As Mikael Samuelsson, John Madden and Kris Versteeg took the ice as the first unit tonight, it should have been clear to Canucks netminder Roberto Luongo that these aren’t the same old Panthers.
The Cats started out hitting Luongo hard, getting the first four shots on goal in the first three minutes. That’s where the Panthers showed a defensive lapse, and the Canucks made the Panthers pay with a two on none break that resulted in the first goal of the game, by Dale Weise with an assist by Manny Malhotra.
At the five minute mark, a little extra-curricular activity between Keith Ballard and Michal Repik resulted in two Canucks and a Panther going into the box for the Panthers first power play of the night.
The Canucks were up to the penalty kill, twice clearing the puck while allowing only one shot on goal, a slapshot from Brian Campbell which was turned aside by Luongo.
Kris Versteeg was called for tripping Chris Higgins with seven minutes left in the period, putting Vancouver and their league leading power play on their first man advantage of the evening. The Canucks attacked the Panthers net, keeping the puck in the zone for almost the whole two minutes but only getting one shot on net.
Aside from the goal allowed in the first four minutes, Clemmensen was standing pretty tall in net, making a lot of good shots look average.
Hits: Tied, 9-9
Blocked Shots: Canucks, 7-2
Faceoffs: Panthers, 11-5
Shots On Goal: Canucks, 10-6
Score: Canucks 1, Panthers 0