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Vancouver Canucks vs Vegas Golden Knights Post Game Recap: Dads In The Desert

The Rundown

The Canucks embarked on their 2nd road trip of the year, and it began tonight with a showdown against the Vegas Golden Knights in Las Vegas. This road trip is also the Canuck’s dads road trip, and so the fathers of Canucks players joined the team for their trip into the American desert. The Canucks were looking to get back in the win column after a loss against the Washington Capitals, but it’d be a challenge without their 2 top offensive weapons, as both Brock Boeser and Elias Pettersson were out of the lineup.

 

1st Period

Right away the game would see an early whistle with play blown down 14 seconds into the opening frame, as Vegas’ Shea Theodore would be called for an early elbowing minor to put the Canucks on the power-play. Can’t say it did anything, as the Canucks power-play units struggled without their top offensive weapons, and couldn’t generate any real scoring chances. A few minutes later Alex Edler would be called for slashing Jonathan Marchessault sending the Knights to their 1st man advantage, giving the Knights an opportunity to open the scoring.

 

On the Knights power-play, the only shot came off the stick of Chris Tanev for the Canucks, which was the first shot in the game for both teams, and it took 5 minutes and 2 power-plays to occur. The Knights wouldn’t get a shot on goal, and so both teams exchanged pretty awful power-play opportunities.

 

The next 10 minutes of the first period didn’t inspire any excitement. Both teams struggled to get anything going offensively, and it’d take Jakob Markstrom passing the puck to William Karlsson (you read that right), for a scoring chance to develop. Karlsson couldn’t put the puck home and the chance would go by the wayside. Markstrom would have to make another good save before the Canucks generated any sort of offense again. Last real chance of the period was off the stick of Brandon Sutter, as he toe-dragged his way to the slot, only to see his shot easily stopped by Marc-Andre Fleury. That was it for the first, not a lot happened and there’d be no score heading into the second. The Markstrom save is down below.

 

2nd Period

Now, I waited until the second-period portion to make mention of this because we didn’t know officially up until this point, but Edler received a lower-body injury on a hit in the first period and would not return for the rest of this hockey game. Leaving the Canucks without one of their top defenseman for the rest of the game.

 

It’d only take a little over a minute for a team to break the 0-0 deadlock, and it’d be the home team who struck first. Erik Haula outworked Derrick Pouliot behind the net and fed Max Pacioretty out front. Patches made no mistake, and promptly put the Knights up by one.

 

It wouldn’t take much time for the Canucks to tie the game. Bo Horvat, one of the few remaining offensive weapons still in the lineup for the Canucks tonight was able to tip home a Loui Eriksson point shot to put the Canucks on the board! Brendan Leipsic was able to draw an assist on the play, as the young forward was rewarded for the hard work he had put in after being a healthy scratch the past couple of games.

 

Only 63 seconds later the Canucks would take the lead. Again, it’d be Horvat with the goal as he received an outlet pass and skated down the left side into the Vegas end before firing a bullet past Fleury.

 

30 seconds after Horvat’s 2nd goal of the game, Chris Tanev would head to the box for a tripping minor, that gave the Knights their 2nd power-play of the game. The Canucks would again showcase their improved penalty kill, and with 7 seconds to go in the Tanev minor, Tyler Motte would draw a holding penalty against Colin Miller to close out the Knights power-play.

 

On the Canucks next man-advantage, the power-play mustered one notable chance. After multiple failed zone entries, Nikolay Goldobin hits Eriksson for a breakaway opportunity. Eriksson can’t convert on the chance as Fleury stoned him with the blocker to keep it a one-goal game. The Canucks would go 0/2 on the power-play, and a few minutes later Horvat would take down Miller and be sent to the box.

 

The Knights wouldn’t score on their 3rd power-play of the game, but the next sequence of plays would lead to the tying goal. After the penalty expired, Eriksson would try to feed Leipsic right in front of the goal, the errant pass would send the Knights on an odd-man rush. It’d be Ryan Reaves with a wicked wrister to tie the game up at 2 with a minute and a half to go in the period. This game would head to the 3rd all tied up.

 

3rd Period

Another injury alert to begin the period, as Canucks forward Sven Baertschi sustained an injury and also wouldn’t return to the game. Dropping the Canucks to 16 possible skaters for the final frame.

