Vancouver Canucks lose to Rangers
Vancouver Canucks goalie Eddie Lack battles for the puck against New York Rangers forward Derek Dorsett during the first period at Rogers Arena Tuesday. (REUTERS)
John Tortorella played the part of the idiot. Alain Vigneault was the smart guy.
Just as the Vancouver Canucks head coach had described it a day earlier to a group of reporters.
With all the games being must-win games these days for the Canucks, they again came out flat on Tuesday night at Rogers Arena. It cost them, of course.
Up against the visiting New York Rangers, the game was probably already over by the time the first period was up. And when the final whistle sounded, the Canucks had dropped their third straight game 3-1.
Just like that, both teams continued trending in the opposite direction.
For the Canucks, they are now six points out of a playoff spot after the Dallas Stars won and Phoenix Coyotes lost in a shootout Tuesday.
They remain 10th in the Western Conference with 79 points and with five games left.
It’s only a matter of time before they are officially eliminated from the post-season for the first time in six years.
Vigneault was around for that collapse in 2008, and fittingly enough, he was also coaching his first regular season game back at Rogers Arena after being fired last summer.
The Rangers bench boss got his revenge.
A goal-mouth scramble and Canucks goalie Eddie Lack’s inability to cover the puck led to Dan Carcillo’s fourth goal of the season in the first period. Benoit Pouliot added another for the visitors about 10 minutes later when he scored on the power play to give New York a two-goal lead after 20 minutes.
But Ryan Kesler got the Canucks on the board in the second, winning the face-off before finishing off the sequence with a one-timer for his team-leading 24th of the campaign.
Then, New York sealed it in the third. Martin St. Louis scored his first goal as a Ranger, finishing a shorthanded two-on-one which began with a Zack Kassian turnover. It’s the forward’s 30th marker this year.
Lack, who was making his 17th consecutive start, finished with 28 saves while Henrik Lundqvist stopped 34 of 35 shots.
The Canucks host the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday as the season continues to wind down.