The Vancouver Canucks’ motion for a victory was denied by the hot Ottawa Senators near Parliament Hill on Thursday night.
Thanks in large part to the play of sophomore goaltender Brian Elliot and center Jason Spezza, Ottawa extended it’s team record winning streak to 11 games, defeating the Canucks 3-1. Elliot may have lost the shutout bid with 99 seconds remaining, but he beat his own team record with his ninth straight win. Captain Daniel Alfredsson netted three assists during the victory, while Jason Spezza extended his goal scoring streak to six games. “Ells (Brian Elliot) has been phenomenal, there’s not enough we can say about how well he’s played,” noted Spezza. “He just keeps it going and it seems like every night he seems better and better, so it’s going well for us.”
After winning 7 straight, the Canucks have run into some hot teams from the East, first Montreal Tuesday, and now Ottawa on Thursday. But the road trip gains some optimism with a trip Saturday morning (10 am PST) to Boston, where the Bruins have lost nine straight, including a 3-2 overtime loss to the surging Montreal Canadiens. “We had been good on the road prior to these last two games and the game in Montreal, but that being said, we’ve got a lot of guys whose personal stats are as good on the road as they are at home,” said coach Alain Vigneault with some concern in his voice.
Alain Vigneault decided to start Andrew Raycroft, after starting Roberto Luongo the past 26 games. In that span, Luongo’s record was 17-6-3. Raycroft recorded his 100th career loss, right on the heels of his 99th career victory in a comeback victory over Toronto on Saturday. Raycroft made 18 saves on the night, with the 3rd Sens tally being scored into an empty net.
The Canucks have an immediate chance for some redemption when they take on the listless Boston Bruins, who have lost 9 straight, Saturday. But they also have a chance for retribution once they finish their landmark 14 game road trip. The Senators will play in Vancouver March 13th, the Canucks first home game back after this trip, with Luongo almost certain to get that start.