Fresh off an All-Star MVP, Brock Boeser rejoined the Canucks for a date with Nathan MacKinnon and the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night.
The Canucks would go up early on in this one. After turning the puck over, Thomas Vanek made a nice defensive play and sprung Bo Horvat on the breakaway. Horvat would finish the play with a snapshot beating Johnathan Bernier, 6:36 into the period. The goal is his first since returning from a fractured ankle, suffered December 5th against Carolina.
With just over ten minutes left the Avalanche would apply some pressure off a two-on-one but were unable to beat Jacob Markstrom. The Canucks would reward their goalie with a 2-0 lead with 8:15 left in the period. Sam Gagner draws a defender and nicely screens Bernier as Micheal Del Zotto picks the corner high stick side.
The second period was a busy one and a parade to the penalty box for both teams, as they combined for eight minor penalties in the period.
Troy Stecher would start things off just 2:05 into the period with a tripping penalty. The Canucks would manage to kill it off, but coming out of the box Stecher would go directly to the bench for a change. This left the Canucks outnumbered in their own zone.
Erik Johnson’s shot off the right wing deflected up, as it fluttered towards Jacob Markstrom he head-butted it out of the air. A now out of position Markstrom was helpless at J.T. Compher buried Colorado’s first goal of the game.
2:02 later Tyson Barrie pinballed a shot on net. The initial deflection was sending the puck wide, but Gabriel Landeskog who had body position on Troy Stecher to Markstrom’s left, had it bounce off his shoulder and in to tie this one up at two.
The Canucks would head to a powerplay of their own at 7:43 after Nail Yakupov got in Jacob Markstrom’s crease. He would be sent off along with Michael Del Zotto after the pair exchanged some friendly face washing; Yakupov picking up the extra penalty for goaltender interference.
The Canucks powerplay threatened with some nice movement in the second. Colorado was clearly attempting to take the threat of Boeser’s shot away which allowed the Sedin’s some room to go to work on the right side. But despite the chances they came up empty.
After Thomas Vanek took a slashing penalty at 14:45 Colorado would take the lead on Landeskog’s second goal of the game. A hard cross seam pass by Mikko Rantanen deflected off his foot and on net, Landeskog roofed the rebound.
The teams would exchange penalties late in the period, with Dominic Toninato sending the puck over the glass at the twenty-minute mark giving Vancouver the man advantage to start the third.
Starting on the powerplay, Vancouver went up five-on-three after Nikita Zadorov cross-checked Henrik Sedin behind the Colorado net.
The Canucks would finally cash in on the powerplay, as Daniel Sedin snapped Henrik’s centring pass over Bernier stick. Bernier looked slow to react high-stick similarly to the Del Zotto goal in the first period.
The pace of the second period would carry over into the third as Daniel Sedin and Mikko Rantanen both hit posts nearly giving their team the third-period lead. A Bo Horvat and Brock Boeser near 2-on-0 highlighted the third-period chances, they broke in after Bo Horvat picked off the puck on a Colorado breakout. From there it was Jacob Markstrom’s chance to keep the Canucks in this one, with just over a minute left in the game Markstrom made a game-saving cross-crease save off a 2-on-1.
Overtime lasted just 67 seconds, as Sven Baertschi took Brandon Sutter’s pass on the right wing. Coming in on forward, J.T. Compher who lost his gap just enough to allow Baertschi to load up a shot Brock Boeser would be proud of for the win.
- Despite the win, the Canucks need to improve their play at five-on-five as they had just 32.67% of xGF
- Coming into Tuesday, the Avalanche had dropped two straight after rattling off ten straight wins.
- Brock Boeser’s 43 points heading into the All-Star break were equal to Loui Eriksson’s point total as a Canuck. Eriksson has played 102 games for Vancouver, Boeser has played 46 this year.
- Nathan MacKinnon entered Tuesday’s game just three points shy of his career high 63 points in just 48 games so far this season. He left the game and did not return after taking the worst of a second-period collision with Alex Edler.
- After being linked to Canucks in the off-season as an NCAA free-agent, Avs rookie Alex Kerfoot made his hometown debut playing his first game in Vancouver.
- With one goal in 19 games as a Canucks (two points in 35 games this season), Nic Dowd made way for Brendan Gaunce’s return to the lineup.