Caps lose to Canucks 4-7
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) - The Vancouver Canucks finally found the offense they were looking for, and it came from three unlikely sources.
Defenseman Alex Edler scored his first two goals of the season and added an assist, Max Lapierre and Chris Higgins also each scored a pair of goals and the Canucks beat the Washington Capitals 7-4 on Saturday night.
Henrik Sedin scored the winner at 6:18 of the third period and Roberto Luongo had 28 saves.
"We talked about playing more aggressive and keeping our team together all over the ice," Edler said. "It's nice to score seven goals in a game."
Vancouver (5-5-1) ended a two-game skid and won at home for the third time in six games.
"It's so important to get scoring by committee," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. "That's how you win on a consistent basis. For our team tonight to have both (Lapierre's) line and (Manny Malhotra's) line come up and score key goals at key times, it was really important, and we're going to hope that that continues moving forward here."
Alex Ovechkin had two goals for the Capitals (7-2-0), who lost their second straight after opening the season with seven consecutive wins for the first time in franchise history.
Mike Knuble converted a penalty shot and Marcus Johansson also scored for the Capitals, who were tied at 4-4 after the second period.
"We had a bad first so the coach comes in and yells," Washington coach Bruce Boudreau said. "Our team comes out and has a better second. They come back out, and we knew what was going to happen in the third as far as effort, and they got the first one, so it generates more energy in the building. We sort of sagged for five minutes and the game's over."
All the offense was fitting for a game featuring three of the NHL's past four scoring champions: Ovechkin, Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin.
The Canucks outshot the Capitals 43-32 as the teams combined for 75 shots. Vancouver converted two of five power-play chances, while Washington was 1 for 4.
Lapierre opened the scoring 3:31 into the game. He checked the puck off Tomas Vokoun behind the net, then banked it in off the Washington goaltender's skate as he tried to get back into his net.
Ovechkin tied it at 8:55 of the first period. He jammed the puck into Luongo, then it flew high in the air and bounced in off the goalie's back as he searched for the puck in vain.
Higgins gave the Canucks a 2-1 lead on a power play about 5½ minutes later, putting in his own rebound after Vokoun robbed him on his initial shot. David Booth, acquired in a trade from Florida last week, got an assist for his first point with the Canucks.
Ryan Kesler set up Edler's goal on a power play with 3.2 seconds left in the first period.
The Canucks outshot the Capitals 17-10 in the first, and Washington coach Bruce Boudreau replaced Vokoun with Michal Neuvirth at the start of the second period.
"I didn't think Tomas was very sharp," Boudreau said. "He's played eight games in a row at a very high level. The first and third goals weren't very good. I thought this was as good a time as any - since Neuvy was sharp in practice - to get him in the game again."
Ovechkin reduced Washington's deficit to 3-2 on a one-timer off Nicklas Backstrom's pass during a power play at 1:25 of the second.
Knuble scored on a penalty shot at 5:07 after Luongo blocked the shot with his arm but then fell back into the net, knocking the puck in. The penalty shot was awarded after Edler tripped Knuble on a breakaway.
Edler put the Canucks ahead 4-3 at the 8-minute mark of the second as he cruised into the high slot and fired in Henrik Sedin's pass.
Johansson tied it 4-all at 17:54 of the second when he elected to shoot during a 2-on-1 with Ovechkin.
Henrik Sedin gave the Canucks a 5-4 lead just more than six minutes into the third when he flipped in a rebound after Neuvirth made two saves but could not freeze the puck.
Higgins' second goal gave the Canucks a two-goal cushion 44 seconds later as Jannik Hansen sidestepped a sliding Ovechkin and fed him the puck in the slot.
Lapierre capped the scoring with his second of the night midway through the third. Using Higgins as a decoy on a 2-on-1, he slid a shot through Neuvirth's legs.
Would you like to contribute to this story? Join the discussion.