Strong Goaltending and Canucks’ Lack of Offense Helps Wings

The Vancouver Canucks have struggled as of late.

Its goal scoring and behind the bench presence has been far from exemplary this year. Head coach for the Canucks, John Tortorella, returned for his first game behind the bench in 15 games, after threatening and attacking another team’s players and staff in the locker room back in January.

Vancouver could not quite get a hold on the speedy Red Wings offense, giving the team many chances. Luckily for Tortorella’s team, Eddie Lack was not lacking any sort of confidence between the pipes. The backup goaltender stopped 29 of 30 shots from the Wings and did not give them much space to shoot into.

The first period went by scoreless, but it did not pass without an injury endured by a Red Wing. Backup goaltender, Jonas Gustavsson, left the game in the first period with dizziness after recording 8 eight saves in one period of play.

In the second period, it did not take long for the Wings to put one passed Lack. Justin Abdelkader received a backhanded pass through multiple defensemen from Henrik Zetterberg and took a wrist shot from the top of the circles just over the blocker of Lack. The puck bounced off the corner post and shot down towards the left side of the net and into the goal.

The Canucks could not find a way to answer, giving the Red Wings a shutout between both their starting goaltender and their backup. Jimmy Howard recorded 16 saves on 16 shots in replacement of Jonas Gustavsson.

Abdelkader got his second and final goal of the game when he hacked the puck off of a Vancouver defender’s stick. The empty net goal sealed a 2-0 victory for Detroit with less than 14 seconds left in the third period.

The Wings have two more games before they split apart for the Olympic break. They will face off against the Panthers in Florida on Thursday, Feb. 6 at 7:30 p.m.

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Information from the Detroit Red Wings was used in this report.

For more information on the Detroit Red Wings and NHL hockey from analysts and journalists at Michigan State University – tune into Octopi Hockeytown podcasts and embrace the Spartan debate at

Austin Goodman is a multimedia journalist at Impact Sports.

Scoring Summary:

1st Period:

No goals recorded.

2nd Period:

DET – 1:08 – J. Abdelkader (Wrist) H. Zetterberg, G. Nyquist

3rd Period:

DET – 19:44 PPG (EN) – J. Abdelkader (Wrist) N. Kronwall

Three Stars:

First: Henrik Zetterberg

(1A, +1, 4 shots, 21:19 TOI)

Second: Eddie Lack

(29SA, 1GA, .966 SV%, 20-21EV, 4-4PP, 4-4SH, 58:56 TOI)

Third: Kyle Quincey

(4 shots, 2 hits, 23:15 TOI)