Cam Tucker

VANCOUVER, BC - OCTOBER 15: Brandon Sutter #20 of the Vancouver Canucks celebrates his game winning goal against the Calgary Flames during a shootout of their NHL game at Rogers Arena on October 15, 2016 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Ben Nelms/Getty Images)

Canucks author another comeback win, which was rare last season


The Vancouver Canucks, in their fall down the NHL standings last season, were 3-30-1 when trailing after two periods.

That was last season.

This year’s team already has two — yes, two! — wins when trailing after two periods early on in their schedule.

They came back to win in the shootout versus the Calgary Flames on Saturday and overcame a three-goal deficit to beat the visiting Carolina Hurricanes by a final score of 4-3 in overtime on Sunday.

Brandon Sutter scored the winner for Vancouver.

Scoring was an issue last season for the Canucks, but against Carolina they managed goals from four different players, including Bo Horvat, Markus Granlund and Ben Hutton, which is also another positive development to begin the season.

Willie Desjardins opted to switch up three of his four forward lines, moving Horvat from the fourth line with Alex Burrows and Derek Dorsett onto a line with Sven Baertschi and Jake Virtanen.

The Hurricanes, beginning the season with a six-game road trip, have now lost consecutive games in overtime. And once again, they blew a three-goal lead.

Now, Virtanen could be receiving a call from the league after replays appear to show his hand forcing the head of Joakim Nordstrom into the boards as the Hurricanes winger was knocked off balance.

There was no call on the play.

‘We can’t handle prosperity yet’ — McLellan rips Oilers after ugly loss to Sabres

Edmonton Oilers head coach Todd McLellan stands on the bench behind Connor McDavid, left, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins during the second period of a pre-season NHL hockey game against the Vancouver Canucks in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)

After two wins (and 12 goals) against the rival Calgary Flames to begin the season, the Edmonton Oilers came crashing back down to Earth on Sunday — at the hands of the Buffalo Sabres.

Afterward, coach Todd McLellan ripped into his players with a very straightforward assessment of their play, following a 6-2 home loss that included goalie Cam Talbot being scored on from center ice.

Talbot has now given up 13 goals on 99 shots faced in three games.

But his play wasn’t the only issue facing the Oilers.

“We looked like the Bad News Bears,” said McLellan. “We had guys falling all over the place. We didn’t execute. Our passing was poor. Positionally, from the goaltender to the (defense) on up to the forwards, no one was ready to play.

“From each and every game, you learn lessons. We learned a lesson that we’re not quite ready to take a step. We can’t handle prosperity yet. We just got kicked right between the legs and we deserved it.”

As for Talbot’s play, the coach seemed to stick up for his goalie, but admitted he “struggled immensely.”

The long-distance goal didn’t look good. But at the time, that put the Oilers down only one goal.

“Would a better team recover from that and help him out? Because I saw him stop 23 (shots) the other night in Calgary and save our asses,” said McLellan.

He was also very critical of Benoit Pouliot, who took a pair of minor penalties in the first period versus the Sabres, after taking three minors in 12:14 of ice time versus Calgary on Friday.

The 30-year-old Pouliot — who also scored Sunday — was benched for the final two periods.

“We have some foundation or fabric things that we have to continue to fix as an organization. And stupidity is one of them,” said McLellan.

The Oilers were supposed to enjoy a day off on Monday.

McLellan has cancelled that. Practice is on. And it could be one McLellan uses to send a message.

Ducks still searching for first win after slow start, OT loss to Islanders

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 16:  Josh Bailey #12 of the New York Islanders scores the game winning overtime goal at 54 seconds against John Gibson #36 of the Anaheim Ducks at the Barclays Center on October 16, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Islanders defeated the Ducks 3-2 in overtime.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK (AP) Josh Bailey scored 54 seconds into overtime to give the New York Islanders a 3-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks in their home opener Sunday night.

Brock Nelson and John Tavares scored for the Islanders and Jaroslav Halak stopped 24 shots to get New York its first win of the season after opening with two road losses.

Cam Fowler and Ryan Getzlaf scored in the third period for the Ducks and John Gibson finished with 27 saves. Anaheim fell to 0-2-1 on its season-opening five-game trip.

The Ducks trailed 2-0 in the third before rallying to tie it.

Fowler halved the deficit at 8:31 when his wrist shot deflected off Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey‘s skate and over Halak’s shoulder. Then, with the Ducks using six skaters with the goalie pulled, Getzlaf tied it with 1 minute remaining when his one-timer went inside the right post on Halak’s blocker side.

