Canucks best Wild 5-0
Ryan Kesler had a hat trick. Mason Raymond had 2 goals. Roberto Luongo had a shutout. Not bad for a meaningless game.
The Canucks, mainly the above three mentioned, absolutely demolished the Minnesota Wild, padding the stats for many of the Canuck players seeking individual awards.
Daniel Sedin, facing stiff competition from Corey Perry for the Art Ross and Hart trophies, had 2 assists to bring his season total to 102 points, 5 points ahead of Perry. Ryan Kesler had a hat trick to bring his season goal total to an impressive 40, second on the team to Daniel Sedin. Lastly, Roberto Luongo, in contention for the Vezina, but probably destined to lose to Tim Thomas of the Bruins, had a miraculous game, ending in another shutout to his total.
The game started evenly enough, with both teams trading chances. It wasn't until Mason Raymond opened the scoring that the flood gates really opened. Raymond scored his fourteenth after a beautiful pass by Jannik Hansen across ice. Raymond had plenty of time to wrist the puck high over Wild goaltender Nicklas Backstroms' glove.
Then it was Ryan Keslers turn to light the lamp, as he guided home a nice feed from Henrik Sedin on the powerplay for his 38th goal of the campaign.
In the second, Kesler showed off his signature quick wrister, beating Backstrom high over the shoulder for his 39th goal just over seven minutes into the game. Less than two minutes later, Daniel Sedin took a nice stretch pass from Kevin Bieksa, delayed then fed Raymond for his fifteenth of the year.
Lastly, in the third, it was Kesler, again using his beautiful wrist shot to score his 40th, and end the night for Backstrom, who let in 5 goals on 23 shots. Jose Theodore came on in relief, and stopped all 5 shots he faced.
Roberto Luongo, on the other hand, was sterling. He made 29 saves, most of them in spectacular fashion. His best was no doubt a desperation save made on Mikko Koivu, who had all the time in the world to shoot, left alone in front. Luongo, on his backside, managed to get his hands up and trap the puck before it travelled into the back of the net. Pure mastery.
The Canucks finish out their season in Calgary on Saturday.
Notes: Dan Hamhuis is expected to play Saturday, giving the Canucks the top six they envisioned at the beginning of the season for the first time... Alex Edler returned to the lineup after missing over 30 games with a back injury. He played just over 18 minutes and was a plus 1.