Canucks crush Senators behind offensive surge

Don Brennan, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

OTTAWA -- Maybe it was the time-zone change, but the Vancouver Canucks were a little late showing up to play the Ottawa Senators on Thursday.
They didn't really arrive until the start of the second period.
The Canucks scored four unanswered goals in the middle frame to erase a 1-0 deficit, then cruised to a 5-2 over the Senators at Canadian Tire Centre.
"It was a big win for us, especially being down 1-0 after the first," said Vancouver winger Daniel Sedin, who started the uprising at the 31-second mark of the middle period. "We're a desperate team. We need points."
The Canucks (13-9-5) won for just the second time in nine games, while the Senators (10-12-4) lost for the fifth time in seven outings.
Ottawa got off to a promising start, taking a 1-0 lead one night after recording a come-from-behind, 6-4 victory over the Capitals in Washington. However, the Senators tired quickly in the second period.
Sedin and Vancouver winger David Booth scored 45 seconds apart, then defenseman Jason Garrison added another before the five-minute mark.
Winger Dale Weise's goal made it 4-1 by the 9:22 mark, after which Senators coach Paul MacLean replaced starting goalie Craig Anderson, who made just 11 saves.
Anderson was replaced by Robin Lehner, who allowed one goal on 13 shots the rest of the way.
"They played, we didn't," MacLean said. "Tonight we got what we earned, last night we got what we earned, 26 times this year we've gotten what we've earned.
"We've got to start being way more consistent and playing much harder to win on a nightly basis."
A goal with 62 seconds lefts in the second period by winger Mika Zibanejad cut the Canucks' lead to 4-2 and gave the Senators some hope heading into the third. However, Vancouver restored its three-goal advantage when center Mike Santorelli scored at 5:31 of the third period.
The Senators scored the only goal of the first period when left winger Clarke MacArthur took a pass at his own blue line, skated into Vancouver territory until he was near the bottom of the faceoff circle, then snapped a quick shot over goalie Roberto Luongo's right shoulder.
"I thought the effort was there," Senators defenseman Chris Phillips said. "We physically stepped up, and we were prepared to play. We did a lot of good things, but it's a game of mistakes and capitalizing on those mistakes, and they did a better job of that tonight."
Luongo had to stop 37 shots for the win, so there were some holes in the Canucks' game, too.
"Quite honestly I thought we've played better games," Vancouver coach John Tortorella said. "It's good to get a win for us. No complaints here. We've lost some games we should have won, and I thought we played well enough to win, but we still have a lot of things to work on."
NOTES: Canucks LW Daniel Sedin scored in the second period to become the third player in franchise history to reach the 300-goal plateau. He joined Markus Naslund (346) and Trevor Linden (318) in the exclusive group. ... Senators D Jared Cowen was a healthy scratch for the first time in his career. "I think Jared has struggled at times this year," coach Paul MacLean said of the 22-year-old former first-round pick. "I think that it's time for him to watch a game and see if he can settle himself down and get himself back playing the way we need him to play." ... Senators LW Clarke MacArthur scored his 100th NHL goal in the first period. ... Canucks coach John Tortorella is not discouraged by his team's play despite the recent slump. "We've talked about it for weeks here, I think our team has played well," Tortorella said before the game. "We haven't closed out games."

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