The Canucks kicked off the week Tuesday night in Florida. There would be no familiar face between the pipes this time for the Panthers, though, as Roberto Luongo remains out with a groin injury, though there has been speculation he could return in time for the Canucks rematch with the Panthers.
The Canucks started the game off with a line of Sven Baertschi, Bo Horvat and Brock Boeser, who wound up spending most of the shift in their own end, surrendering a quality chance to Nick Bjugstad as he deflected Aaron Ekblad’s point shot on goal.
Next time out went a bit better for the trio. Boeser picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone, coming down the right wing the Canucks sniper showed off his playmaking side as he Flow-ted(sorry) a perfect saucer pass onto the stick of Baertschi. On his forehand, Baertschi snapped the puck on net, but Florida goalie Harri Sateri was up to the task.
Unfortunately for the Canucks the former of the two shifts was much more indicative of how this game would go. As Florida carried much of the play early in the period, they created chances and got in Jacob Markstrom’s crease early on.
The Canucks would offer some pushback halfway through the period, as Henrik Sedin found Daniel in the slot. With a step on the defender, Daniel had a great chance from nearly the same spot as Baertschi earlier in the period.
With just over five minutes left in the period, Alex Edler was called for hooking on Vincent Trocheck. Trochek had speed wide, and Edler reached in on his hands to try and prevent the shot.
On the ensuing power-play, Jamie McGinn took a pass on the left side of Markstrom’s crease. As he made a power-move turning inside to try and pull the puck across the crease, Chris Tanev wound up putting the puck in his own net.
With 1:46 left in the period, Alex Edler would once again be sent off. This time for delay of game, as he sailed a puck over the glass from in front of his own net.
The Canucks started the second the same way they ended the first. 1:15 into the second, it was Daniel’s turn, off to the box for high-sticking. A swing and a miss on his attempt to lift the stick.
The Canucks best chance of the period came with 14:30 left in the frame. The craftiness of Thomas Vanek was on display once again. Vanek drew Harri Sateri out of his crease leaving him way out of position on the left side. Vanek then proceeds to feed Sam Gagner in the slot with a wide open net in front of him. Unfortunately for the Canucks, unlike Sateri the Panthers defensemen were there to smother Gagner and break up what looked like an easy goal for Gagner.
It wouldn’t be Vancouver’s only chance, as once again shorthanded (for the fourth straight time) Loui Eriksson nearly tied this one up, off a cross-ice feed from Brendan Gaunce.
— Florida Panthers (@FlaPanthers) February 7, 2018
Still short handed, it was Markus Granlund’s turn. He didn’t miss, as he broke in on a breakaway beating Sateri stick side just below the blocker.
The Panthers took the lead for the second time with 3:52 left in the second. An Erik Gudbranson pinch, left Boeser scrambling to catch up with the play while the Panthers broke out with Ben Hutton as the lone man back. It wouldn’t be Ben Hutton’s finest moment, as he cheats wide on Barkov the pass comes up the middle and Barkov cuts inside on Hutton, who’s left chasing, and was going to be called for slashing had Barkov not scored.
The Canucks finally got their first power-play of the game under a minute into the third. The Canucks top unit continued their strong play as of late. This time pulling out an old trick, as Henrik Sedin looked for the slap pass off the right side several times. Despite getting a couple looks, they would fail to tie it up.
What an ugly hockey game. I’m glad they played it behind closed doors.
— Jason Brough (@JasonBroughTSN) February 7, 2018
This one was far from an oil painting, but the Canucks got some zone time late in the third. But it was too little too late, Aleksander Barkov scored his second of the game to seal it.
- The Canucks managed to put one more high danger shot on net than Florida but were outshot 18-6 medium danger.
- Jacob Markstrom’s .950 save percentage was 2.3% above expected.
- The Canucks had just 40.25% of the expected goals at five-on-five.
- On the heels of being a healthy scratch, Ben Hutton stood out for the wrong reasons. With reports, the Canucks have received calls on Hutton recently, what the future holds for Hutton is up in the air as he seems to have fallen out of favour with Travis Green.
- Despite the loss, Jacob Markstrom continues to play well against Eastern Conference teams. Against them, he has a .926 save percentage, compared to .891 against the West.
- Though the Canucks have struggled all year defensively, they have actually managed to give up 18 fewer shots than the league average of 1658.
- Unfortunately, they have also managed to take 120 fewer shots than the league average of 1666.
- Sven Baertschi has four points in ten games since returning from a broken jaw. He’s played less than 17 minutes in all but one of those games, with a low of 12:10 and a high of 17:55.