Vancouver Canucks

Forsling, Nylander lead Sweden past Russia

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Gustav Forsling scored twice and William Nylander setup a pair of goals, including the game winner, as Sweden edged Russia 3-2 Monday night at the world junior championship.

Detroit Red Wings’ 2014 seventh round pick Axel Holmstrom netted the eventual game winner at 10:53 of the third period, one timing an Oskar Lindblom feed for his first of the tournament.

Monday’s matchup between the Russians and Swedes featured two 2014 New York Islanders draft picks in goal.

Fourth-round selection Linus Soderstrom made 27 saves for the win while third-round pick Ilya Sorokin stopped 23 shots in the loss.

Vyacheslav Leschenko scored both goals for Russia.

The win improves Sweden to 3-0-0 at the tournament and keeps them atop Group B while the loss dropped Russia to 1-1-1.

Despite the early tournament success, Nylander, the Toronto Maple Leafs 2014 first round pick, believes Sweden has room to improve.

“I think we’ve got a little ways to go,” said Nylander, who now has two goals and two assists in three games. “We’re still not at our top level yet. We’ll get there as the playoff round starts.

“I think as a team we played a lot better in the first. We want to try to get our game to be as consistent as we played in the first. I think we gave them some more chances there in the second and then picked it up in the middle of the third. We just need that consistency and we’ll be good.”

Forsling, the Vancouver Canucks’ fifth-round selection at the 2014 NHL Draft, opened the scoring with his first of the tournament at 10:38 of the first.

With Calgary Flames prospect Rushan Rafikov serving a hooking penalty, Forsling put his point shot past a screened Sorokin.

After Leschenko scored twice to give Russia a 2-1 lead, Forsling added his second of the night and the tournament with a point shot, which found its’ way past Sorokin.

“It was nice. There was many people in front of the goal so I just get a shot through the guys and to see it go in — it was nice,” said Forsling. “Nylander sets me up really good. We’ve got some people in at the goal so I’ve got to give thanks to them.”

Nylander admitted post game that his familiarity with linemates Holmstrom and Lindblom, a Flyers’ prospect, from the Under-18 tournament has helped at this year’s Under-20 tournament.

The trio combined for five points in the win.

“Being together on such a short notice, you’re able to pick up the chemistry together cause we played together there at the U 18 so it’s getting better and better every day,” said Nylander.

Added Holmstrom: “William is such a good player. Probably one of the best players in this tournament. We’re good together.”

Sweden concludes the preliminary round against Switzerland on Wednesday while Russia plays the Czech Republic.

Ducks’ defense steps up in OT win vs. Canucks

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The Anaheim Ducks carried much of the play on Sunday, but it seemed like Ryan Miller might steal one for the Vancouver Canucks. He grabbed Vancouver a standings point, yet defensemen Francois Beauchemin and Cam Fowler scored to give Anaheim a 2-1 OT win.

For Beauchemin, that tying tally was also his first goal of the 2014-15 season, thus providing quite the sense of relief.

In Fowler’s case, the overtime game-clincher was mainly … confusing.

Andrew Cogliano praised his team for doing a “great job defensively” and not panicking despite a considerable disparity in play. Head coach Bruce Boudreau is glad that Anaheim’s hard work and belief paid off.

“The last two periods, we really pressed them,” Boudreau said. “It was nice to see the guys rewarded.”

It was a nice win for the Ducks, but the Canucks seemed upbeat in some ways as well.

“We can feed off the fact they’re one of the best teams in the league and we got a point in their building,” said Yannick Weber, who scored Vancouver’s lone goal.

Ultimately, the Ducks keep finding ways to win, whether you chalk it up to self-confidence, Ryan Getzlaf’s continued strong play or any number of other factors.

Canucks recall defenseman Sanguinetti from Utica

The Vancouver Canucks have recalled defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti from the American Hockey League’s Utica Comets.

Sanguinetti, 26, has eight goals and 17 points in 27 AHL games this season.

According to Steve Ewen of The Vancouver Province, Sanguinetti isn’t expected to play tonight when the Canucks visit the Anaheim Ducks or Tuesday night in San Jose.

Sanguinetti’s recall is more of an insurance as the club had just six healthy defenseman on the roster with Dan Hamhuis (groin) still out.

It’s the second time this season Sanguinetti has been recalled. He got the call from the Canucks on Nov. 13, but reassigned Nov. 15 before playing in a game.

Originally the New York Rangers first-round selection (21st overall) in 2006, Sanguinetti has appeared in 45 career NHL games with the Rangers and Carolina Hurricanes where he has two goals and six points.

PHT’s top 14 of ’14: Quinn, Beliveau pass away

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In an eleven-day span, the hockey world mourned the loss of two iconic figures — legendary player, coach and executive Pat Quinn passed away on Nov. 23 at the age of 71 and, just over a week later, Montreal Canadiens icon Jean Beliveau died at the age of 83.

Beliveau spent parts of 20 seasons with the Canadiens winning 10 Stanley Cups. He added seven more Championship rings as a member of the club’s management team.

In total, Beliveau appeared in 1,125 games scoring 507 goals and 1,219 points while winning the Art Ross Trophy (1956), Conn Smythe (1965) and the Hart Trophy (1956 and 1964).

Beliveau retired following the 1970-71 season as the franchise leader in points, second in goals and the NHL’s all-time leading playoff scorer. He had his No. 4 raised to the rafters at the Montreal Forum on October 9, 1971.

Quinn broke into the NHL as a player during the 1968-69 season and appeared in 606 games with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks and Atlanta Flames. One of his most memorable moments as a player came during the 1969 playoffs, when he ran over Bruins’ legend Bobby Orr.

Quinn was forced to retire in 1977 due to an ankle injury but wasted little time getting back into the game, joining the Philadelphia Flyers as an assistant coach that same year.

During his first full season as head coach of the Flyers, 1979-80, Quinn led the team to a Stanley Cup final appearance where they were defeated in six games by the New York Islanders. After a stop in L.A., Quinn took a coaching job with the Vancouver Canucks where he led the club to a Stanley Cup final appearance in 1994. Quinn’s coaching career also landed him behind the bench in Toronto and Edmonton.

Internationally, Quinn coached Team Canada to a gold medal victory at the 2002 Olympics and won the World Cup in 2004. He also coached Canada to gold medal victories at the U-18 World Championship in 2008 and the U-20 World Junior Championship in 2009.

Tributes for both men came pouring in shortly after they passed.

Several of the organizations Quinn was involved wore a ‘PQ’ decal on their helmets, and the Canucks paid tribute with an emotional pre-game ceremony on Nov. 25th.

Beliveau’s body lie in state at the Bell Centre in Montreal over the weekend of Dec. 6-7 prior to his funeral on Dec. 10. Before the Canadiens’ 3-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks Dec. 9, the team honored their longest serving captain with an emotional ceremony of their own.

Canucks clear Hansen to play following mid-game collapse

Vancouver forward Jannik Hansen has been fully cleared to resume playing following a scary incident over the weekend, the club announced on Tuesday.

Hansen, who collapsed at the bench on Saturday following a big hit from Calgary defenseman Dennis Wideman, will be eligible to return when the Canucks take on the Ducks in Anaheim on Sunday. The Danish forward was held out of last night’s 7-1 win over Arizona for precautionary measures, after doctors said he needed to pass one final test before getting full clearance to resume activity:

On Monday, Hansen made light of the situation, calling his collapse a “quick nap on the bench.”