Big night for Swedes in Canucks win

Daniel Sedin scores the first goal in a wild game between the Canucks and Red Wings Saturday at...

Daniel Sedin scores the first goal in a wild game between the Canucks and Red Wings Saturday at Rogers Arena. (PHOTO ANDY CLARK, REUTERS)

HOSEA CHEUNG, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 10:10 AM ET

A battle of two elite Western Conference teams Saturday in Vancouver was more a showcase of Team Sweden.

Ten different Swedes combined for six goals and seven assists in a lively back-and-forth tilt which saw the Canucks win 6-4 over the Red Wings at Rogers Arena.

Alex Edler, a native of Ostersund, Sweden, scored the eventual winner in the third period to give Vancouver their sixth consecutive victory, improving to 8-3-2 on the season. The defenceman wristed the puck past goaltender Jimmy Howard on the powerplay just over eight minutes into the final frame to break a 4-4 tie before Manny Malhotra added the cushion goal 2:44 later.

"It is a lot of Swedes out there," said Mikael Samuelsson, who scored his first goal in eight games. "When the teams are scoring 10 goals, it's usually some Swedes especially we have two of the best ones in the league."

Niklas Kronwall led the way for Detroit – which got Swede contributions from Nicklas Lidstrom, Henrik Zetterberg, Jonathan Ericsson, Johan Franzen, and Tomas Holmstrom – with two goals in a game that saw five lead changes.

The Canucks took the first lead when Daniel Sedin scored late in the first period with his ninth, assisted by brother Henrik, to set up a hectic second period.

The Red Wings tallied twice 1:38 apart to take a 2-1 lead with goals from Dan Cleary and Kronwall before the Canucks responded soon after with Samuelsson's second of the season.

With Ryan Kesler in the box for boarding, Malhotra stole the puck from Pavel Datsyuk and broke in on a breakaway, scoring the team's first shorthanded goal of the season and restoring Vancouver's one-goal lead. But with the Detroit powerplay still in progress, Ericsson blasted a slapshot past Roberto Luongo to even things up at three.

Kronwall added his second of the night early in the third to give the visitors a 4-3 lead but Jannik Hansen drew the Canucks even two minutes later with his first of the year. Edler then broke the tie, finishing the night with two points.

"We did it playing the right way, we could have cracked a couple of times but we stuck to the plan," said Malhotra, who had three points and six shots. "In the second period it kind of opened up a little bit. We knew that they're such an offensively-talented team that we couldn't give them opportunities and they capitalized when it counted. But more importantly, our special teams came up big for us tonight."

The Canucks were two-for-five on the powerplay and three-for-four on the penalty kill, allowing their first man advantage goal against in 20 opportunities.

WINNING THE THIRD

The Canucks clearly found their third period mojo from last season.

After registering just 11 shots through the first two frames, the home team fired 23 shots on net in the third, scoring twice.

They also held Detroit to just seven shots on Luongo, who finished with 24 saves.

UP NEXT

The Canucks head on a five-game Eastern road trip starting Tuesday in Montreal.


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