For those keeping track at home that’s four wins and four forwards lost to injury. It’s a good thing this road trip is almost over because the Vancouver Canucks are going to run out of bodies. They lost two more wingers to injury Thursday night but it didn’t matter. The Canucks won anyway registering a gritty 3-2 shootout victory over the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center. It wasn’t pretty. “I don’t think I would have paid for a minute of that game but it’s nice we came away with the two points” said head coach John Tortorella. The Canucks have somehow managed an impressive 4-1-1 record in the first six games of their season-long seven-game trip that mercifully concludes Friday night in St. Louis. They began the trip nearly two weeks ago without one of their leading scorers in Alex Burrows and along the way have lost four other forwards: Jordan Schroeder and Jannik Hansen went down earlier and on Thursday Dale Weise and David Booth left with first-period “lower-body” injuries. The Canucks finished the game with just nine forwards. Tortorella had an excuse not to use his fourth line Thursday night. He didn’t have one. “It is one of those games on the road where you are grinding and you are trying to get a point and we got two tonight” said Canuck captain Henrik Sedin who assisted on both Vancouver goals. “So it feels great.” It didn’t feel so great during the game as Tortorella rode his top forwards even harder than he has most of this season. Henrik Daniel Sedin and Ryan Kesler all logged more than 25 minutes. Things were so bad that the forgotten Tom Sestito actually played 8:30. “That is why you work in the summer I guess” Henrik said. “A game like this you have to try to keep your shifts a little bit shorter and simplify things. It’s fun as well. It feels like you are back playing pee-wee again. Every second shift so it’s fun.” Fun may be stretching it. Kesler acknowledged that it was a difficult game to finish. “It’s tough when the bench gets short like that and you are playing a lot” he said. “But the good thing is it keeps you in the game.” Their goaltender helped keep them in the game. After a tough start — New Jersey scored on its first shot — Roberto Luongo got better as the game went on. He was brilliant in the third period when he stopped all 17 shots he faced.
Canucks down Devils in shootout, 3-2 but lose two more forwards
Vancouver Sun | Oct 25