 

A minute into the 3rd, Troy Stecher would get beat by a pass as he tried to play the puck. This led to Jake Virtanen being forced to take down Haula in the slot and putting the Knights up a man for the 4th time in the game. Nothing would come on the power-play, and the Canucks would see the Knights power-play drop to 0/4.

 

More injury news would follow, as Tanev would be seen blocking a shot and had to hobble his way off the ice. He came out for one last shift and was in visible discomfort. This meant the Canucks would be without their top defense pair and a top 6 winger for the 2nd half of the 3rd period. Unsurprisingly the Canucks would have to fight hard in their own zone, without being able to create much offense. In the end, they’d steal a point. A gutsy effort from the team would get this game to overtime.

 

Overtime

The overtime period was fast and furious all the way through. Both teams had solid chances; Virtanen got 2 good scoring looks in the extra frame, but couldn’t get either past Marc-Andre Fleury. A couple minutes later, a great move by Reilly Smith leaves him alone in front of Markstrom, but he put the puck up high and over the net. The 5 minute overtime period would come and go, and this game would head to a shootout.

 

In the shootout, both teams would go scoreless through the first 3 rounds. In the fourth round, Markus Granlund would beat Fleury to set up a must-score for Karlsson. Karlsson would come in but was unable to get it past Markstrom and the Canucks would come out with a shootout win in the regular season for the first time in over a year, and their first win ever against the Vegas Golden Knights! 3-2 final from the sin city.

Advanced Stats

Both photo’s courtesy of naturalstattrick.com

 

Wrap Up

What a win tonight from the Canucks. It’s one thing to go into a tough building and pick up a win on the road, but the Canucks lost 3 crucial pieces and still wound up with the victory.

 

Bo Horvat was incredible tonight and has been throughout the season. Without Boeser and Pettersson, Horvat put the offense on his back and drove play throughout the game. 2 massive goals and a great back-check in overtime showed why many fans in this city why he’s captain material.

 

Brendan Leipsic was inserted into the lineup and played great. He looked like a player who played for his right to stick in the lineup and did just that. An assist on the 1st Horvat goal, and not afraid to mix his speed and stick-handling all throughout. A treat to watch, and he should see some more game action, especially if Baertschi is out long term.

 

Great job by Stecher, Erik Gudbranson, Pouliot, and Ben Hutton for the way they battled through the game, even while they watched Edler and Tanev go down with injuries. They could’ve buckled and let Vegas run over them, but they stood up to the challenge and helped the team get the win. Markstrom is included here as well, as he made a number of quality stops throughout the game to keep the team in it.

 

The team stepped up when they had to tonight, it was a great team win, and one Canucks fans should be proud of.

  • Kanuckhotep

    Canucks 1000% primo for their effort tonight and Marky Mark outstanding in the net. The Vegas smoke and mirrors and BS maradi gras atmosphere of last season may be quickly ending for a team with less jump this season. As usual the VC are getting bit by the injury bug and key guys to boot. When will it ever end?

  • Silverback

    Feeling good about the depth we have on this team. We actually have some bona fide youngsters who can step up and contribute. Hopeful that tanev and Edler ar ok…but if aren’t it will be Interesting to see who is brought up from the farm.

    • East van canuck

      Oh really – please enlighten us about this ‘depth’ you pontificate about, just WHO is going to make up for the losses of Tanev, Edler, Sven, Boeser and Petterssen for starters? Dismissed, tail between legs.

  • TheRealPB

    There haven’t been a lot of games I’ve felt that proud about the Canucks effort in the past few years. That was the perfect opportunity to fold but they gutted out the third and really pushed play in overtime. Hutton played nearly 30 minutes. That was the best game I’ve seen both him and Gudbranson play in a Canucks uniform, especially after Tanev went down. Horvat was a beast, not only the goals but he won almost 70% of his face-offs. And Markstrom made some phenomenal saves. Great game.

  • Rodeobill

    What an intense game. I felt exhausted just watching it. But they did exactly what I want from them this season, played with grit and teamwork. These are the games that help bring the team together and start to develop a new identity. Bo’s awesome backcheck on that breakaway is as good as a hat trick for me.

  • wjohn1925

    It seems like Bo has decided to be the defacto Captain. Faced with all the adversity of injuries and questions of toughness, he simply raised the level of his game and refused to lose. He was an inspiration. With all the accolades going towards Boeser and EP, he absolutely made a statement that he is the cornerstone of this franchise. Very impressive! Kudos to Hutton and Guddie (whom I have dissed numerous times) for a really solid effort as well.

