Canucks stage epic collapse against Islanders

By Hosea Cheung, 24 hours Vancouver

NHL fans quickly put the Canucks on blast after their epic collapse Monday night.

NHL fans quickly put the Canucks on blast after their epic collapse Monday night.


All the Vancouver Canucks had to do was hold on for 20 more minutes on Monday. They even had an unprecedented three-goal cushion to work with.

Dealt with the perfect opportunity to match their longest winning streak of 2014 — a whopping two games — against a New York Islanders squad who have won just three times in their last 14 games, the Canucks instead imploded in a 7-4 defeat. Epic collapse. Disaster.

For a moment there after two periods, it had looked as if some faith was being restored among the Canucks loyals.

Their offence put together an outburst — by their standards — with three goals, including one from captain Henrik Sedin who hadn’t scored since Dec. 14 and picked up his first point since Jan. 10.

But it all went downhill. The Islanders scored three straight power play goals in the first 3:36 of the final frame before adding another about three minutes later to stun the Rogers Arena crowd. Chris Tanev pulled the hosts into a tie, but it lasted all but 10 seconds.

Two more New York goals — a total of six on 12 shots in a span of 11:45 — ended what should have been a night of celebration for the Canucks. Now, rock bottom, again?

“It’s embarrassing,” Ryan Kesler said.

“We let them back into the game, I can’t wrap my head around it right now.”

Heading into the game still four points back of a playoff spot, Vancouver got on the board first with a power play goal — their first of two on the night.

It was Chris Higgins’ 17th of the season. Henrik’s tally went in off Isles player Cal Clutterbuck — rookie Nicklas Jensen got his first NHL point on the play — while Kesler added another about four minutes later to give the Canucks a sizeable lead.

We all know what happened after that.

Six different scorers answered for the Islanders with Matt Martin picking up the winner. Kyle Okposo added three helpers while Frans Nielsen and Anders Lee picked up a goal and an assist each.

Eddie Lack gave up six goals on 27 shots — the seventh being an empty netter — while Evgeni Nabokov made 21 saves.

With that crushing loss over, a four-game road trip looms for the Canucks starting Wednesday in Winnipeg.

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