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Washington at Vancouver

Canucks pop seven goals, deal Caps 2nd loss in row

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- The Vancouver Canucks finally found the offense they were looking for, and it came from three unlikely sources.

Defenseman Alex Edler scored his first two goals of the season and added an assist, Max Lapierre and Christopher Higgins also each scored a pair of goals and the Canucks beat the Washington Capitals 7-4 on Saturday.

Henrik Sedin scored the winner at 6:18 of the third period and Roberto Luongo had 28 saves.

"We talked about playing more aggressive and keeping our team together all over the ice," Edler said. "It's nice to score seven goals in a game."

Vancouver (5-5-1) ended a two-game skid and won at home for the third time in six games.

"It's so important to get scoring by committee," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. "That's how you win on a consistent basis. For our team tonight to have both [Lapierre's] line and [Manny Malhotra's] line come up and score key goals at key times, it was really important, and we're going to hope that that continues moving forward here."

Alexander Ovechkin had two goals for the Capitals (7-2-0), who lost their second straight after opening the season with seven consecutive wins for the first time in franchise history.

Mike Knuble converted a penalty shot and Marcus Johansson also scored for the Capitals, who were tied at 4-4 after the second period.

"We had a bad first so the coach comes in and yells," Washington coach Bruce Boudreau said. "Our team comes out and has a better second. They come back out, and we knew what was going to happen in the third as far as effort, and they got the first one, so it generates more energy in the building. We sort of sagged for five minutes and the game's over."

All the offense was fitting for a game featuring three of the NHL's past four scoring champions: Ovechkin, Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin.

The Canucks outshot the Capitals 43-32 as the teams combined for 75 shots. Vancouver converted two of five power-play chances, while Washington was 1 for 4.

Lapierre opened the scoring 3:31 into the game. He checked the puck off Tomas Vokoun behind the net, then banked it in off the Washington goaltender's skate as he tried to get back into his net.

Ovechkin tied it at 8:55 of the first period. He jammed the puck into Luongo, then it flew high in the air and bounced in off the goalie's back as he searched for the puck in vain.

Higgins gave the Canucks a 2-1 lead on a power play about 5½ minutes later, putting in his own rebound after Vokoun robbed him on his initial shot. David Booth, acquired in a trade from Florida last week, got an assist for his first point with the Canucks.

Ryan Kesler set up Edler's goal on a power play with 3.2 seconds left in the first period.

The Canucks outshot the Capitals 17-10 in the first, and Washington coach Bruce Boudreau replaced Vokoun with Michal Neuvirth at the start of the second period.

"I didn't think Tomas was very sharp," Boudreau said. "He's played eight games in a row at a very high level. The first and third goals weren't very good. I thought this was as good a time as any -- since Neuvy was sharp in practice -- to get him in the game again."

Ovechkin reduced Washington's deficit to 3-2 on a one-timer off Nicklas Backstrom's pass during a power play at 1:25 of the second.

Knuble scored on a penalty shot at 5:07 after Luongo blocked the shot with his arm but then fell back into the net, knocking the puck in. The penalty shot was awarded after Edler tripped Knuble on a breakaway.

Edler put the Canucks ahead 4-3 at the 8-minute mark of the second as he cruised into the high slot and fired in Henrik Sedin's pass.

Johansson tied it 4-all at 17:54 of the second when he elected to shoot during a 2-on-1 with Ovechkin.

Henrik Sedin gave the Canucks a 5-4 lead just more than six minutes into the third when he flipped in a rebound after Neuvirth made two saves but could not freeze the puck.

Higgins' second goal gave the Canucks a two-goal cushion 44 seconds later as Jannik Hansen sidestepped a sliding Ovechkin and fed him the puck in the slot.

Lapierre capped the scoring with his second of the night midway through the third. Using Higgins as a decoy on a 2-on-1, he slid a shot through Neuvirth's legs.

Notes

  • The Canucks start a six-game road trip in Calgary on Tuesday.
  • The Capitals head home to face Anaheim the same night.
  • Capitals defenseman Mike Green (ankle) missed his fifth straight game. He is expected back next weekend.
  • Injured Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome (hand) and wing Steve Pinizzotto (shoulder) remained out, but are expected to return sometime during the upcoming road trip.
  • Many fans were dressed in Halloween costumes.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Christopher Higgins, celebrating behind the referee, is one of three Vancouver players to score two goals apiece. (AP)
Christopher Higgins, celebrating behind the referee, is one of three Vancouver players to score two goals apiece. (AP)
Scoreboard
Washington (7-2-0)1304
Vancouver  (5-5-1) «3137
Three Stars
A. Edler
VAN


Goals: 2
Assist(s): 1
C. Higgins
VAN


Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
M. Lapierre
VAN


Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0

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Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
03:31 - Maxim Lapierre (2), Wrist Shot. Assist: Weise, Bieksa
08:55 - Alex Ovechkin (4), Wrist Shot. Assist: Brouwer, Backstrom
13:17Power Play - Christopher Higgins (4), Wrist Shot. Assist: Hamhuis, Booth
19:56Power Play - Alexander Edler (1), Slap Shot. Assist: Salo, Kesler
2ND PERIOD
01:25Power Play - Alex Ovechkin (5), Snap Shot. Assist: Backstrom, Carlson
05:07 - Mike Knuble (2), Penalty Shot, Unassisted.
08:00 - Alexander Edler (2), Snap Shot. Assist: Sedin, Sedin
17:54 - Marcus Johansson (5), Wrist Shot. Assist: Wideman
3RD PERIOD
06:18 - Henrik Sedin (4), Wrist Shot. Assist: Kesler, Edler
06:52 - Christopher Higgins (5), Wrist Shot. Assist: Hansen, Malhotra
10:25 - Maxim Lapierre (3), Wrist Shot. Assist: Bieksa, Hamhuis
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
05:55Sulzer, 2 min, High-Sticking
11:27Ward, 2 min, High-Sticking
15:49Semin, 2 min, Hooking
16:42Kesler, 2 min, Hooking
19:51Halpern, 2 min, Tripping
2ND PERIOD
26.0Hamhuis, 2 min, Slashing
11:08Brouwer, 2 min, Delay of Game - Puck Over Glass
3RD PERIOD
04:15Ovechkin, 2 min, Interference
08:17Salo, 2 min, Holding
Shots On Goal
 123T
WAS10121032
VAN17141243
 
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