Alex Burrows continued his scorching scoring pace with two goals Monday, but it was referee Stephane Auger who left him still steaming 10 minutes after a 3-2 loss to Nashville, and could have him cooling his heels for Wednesday's game against Minnesota.
Burrows was in the penalty box for a second time when Predators defenseman Shea Weber scored the winning goal with 4:03 left, and he picked up a third penalty -- and a 10-minute misconduct -- for telling Auger off with four seconds left to play. But it was his emotional rant to the media that could result in further discipline from the NHL after the Canucks' hottest forward accused Auger of having a vendetta.
"It was personal," said Burrows, who said Auger approached him before the game and told him he was going to get him back for embellishing a Dec. 8 hit in Nashville that left Burrows crumpled on the ice and resulted in Predators forward Jerred Smithson receiving a five-minute major penalty for charging. "It started in warm-up before the anthem. The ref came over to me and said I made him look bad in Nashville on the Smithson hit. He said he was going to get me back tonight, and he did his job in the third."
Burrows was called for diving early in the period, and for interference with 4:45 left -- just four seconds into a Vancouver power play. Linemate Henrik Sedin received his third penalty of the game just 18 seconds later, and Weber scored the winning goal on a 4-on-3.
"He called me on a diving call I didn't think was diving. He got me on an interference call. I have no idea how he could call that, and it changed the game," Burrows said. "Teammates are battling hard for 60 minutes to win a hockey game because every two points are so huge, so important, and because of a guy's ego, it just blows everything out of proportion and they're making bad calls."
The officials declined to comment while leaving the arena, but Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said the team would look into the allegations.
"There's a history there," he said. "We're definitely going to look into that."
Burrows, who also said Auger refused to let him on the ice to loosen his legs during a TV timeout in the second period, received his final penalty and misconduct after the Canucks fell short in their comeback attempt.
"After my second penalty, I skated by him, and he said, 'If you say a word, I am going to kick you out,' so I didn't say a word because I still thought we could come back and win the game," he said. "But with three seconds left and the face-off outside the zone, I thought I could tell him what I thought about him."
Asked if he expects to be suspended for his comment, Burrows said, "Maybe, I don't know, but I think he should sit out the rest of the year making calls like that."
PREDATORS 3, CANUCKS 2: Whether they deserved the penalties or not, the Canucks played poorly on special teams, and that cost them Monday's game. After giving up a short-handed goal to Joel Ward just two minutes into the game, Vancouver surrendered two power-play goals to a Nashville man advantage that came in ranked 25th in the NHL. Henrik Sedin was in the box for two of them and three times on the night. So too was Alex Burrows, who took an interference penalty four seconds into a Canucks power play with 4:45 left, and was then joined by Sedin 18 seconds later, creating a 4-on-3 advantage that gave Shea Weber plenty of space to blast a one-timer past Roberto Luongo.
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