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VIDEO: Canucks blow another late lead, lose 5-4 to Pittsburgh Penguins
If you were shocked, you clearly haven't been watching.
The Vancouver Canucks rocketed out of the gates to open Tuesday night's third period, scoring three straight goals off the sticks of Chris Tanev, Chris Higgins, and Zack Kassian. The Canucks had a firm grasp of the game, and then their lead fell apart. And it happened all at once. First, Kris Letang's point shot shrunk the game's late lead to one, making it 4-3 with 1:11 left. And then, 16 seconds later and with goalie Marc-Andre Fleury on the bench, superstar Sidney Crosby tied the game.
Crosby would win it in a shootout, as well, going five-hole on goalie Eddie Lack, who made 31 saves in the 5-4 loss.
"We gave the best player in the world an open net with a minute to go," said Lack, post-game (NHL.com). "That can't really happen.
"I feel like when we are in it, it actually feels good, and then when they got their third one, I don't know if we panicked or not."
Higgins, Kassian, and Mike Santorelli failed to convert shootout chances for Vancouver.
Pittsburgh's Brian Gibbons and Evgeni Malkin scored to make the game 2-0, 5:25 into the second period. Jason Garrison got Vancouver's first goal, which made it 2-1 after 35 minutes.
*During the game, the Canucks congratulated their seven upcoming Olympians with video presentations: Roberto Luongo and Dan Hamhuis for Team Canada, Ryan Kesler for the United States, Jannick Weber for Switzerland, and Henrik and Daniel Sedin and Alex Edler for Sweden.
A Late-Game Broken Record
For the Canucks, it was their fifth straight loss, although they've managed to grab three points during that span. But it was also the third consecutive game where the Canucks have blown a third-period lead and lost the game, and the fourth time in their last five going back to a 4-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on December 30.
In that game, Philadelphia's Brayden Schenn tied it 3-3 with 47 seconds left.
On January 4, the Los Angeles Kings scored three unanswered goals against Roberto Luongo to win 3-1.
And on January 5, the Anaheim Ducks scored with 1:27 left to tie the score 3-3 before Corey Perry eventually netted the game-winner with only two seconds left in overtime.