The center scored the a goal and assisted on the winner as the
Vancouver Canucks defeated the Washington Capitals 4-2 Sunday night.
The Canucks (5-3-0) won for the second time in three games. The
Capitals (4-2-2) completed a Western Canada trip with two losses in
Bonino, acquired from the Anaheim Ducks in an offseason deal for
center Ryan Kesler, has three goals and four assists in eight games
as a Canuck. Vancouver's new second-line middleman pulled off his
heroics in a 25-second span in the second period as the Canucks
rallied from a 1-0 deficit.
"It feel good (being involved in two quick goals)," Bonino said. "It
gets the crowd into it. It gets the bench into it, so it's always
First, he wired a shot past Washington goaltender Justin Peters at
15:22 of the second. Then he set up Luca Sbisa for the defenseman's
first goal as a Canuck, which also proved to be the winning tally.
Sbisa, who was acquired with Bonino from Anaheim as part of the
Kesler trade, rebounded after a poor Friday night in Denver, where
he went minus-5 in a loss to the Colorado Avalanche.
"That was a rough night," Sbisa said. "I didn't have the best sleep
after that. I'm not going to lie. I was thinking a lot about that
game. (Sunday's win) was a big game for the team and for me, so I'm
glad it went pretty good."
Center Henrik Sedin and right winger Radim Vrbata (an empty-netter
on a power play with 1:01 left) also scored for the Canucks.
Left wingers Marcus Johansson and Liam O'Brien tallied for the
Capitals. Washington left winger Alex Ovechkin was held off the
scoresheet for the fourth consecutive game.
"The second period was tough for us, especially watching them score
two (quick) goals," said Ovechkin, the Capitals' captain.
The Capitals struggled after posting a win in Calgary the night
"We have to figure out what we have to do to get ready for
back-to-backs," Ovechkin said.
Vancouver goaltender Ryan Miller picked up the win by making 20
saves. Miller was especially sharp during a Washington power play in
the third period.
Capitals goaltender Justin Peters made some stellar saves in the
final two frames among his 30 in the game.
After a scoreless first period, there was a flurry of goals in the
second, with Vancouver taking a 3-2 lead into the third.
"It was tough looking at the scoreboard (after the first period),"
Bonino said. "But in the room, we were pretty confident that we
played a good period. It's better than coming in here with a lead
knowing you played crappy, kind of like we did in Colorado. We were
happy with the way we played. We wanted to expand on that, and we
did in the second."
The Capitals scored first when Johansson was left all alone in front
of the net shortly after a faceoff. He one-timed winger Andre
Burakovsky's cross-ice pass behind Miller at 5:28.
The Canucks then scored the next three goals in less than two
minutes to take a 3-1 lead.
[to top of second column]
Sedin drew Vancouver even on a power play at the 14-minute mark.
Standing by the side of the net, he retrieved Vrbata's wide shot off
the end boards and put a shot off Peters and barely over the goal
Bonino then put the Canucks ahead as he took a quick pass from left
winger Chris Higgins in the neutral zone, skated into Washington end
and wired a shot past Peters one minute and 22 seconds later.
"It was a great play by Higgy there," Bonino said. "He took a hit
and put the puck right there on a platter for me."
Moments later, Bonino set up Sbisa for a one-timed slap shot from
the point. Bonino was thrilled to be part of Sbisa's first goal in a
Vancouver uniform after Sbisa was criticized for his play in Denver.
"For sure. Obviously, he's a great player and I think he gets the
short end of the stick a lot," Bonino said. "He's been a physical
presence, and it was especially good to be on the ice with him when
he got that one. It was a great shot."
However, Sbisa offered a different view on his memorable goal. He
described his decision to shoot as "50-50."
"Sometimes, I would have just backed off and played it safe, but
tonight I just went for it," Sbisa said. "It was a lucky shot. It
went through a few screens and into the net."
O'Brien reduced Washington's deficit to 3-2 at 17:18 of the second
as his shot hit a Canucks defenseman's stick and fluttered over
Miller's shoulder. It was the first NHL career goal for O'Brien, a
20-year-old rookie who signed as a free agent with the Capitals
after going undrafted.
However, the Caps would not get any closer to a comeback.
NOTES: A moment of silence was held before the game for two Canadian
soldiers who were killed in separate attacks last week in Ottawa and
St. Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. ... The game was the first of two
between Vancouver and Washington this season. The teams will meet
again Dec. 2 on the East Coast. ... Capitals LW Jason Chimera suited
up for his 800th NHL career game. ... Vancouver's roster currently
has more free agents (eight) than draft picks (six) and trade
acquisitions (seven). ... The Canucks hosted their Hockey Fights
Cancer Awareness Night. As part of the evening, a child cancer
patient dropped the puck in the ceremonial faceoff while other
patients viewed the game from the club's community suite.
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