VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP)—The Vancouver Canucks got a big lift from their fourth line.
The Canucks fourth line of Alexandre Burrows, fellow rookie Ryan Kesler and Matt Cooke drew the assignment of checking the Maple Leafs top line and not only shutdown the trio of Mats Sundin, Tie Domi and Alex Steen, but outscored them in the process in Vancouver’s 4-3 win on Tuesday night.
“We played a pretty good game defensively, our main goal was not to give up any goals against or any good scoring chances,” said Burrows, who scored his first career goal. “That was our main focus in addition to getting a good forecheck going and not turning the puck over.
“It’s always a plus when our third and fourth lines get goals and the bottom line tonight was a big win over the Leafs.”
The Canucks trailed 2-1 after the first period, but battled back on goals by Cooke and Burrows, playing in just his fifth NHL game, to take the lead heading into the third period.
“In the past that”s how we’ve been. I’ve been on lines like that in the past and most nights we’ve outworked the opposition and that was the key to our success tonight,” said Cooke. “If we can take that top line out of the game then we are going to have a better chance at having some team success.”
Vancouver goalie Alex Auld, who picked up his 16th win of the season, held the Leafs at bay in the third period, allowing just one goal on 17 shots as the Canucks were outshot 38-19 on the night.
“Their workers won the game for them tonight,” said Toronto coach Pat Quinn. “That’s the kind of things that happen, they forced a couple of goals on us when we made what you would call poor errors in judgment and position and they were rewarded for their hard work. It was one of those games where we probably, on overall play, shouldn’t have lost… But we did.”
Carter gave the Canucks a 4-2 lead eight minutes into the third period. Steen answered to cut the lead to one.
Burrows’ goal came with 3:15 to play in the second period after the 24-year-old came out from behind the Toronto net and fired a shot on Ed Belfour. The Maple Leaf goaltender got enough of the puck to prevent it from going in but couldn’t stop the rebound that bounced off the chest of Steen and into the open net.
Vancouver RW Richard Park suffered a knee injury in the second period and did not return to the lineup. He’ll be examined by team doctors on Wednesday. … Vancouver D Ed Jovanovski missed his sixth straight game with a groin injury despite practicing with the team on Monday. … Vancouver has a 15-3-3 record when at least one defenseman has scored a goal this season. … Toronto D Bryan McCabe sat out with a groin injury suffered in Saturday’s win over Edmonton. He was replaced on the blueline by Carlo Colaiacovo.