Following a 6-0-1 preseason and two thrilling victories over the Calgary Flames to begin the 2008-09 regular season, the Vancouver Canucks have finally regained their form from last year.
The Canucks managed only 10 shots--yes, that's not a typo--in falling to the Capitals, 5-1, in Washington on Monday night.
Washington outshot Vancouver 15-1 in the second period alone, and after two stanzas, the shot clock read: Caps 25, Canucks 3.
Capitals superstar Alexander Ovechkin was held pointless, as was Nicklas Backstrom, the runner-up in the Calder Trophy race last season for Rookie of the Year honors.
No matter. It was another Alexander who picked up the slack.
Winger Alexander Semin talled two goals, including the opening marker just three minutes in and again early in the second to make it 4-1.
Michael Nylander, who finished with three points, beat Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo on a penalty shot to cap the scoring at 16:36 of the second.
Luongo didn't return for the third period, stopping 20 of 25 shots directed his way in his 40 minutes of action.
Caps goaltender Brent Johnson, who was signed by the Canucks before the 2005-06 campaign but never played a game for Vancounver, picked up his 100th career NHL victory.
Johnson was beaten by Alex Edler on the Canucks' first shot of the game when Vancouver had a man advantage about three-and-a-half minutes in, tying the score 1-1. However, the Caps goalie had to face just a grand total of three shots in the first two periods.
Mike Green and Milan Jurcina scored the other Washington goals.
For the Canucks, it was certainly an embarrassment following 6-0 and 5-4 wins against the Flames in their first two games.
This contest was the first of the Canucks' 12-game pay-per-view package for the 2008-09 season, and what a stinker it turned out to be. Certainly a waste of $13 if you paid for the right to watch it!
Nonetheless, Vancouver will have a few days off before facing the defending Stanley Cup champion Red Wings later this week.
Which Canucks team will show up when Vancouver takes on Detroit at the Joe Louis Arena Thursday?
We'll have to see.
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