain of losing Luongo, was dreadfully exposed as Rolston opened the scoring 65 seconds into the contest and Parise struck for his team-leading 25th goal of the season 2:24 later.

Vigneault promptly pulled LaBarbera in favor of Curtis Sanford, who finished with 19 saves.

"I think you're always a little surprised when you get yanked," LaBarbera said. "First goal was pretty bad. Second goal, I probably could have played it better. You'd like to stay in there and battle but, at the same time, we looked pretty slow."

Gionta ballooned New Jersey's lead to 3-0 with 9:53 left in the session, taking a pass from Zubrus, who took advantage of a turnover by Sanford.

"Teams are taking advantage of our mistakes," Kesler said. "We're making quite a few right now. As I've said, we've got to turn this thing around."

After Burrows cut the deficit to 3-1 in the second, the Devils padded their lead once again as Zajac converted passes from captain Jamie Langenbrunner and Parise 4:19 into the third.

"That was great," Zajac said. "We had all four lines going. We competed hard and we controlled the play and that's what we wanted to do."

Demitra and Bernier solved Scott Clemmsensen within a five-minute span in the third, but Vancouver's comeback was subdued when Zubrus deposited an empty-netter with 39 seconds remaining.

"They came back and we held them off," Rolston said. "It was a good two points for our team."

Patrik Elias and Langenbrunner notched two assists apiece in support of Clemmensen, who made 26 saves.

"We haven't been playing that well lately so for us to get a win was important, regardless of how we did it," Clemmensen said. "We were kind of up and down a little bit most of the game. Obviously, we started up and, like I said, it was up and down for most of the game. We finished down but we got the win so that's the most important thing."






  • 15
    roots
    MattDOOM777 Added 5 roots

    Devils 5, Canucks 3  FinalJan 15 5:04 PM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NEW JERSEY 3 0 2 5
    VANCOUVER 0 1 2 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NJD - BRIAN ROLSTON 8 (DAVID CLARKSON, JOHN MADDEN) 1:05
    NJD - ZACH PARISE 25 (TRAVIS ZAJAC, JAMIE LANGENBRUNNER)
    3:29
    NJD - BRIAN GIONTA 11 (DAINIUS ZUBRUS, PATRIK ELIAS) 11:07
    2ND PRD: VAN - ALEXANDRE BURROWS 10 (R

    Jan 14 12:20 AM


  • NHL
    NEW JERSEY 5
    VANCOUVER 3
    3RD PRD: NJD - (EN) DAINIUS ZUBRUS 11 (PATRIK ELIAS) 19:21

    Devils 5, Canucks 3  3rd - 0:39Jan 14 12:20 AM


  • NHL
    NEW JERSEY 4
    VANCOUVER 3
    3RD PRD: VAN - STEVE BERNIER 10 (RYAN KESLER) 17:19

    Devils 4, Canucks 3  3rd - 2:41Jan 14 12:16 AM


  • NHL
    NEW JERSEY 4
    VANCOUVER 2
    3RD PRD: VAN - PAVOL DEMITRA 13 (MATS SUNDIN, SHANE O'BRIEN) 12:19

    Devils 4, Canucks 2  3rd - 7:41Jan 14 12:05 AM


  • NHL
    NEW JERSEY 4
    VANCOUVER 1
    3RD PRD: NJD - TRAVIS ZAJAC 12 (JAMIE LANGENBRUNNER, ZACH PARISE) 4:19

    Devils 4, Canucks 1  3rd - 15:41Jan 13 11:52 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NEW JERSEY 3 0 3
    VANCOUVER 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NJD - BRIAN ROLSTON 8 (DAVID CLARKSON, JOHN MADDEN) 1:05
    NJD - ZACH PARISE 25 (TRAVIS ZAJAC, JAMIE LANGENBRUNNER)
    3:29
    NJD - BRIAN GIONTA 11 (DAINIUS ZUBRUS, PATRIK ELIAS) 11:07
    2ND PRD: VAN - ALEXANDRE

    Jan 13 11:29 PM


  • NHL
    NEW JERSEY 3
    VANCOUVER 1
    2ND PRD: VAN - ALEXANDRE BURROWS 10 (RYAN KESLER) 11:01

    Devils 3, Canucks 1  2nd - 8:59Jan 13 11:15 PM
  • 10
    roots
    #1 Cards Fan Added 10 roots

    Devils 3, Canucks 0  2nd - 19:55Jan 13 10:57 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NEW JERSEY 3 3
    VANCOUVER 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NJD - BRIAN ROLSTON 8 (DAVID CLARKSON) 1:05
    NJD - ZACH PARISE 25 (TRAVIS ZAJAC, JAMIE LANGENBRUNNER)
    3:29
    NJD - BRIAN GIONTA 11 (DAINIUS ZUBRUS) 11:07
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- ---

    Jan 13 10:38 PM


  • NHL
    NEW JERSEY 3
    VANCOUVER 0
    1ST PRD: NJD - BRIAN GIONTA 11 (DAINIUS ZUBRUS) 11:07

    Devils 3, Canucks 0  1st - 8:53Jan 13 10:27 PM


  • NHL
    NEW JERSEY 2
    VANCOUVER 0
    1ST PRD: NJD - ZACH PARISE 25 (TRAVIS ZAJAC, JAMIE LANGENBRUNNER) 3:29

    Devils 2, Canucks 0  1st - 16:31Jan 13 10:15 PM


  • NHL
    NEW JERSEY 1
    VANCOUVER 0
    1ST PRD: NJD - BRIAN ROLSTON 8 (DAVID CLARKSON) 1:05

    Devils 1, Canucks 0  1st - 18:55Jan 13 10:12 PM