CANUCKS 2, PANTHERS 1
BY GEORGE RICHARDS
VANCOUVER – Panthers coach Pete DeBoer knows they don't give out style points in the NHL, so if Florida can find success with its grind-it-out team game, that's cool with him.
Of course, the NHL also doesn't award teams who play strong games but don't win.
DeBoer wished they did.
The Panthers played yet another good game on Monday night but found themselves on the wrong side of the final score as the host Canucks got two goals from Daniel Sedin and a strong outing from Roberto Luongo to drop the Panthers 2-1 at Rogers Arena.
Florida is 0-2-0 this season despite outplaying Edmonton on Sunday and giving the high-powered Canucks (1-0-1) all they could handle. The score was tied until Sedin scored with 5:08 remaining. The Panthers, for the second straight night, outshot their opponent. On Monday, Florida had 42 shots to Vancouver's 35.
“We've strung together six good periods and are creating chances,'' said DeBoer, whose team concludes its western Canada road trip with a game Thursday in Calgary. “This is a real trap game with them waiting for us fresh and us playing in a back-to-back situation. I thought we competed for 60 minutes and had plenty of chances. We could be sitting here at 2-0 right now, although I know that doesn't make anyone feel any better. But that's the truth of it. Our guys have battled hard.''
Said Stephen Weiss: “There's nothing wrong with our effort or our systems. We've played two solid games and probably deserved a better fate in at least one and probably both. It doesn't mean we're satisfied by any means. We need to score some goals. We just couldn't get one past Luongo. Tip the cap to him.''
Sedin's first goal came at 12:39 of the first after Tomas Vokoun left a rebound at his feet. Sedin would get the game winner with 5:08 left when he shoveled in a loose puck past a downed Vokoun.
Rostislav Olesz tied the game late in the second period when he fired a shot from the left boards apparently looking for teammate Mike Santorelli who was crashing the net.
The puck slipped through Santorelli's skates, however, struck Vancouver's Alex Elder and skipped past Luongo.
“We worked hard and couldn't bury all our chances. We needed the bounces to go in our favor,'' said Santorelli. “We need to keep digging, get those greasy goals.''
-- Winger David Booth said Monday's game was “the most fun I've had playing in a while,'' countering that by saying he wished his team had won. Why not? Booth looked like he was back in college, playing on just about every line as he had 27 shifts – tied for most in the game. Daniel Sedin also had 27 shifts.
“I really enjoyed it, was in the flow and in the game,'' said Booth, who tied Olesz with a team-high six shots. “I wish I could have helped contribute and get us a goal late in the game. It was fun. I don't remember having that much fun in a game. I wish we would have won, but it was exciting especially after missing most of last year. Just to compete like that in front of a big crowd.''
-- Luongo is now 4-0-1 against the Panthers, his only loss coming in a shootout in Sunrise in 2008.
-- The Panthers haven't won in Vancouver since the inaugural season of 1993-94. Florida is 1-6 with five ties all-time in Vancouver.
CANUCKS 2, PANTHERS 1: Daniel Sedin Gets Two, Louie Gets 41 Saves
CANUCKS 2, PANTHERS 1