Canucks' back-up plan

Vancouver Canucks goalie Dany Sabourin sprawls in his crease during second period action against...

Vancouver Canucks goalie Dany Sabourin sprawls in his crease during second period action against the Oilers in Edmonton on Tuesday. (Edmonton Sun/Darryl Dyck)

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 10:45 AM ET

It was not the way Dany Sabourin envisioned his first start of the season.

The Vancouver Canucks goaltender gave up two goals on the first three shots he faced in a 2-1 loss to the Edmonton Oilers last night at Rexall Place.

It would have been three had Ryan Smyth not slid into the net knocking it off its pegs just before the puck crossed the line.

"I was just a little too deep in my crease, but sometimes things happen like that when the first shot on net goes in," said Sabourin.

"But I think it was a good shot. It was top-shelf and I was screened. I just went down and the puck went in over my shoulder."

The first shot and the first goal came courtesy of Ethan Moreau - his first of the season. The Oilers forward fired a shot from the right boards which found its way past Sabourin.

The second goal came two shots later as Patrick Thoresen netted his second of the season.

"The game didn't start off the way anticipated," said Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault. "Dany got caught deep in his net on those first two goals. I believe nerves played a little bit into that."

To his credit, Sabourin did rebound well.

The goaltender claimed off waivers earlier this month from the Pittsburgh Penguins, finished the game with 18 saves, giving his team a chance to come back.

The Canucks couldn't complete the comeback as Markus Naslund's goal with 2:29 left in the third period was as close as they would get.

"I was happy with how I came back," said Sabourin. "That was a good test for me. The first two goals were scored pretty quick and I was back and able to play a good game after."

Sabourin, 26, was brought in to backup Roberto Luongo this season.

The Canucks big off-season acquisition was given the night off in the second game of the home-and-home series.

"We knew after their performance (Monday) night, that they would come out stronger and harder," Vigneault said. "I'm not necessarily convinced that happened. They had seven shot in the first period, so it's not like they bombarded us."

At the other end Oilers starter Dwayne Roloson took the night off as well, making way for Jussi Markkanen, who turned aside 21 shots in his first start of the season.

"It was very impressive the way Dany bounced back," said Naslund. "Letting in those first two goals would have been a tough start for anyone. But after that, I think he played a strong game."

Unlike Luongo, Sabourin isn't expected to steal games for the Canucks this season.

The native of Val D'or, Quebec, has played in five NHL games in three years and has yet to win one.

"This was a good learning experience," Sabourin said. "It doesn't matter how many games I play this year, it's going to be a great year for me playing in the NHL."


Videos

Photos