  • Killer Marmot

    Beagle, Pettersson, Boeser, Edler, Baertschi…

    This is why Benning needed to sign free agents over the summer. It takes a lot of players to get through the season.

      • Killer Marmot

        Lots of people complained that this would create a log jam, preventing prospects from getting a chance at the big show. In reality, attrition will create plenty of chances. The Canucks went through 25 different players last year.

      • TheRealPB

        So far of the three signings I would say Beagle looked as advertised, Schaller is much better than expected, and Roussel has been underwhelming. I was no fan of these signings but seeing that these guys have actually performed pretty much as expected — solid fourth line NHL calibre players — I am ok with them taking up 2.7, 3.7 and 3.7% of the cap space even when all the ELCs come due. If they continue to take steps forward I would imagine that Pouliot, Goldobin, Hutton and possibly Nilsson will be in for raises, maybe substantial ones.

    • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

      “It takes a lot of players to get through the season….In Vancouver”. Doesnt take nearly as many players in San Jose, LA, Anaheim, Colorado, Edmonton, Calgary, Phoenix or Las Vegas. Hmmm….could it be some combination of the teams medical staff, trainers & the players themselves? Canucks year in and year out for the last 5 years have been decimated by injuries. Bad luck?

  • Beer Can Boyd

    Happy to eat crow after that game. Yesterday I wondered how long the Bo-Leipsic- Eriksson line would last, I thought less than 1 period. But they were easily the Canucks best line last night, Bo was a beast, Leipsic was flying, and Loui had his best game of the year. Markstromm was also superb, and if the Canucks get the goalie rotation correct, they should be competitive in 95% of their games this year. Exciting stuff.

  • Spiel

    This rash of injuries accentuates why it would be advantageous to have the AHL affiliate in the west.
    AHL teams in California/Arizona don’t travel outside of the western/central US.

    • DJ_44

      I imagine that callups from Utica will be in Phoenix by noon. Not a big deal. The advantages of Utica far outweigh a western based team.

      If only someone could write an article on that…….

      • Spiel

        DJ, you are correct that teams in the AHL west play in all four time zones. But, there is a significant travel advantage. I checked the schedule for the California AHL teams, the furthest they travel is Grand Rapids Michigan, and not all the teams travel there. Further, they only travel there for one weekend. So, well technically they do play in all timezones, vast majority of the games are in closer timezones, and the furthest east is Michigan, not quite the east coast. Sorry, but the travel advantage narrative is real.

    • East van canuck

      Exactly, there are ZERO advantages in keeping the CANUCKS farm team thousands of miles away when they are in existance to serve the CANUCKS who are in the Pacific division of the NHL. Every other division rivals farm team plays out west! How dumb do all those clueless whingers look now who were bleating about keeping the farm team in Utica with the injury bug biting like it always does. Ridiculous.

      DJ, well, he always looks dumb, so no surprise there.

  • Kootenaydude

    That Vegas team sure doesn’t have much bite. Just a bunch of guys quickly skating around. Kind of amazed what the Canucks can do when their goalies play like NHL caliber goalies for a change. Horvat best player on the ice. Pouliot played like a bum til Tanev and Edler were injured. Good effort by the Canucks.

    • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

      Agreed. Pouliot looked positively awful the first half of the game. So easily pressured and pushed off the puck. Didnt seem like he was mentally prepared to play.

  • Burnabybob

    People have mentioned trading Horvat to move up in the draft and take Jack Hughes. To me, he’s a keeper. Plays hard every night, skilled and tough. Natural leader. Keep him!

  • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

    I feel that props are deserved for Mr. Little Things. Put him on the 1st line and all of a sudden he’s skating, forechecking harder, looking engaged. My question is why has it taken since game #2 to see ANY level of ‘try’ from this guy? Is his gas tank so empty that he can only perform once every 10 games? His breakaway was brutal, but hell, at least he showed some effort last night.

  • Ser Jaime Lannister

    Solid goaltending again! Getting rid of Dan Cloutier and hiring Ian Clark was a great move by JB, lets hope they stay consistent.

    Really unfortunate losing our two best defenseman. Stecher and Pouliot had another awful showing .. press box would prob benefit them for a game or two but with these injuries that wont be the case.

    Love seeing BO go HAM!