The Vancouver Canucks got their head coach and captain back Monday, but it didn’t make a difference.
With John Tortorella returning to the bench from a six-game suspension and Henrik Sedin recovered from a rib injury, it still wasn’t enough for the Canucks to end their slide. And surprise, surprise, it was the same ol’ story — they couldn’t score.
Beating Vancouver these days isn’t that difficult, it seems. For Detroit, all it took was just one goal — and an empty netter — in a 2-0 victory at the Joe Louis Arena. The result itself is a change from the previous scoring fests between these two sides.
The Canucks lost their fourth straight, and started their five-game Eastern swing with a pair of defeats — due in part to their own joke of an offence and a pair of markers by Justin Abdelkader.
The Red Wings had to make a goalie switch after the first period as Jonas Gustavsson was suffering from dizziness, but Jimmy Howard came in and completed the shutout. The two netminders combined for 24 saves to give Vancouver’s Motor City visit a disappointing end.
Abdelkader broke the scoreless deadlock early in the second period with his seventh goal of the season, beating Eddie Lack with a long shot from the point.
Canucks’ David Booth had an opportunity to equalize soon after but was stopped on his penalty-shot attempt.
A two-minute five-on-three power play by Detroit couldn’t get them a cushion goal in the middle frame but it’s not as if they needed it.
Despite another strong showing by Lack, who finished with 28 saves — many of which were quite spectacular — there was no offensive support in front of him. In fact, the Canucks couldn’t get a shot in the third period until there was less than six minutes left in regulation.
All the line juggling and power plays — where they went zero-for-five — in the world wasn’t going to change that. The offence has dried up. especially with their top-line players, and something needs to be done about it.
Either way, there’s not much time to dissect their latest blunder as the Canucks play the second of their back-to-back Tuesday against the Boston Bruins. The two sides met in Vancouver earlier this season with the hosts coming away with a 6-2 victory. Game time is 4 p.m. on SNET-P.