VANCOUVER, B.C. – Cody Ceci scored a go-ahead goal in the second period and Ottawa downed the Vancouver Canucks 4-2 before a crowd of 54,194 Sunday in the NHL Heritage Classic at BC Place.
It was the first league game played at a stadium with a retractable roof. Because of rain, the roof was closed.
Vancouver fans saw their team blow a two-goal lead and drop to 1-8-1 in its last 10 games. They watched forward Daniel Sedin suffer an apparent leg injury in the second period and some chanted for goaltender Roberto Luongo, who was on the bench wearing a toque and replica vintage pads and gloves.
Rookie Eddie Lack started in goal for the Canucks. He appeared to be fighting the puck at times and gave up more rebounds than usual in his third consecutive start after the league’s Olympic break.
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“Before this game, the way Eddie was playing, I thought (he) was our best chance to get these two points,” Tortorella said.
Tortorella said Luongo was angry about not playing and predicted Luongo will use the decision as motivation.
“I thought (Lack) looked not himself, but he made some big saves, too,” Tortorella said. “I’m sure he’d like to have that third (goal) back.”
The game was a tribute to the 1915 Stanley Cup Final between the champion Vancouver Millionaires and Ottawa Senators. The Canucks wore maroon-and-cream-colored replica Millionaires jerseys.
Players had hoped the BC Place roof would remain open. On the other hand, as Ottawa’s Jason Spezza said, “I was glad (organizers) had the option to close it, because it probably would have ruined the game if it was raining out. The ice got bad as it was with it closed.”
Spezza assisted on Ceci’s goal that gave the Senators a 3-2 lead with 8:49 left in the second period.
Clarke MacArthur, Erik Karlsson and Colin Greening, into an empty-net with 1:33 left in the game, also scored for Ottawa.
Jason Garrison and Zack Kassian scored for the Canucks in the first period before Senators goaltender Craig Anderson shut them out for the rest of the game. Anderson made 29 saves as Vancouver outshot Ottawa 31-28.
“That’s a game we should have won,” said Canucks forward Henrik Sedin, Daniel’s twin.