Struggling Canucks defeat Red Wings in shootout despite no Henrik Sedin


There was plenty working against the Vancouver Canucks on Friday.

Playing the fourth game of their six-game road trip, and on back-to-back nights, the Canucks entered Detroit to play the Red Wings carrying the baggage of three losses in a row, shut out defeats in two of those games, and without captain Henrik Sedin due to a lower-body injury.

That was on top of Vancouver’s offensive struggles that involved numerous players mired in slumps. It looked for a while like that would continue in Detroit.

Alex Burrows was robbed of what looked to be a sure goal thanks to a great glove save from Jimmy Howard. Bo Horvat missed a chance on a wrap-around a few minutes later — again with an open net.

But the Canucks did eventually capitalize on their chances, survived a frantic overtime, which has been a weakness this season, and defeated the Red Wings 4-3 after a seven-round shootout.

Linden Vey, waived at the beginning of the season and recalled from the AHL Utica Comets with the Sedin injury, scored the winner.

Sven Baertschi scored to bust a 13-game drought. He finished with two points. Jared McCann, 19, busted a 14-game scoring drought with his goal in the first period. Radim Vrbata, who had previously gone four games without a point, had a goal and an assist.

The weirdest part of Friday’s win, though, is what it did for the Canucks in the Pacific Division.

With a 12-14-8 record, they’re now fourth in the division, one point back of San Jose for second and a playoff position.