Canucks perfect so far

HOSEA CHEUNG, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 1:21 PM ET

It's too bad the Canucks 3-0 win over the Anaheim Ducks Thursday was just an exhibition game.

A regular season showing like that by Vancouver would have drawn plenty more excitement, but that's not to say the preseason victory wasn't something to cheer about.

Despite both teams not having a complete opening night roster, the Canucks managed to produce solid offense, shutdown defence, and overall team toughness, for the full 60 minutes.

Sure, there were moments of carelessness -four minor penalties-, but the positives overshadowed the flaws.

Goaltenders Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider, who combined for 28 saves, played a perfect game to earn the shutout, but it was Steve Bernier who started the night off strong.

With higher expectations, the forward broke the ice by dispelling those who denounced his ability to finish around the net by yes, finishing an Aaron Rome rebound 7:09 into the first period.

He nearly got his second goal of the night moments later, but the referees overturned the tally, saying that Bernier kicked the puck in.

Defencemen Kevin Bieksa and Aaron Rome both contributed to the scoresheet in the middle frame, with the former being credited with the goal despite replays showing that Matt Pope had tipped it in.

Either way, Vancouver took a 2-0 lead, spelling the end of the Ducks goaltender J.S. Giguere's night.

Rome's tally came after he pinched in from the point and tipped in a beautiful Mason Raymond centring pass past Justin Pogge.

The Canucks finished the night with 36 shots on net.

Both teams also contributed to the preseason fight theme by dropping the gloves on four separate occasions.

Vancouver's Ryan Kesler, Alex Bolduc, Nathan McIver, and Tanner Glass all spent time in the sin bin for scrapping, with the latter also earning a 10-minute misconduct.

With Thursday's match being the first of three in three nights for Vancouver, the Canucks still have seven more preseason games to get through before the season opener on Oct. 1.


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