Tavares extended the Islanders’ lead to 2-0 at 7:59 of the third. Cal Clutterbuck broke his stick as he tried to take a shot then knocked the puck back to Tavares, whose first shot was stopped by Gibson. However, the New York captain fired the rebound in for his first goal of the season.

Fowler started the Ducks’ comeback just over 30 seconds later.

The loss left Ducks coach Randy Carlyle still seeking his first win in his second stint in Anaheim. He previously spent six seasons with team, from 2005-11.

After getting outplayed in the opening period, the Ducks were the aggressors in the second. Anaheim had three power plays and outshot New York 13-5.

Halak, barely tested in the first 20 minutes, had to make several stops in the middle period, including glove saves on Jacob Larsson’s slap shot near the 7-minute mark and Jakob Silfverberg‘s wrist shot with about four minutes left.

The Islanders nearly added to their lead with about 8 1/2 minutes left when a shot by Anders Lee hit the left goal post and rolled across the front of the goal line. The horn sounded and several New York players raised their hands but play continued.

The Islanders’ Casey Cizikas hobbled to the bench with about 3 1/2 minutes remaining in the second after blocking a shot by Antoine Vermette, but returned 1:20 later. However, he left the ice about five minutes into the third and went to the dressing room.

The Islanders outshot the Ducks 16-3 in the first period. Anaheim didn’t get its first shot until Nick Sorenson’s long slap shot from outside the blue line with 5:39 remaining.

Nelson got New York on the scoreboard at 7:47 of the first as he took a pass in front from Chimera, spun around with a defender on him and fired a wrist shot past Gibson. That gave Nelson three points (two goals, one assist) and made him the only Islanders player to have at least a point in each of the first three games.

Oops: O’Reilly scores on Talbot from center ice

EDMONTON, AB - OCTOBER 16:  Sam Reinhart #23 and Ryan O'Reilly #90 of the Buffalo Sabres celebrate a goal against the Edmonton Oilers on October 16, 2016 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images)

This hasn’t been a good night for Cam Talbot.

The Buffalo Sabres took a 3-2 lead in the second period of Sunday’s game on a strange one allowed by the Edmonton Oilers goalie.

Ryan O'Reilly harmlessly dumped the puck on net from center ice, when the puck skipped by Talbot and into the net. That counts as O’Reilly’s second of the night and second of the season.

The Sabres restored their two-goal lead later in the second period, with Talbot allowing four goals on 15 shots.

Jonas Gustavsson came into the game in place of Talbot, but quickly exited after a collision with one of his defensemen.

Canucks’ Horvat could reportedly be reunited with Baertschi and Virtanen

VANCOUVER, BC - OCTOBER 10: Bo Horvat #53 of the Vancouver Canucks celebrates after scoring a goal against the Calgary Flames as Sven Baertschi #47 looks on in NHL action on October, 10, 2015 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)

Willie Desjardins raised eyebrows in Vancouver when the Canucks coach started the season with Bo Horvat centering essentially a fourth line with Alex Burrows and Derek Dorsett.

It was an odd move, to say the least, because Horvat appeared to be developing chemistry with winger Sven Baertschi last season and it looked like that pairing could be counted on to provide some scoring for an offensively challenged team that relied — and will still rely — heavily on Daniel and Henrik Sedin.

But when the season began for the Canucks on Saturday, Horvat was on a fourth line, despite a much better  and more productive second half to last season, and Baertschi was on a line with Markus Granlund, who has 31 career NHL points.

From the Vancouver Sun earlier this week:

Although Burrows and Dorsett appear to be the Canucks’ fourth set of wingers, Desjardins insisted again that Horvat is not playing on the fourth line and will get additional minutes on special teams.

“We need to play four lines,” Desjardins explained. “Granlund’s a good offensive player. Maybe he can have chemistry with Baerstchi as well. So I want to have a look at that. Bo is the type of guy … whatever line he’s on he can create something.”

After a come-from-behind 2-1 shootout win over Calgary on Saturday, the Canucks host the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday.

Those hoping to see Horvat put back on a line with Baertschi and second-year right winger Jake Virtanen, in an attempt to spark some secondary scoring, may get their wish.

Dan Murphy of Sportsnet reported on Twitter that it “sounds like” that trio will be put together versus the Hurricanes.