VANCOUVER – Hope you enjoyed those Vancouver Millionaires replica jerseys. It’s not likely you’ll see the Vancouver Canucks wearing them again any time soon.
The Canucks wore them for the third time Thursday night and for the third time lost. They were dreadful in the first two periods and dropped a 4-1 decision to the Colorado Avalanche.
The jerseys were worn to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Millionaires’ Stanley Cup win. The Canucks, who had won three straight games, could have used Cyclone Taylor in this one.
They had trouble handling Colorado’s speed and for most of the night had real difficulty simply breaking out of their own end.
Colorado,which played Wednesday night in Edmonton, was supposed to be the tired team. They certainly didn’t look like it.
The Avs also gave backup goalie Reto Berra his first start since November.
The loss came on a night when everyone else in the West was winning games. The Los Angeles Kings and Winnipeg Jets both won their games. The Canucks remain second in the Pacific Division, but their lead over the Kings has been cut to just two points. Both teams have eight games remaining.
The Canucks had another one of their slow starts. And that is putting it kindly.
The Canucks were outshot 18-5 in what was a scoreless and decidedly one-sided opening 20 minutes. Vancouver has now scored one first-period goal in the last six games.
The puck seemed to be in the Vancouver zone for nearly the entire period. The penalty-kill bailed the Canucks out when they were left two men short for 1:20. And those two men were their top two defencemen, Alex Edler and Chris Tanev.
Eddie Lack was forced to make a number of good saves, including a Jarome Iginla back-door one-timer during that 5-on-3.
The Canucks did have one good scoring chance, when Radim Vrbata put a shot from the low slot off the post.
The Avs started finishing their chances in the second period, when they scored three unanswered goals and pretty much sealed the win.
Iginla tipped a Gabriel Landeskog shot past Lack at the 3:23 mark. About seven minutes later defenceman Zach Redmond’s shot bounced off the end boards and right onto the stick of Alex Tanguay, who beat lack from close range.
Landeskog made it 3-0 at 12:56 on a Colorado power-play, scoring from the back-door after a pass from Tanguay.
The Canucks got some life 15 seconds into the third period when defenceman Yannick Weber beat Berra from the top of the right faceoff circle on a Vancouver power play.
They pressed the Avs for the remainder of the third but could not cash in on two-power play opportunities. John Mitchell scored into an empty net at the 19:00 mark.
ICE CHIPS: The Canucks close out their three-game homestand Saturday night against the Dallas Stars. . .The Canucks For Kids Fund Telethon on Tuesday night raised more than $630,000, the team announced Thursday night.