Vancouver Canucks vs Ottawa Senators Post Game Recap: Ringing In The New Year Right

The Rundown

The Vancouver Canucks played their first game of 2019 just like a majority of the first half of their season, on the road. Their opponent tonight was the worst team in the NHL, the Ottawa Senators, who the Canucks made a trade with earlier in the afternoon. After the Canucks were shut out their last time out, the boys wanted to send a message with a good start this afternoon against a wounded opponent.

Jakob Markstrom got the start, and the most notable scratch of the afternoon was Nikolay Goldobin being sat out in favour of Tim Schaller.


1st Period

The Canucks accomplished their early goal as they jumped out to a great start, and were blessed with an early power-play chance 1:30 minute into the game. After Mark Borowiecki high-sticked Elias Pettersson, the Canucks power-play attempted to give the team an early lead.

70 seconds into the Canucks power-play, and the Senators got a great chance short-handed. Chris Tierney battled down low, and fed Mark Stone in the slot, but Stone couldn’t beat Markstrom. That was the best chance for either team on the power-play, and the Canucks power-play fell to 0 for 1.

5 minutes into the game, and the Canucks manufactured a brilliant scoring chance. After Derrick Pouliot made a nice play to outlet the puck to Bo Horvat, Horvat went to work on the 2 on 1. He made a nice move to open up some space and passed the puck across to Antoine Roussel, but Roussel was stopped on the doorstep by Senators goaltender Marcus Hogberg, and the game remained scoreless.

The Canucks kept up the domination, and at the halfway mark of the first period they led the shots column by a whopping 14-3 total. Hogberg was fantastic for Ottawa early.

11:30 minutes into the game and a fight broke loose! Schaller decided to drop the mitts against Senators defender Ben Harpur. Unfortunately for Schaller, Harpur wasted little effort in dismantling him.

A minute and a half after the Schaller fight however, and the Canucks received another great scoring chance. After the Senators bobbled the puck in the neutral zone, Jake Virtanen intercepted the puck and came in on a breakaway against Hogberg, but his attempt to slip the puck through the goaltender’s five-hole failed.

As the period came to a close, the Canucks earned their 2nd power-play of the night. After another strong shift for Vancouver, Stone interfered with Markus Granlund. With 17 seconds left in the period, it looked like Vancouver could coast into the 2nd with their man-advantage, but Ottawa made things interesting. Alex Edler got entangled with the referee, and the Senators’ Zach Smith came in on goal. Smith was hacked at by Edler, and couldn’t get his shot off but the Senators weren’t rewarded with a penalty shot, or even a penalty. That was the only real good scoring chance the Senators got, as Vancouver dominated the 1st period. Shots on goal were 17-6, but Vancouver couldn’t beat Hogberg. Their power-play carried over to start the 2nd period as they looked to open the scoring.

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2nd Period

The Canucks power-play came out to begin the 2nd period, but looked like they didn’t listen to anything Travis Green said to them. Their power-play stuttered through the first 1:20, and the Senators came back to even strength still tied.

Right after the power-play expired, the Canucks revved up their play. Virtanen skated back into his own zone 2 minutes in, then found Granlund for a great chance, but he couldn’t beat Hogberg.

5 minutes later, and this time it was Boeser who attempted to beat Hogberg after he split the Senators defense. Again, Hogberg stood tall and made the save.

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6:30 minutes in, and the Canucks top offensive line went back to work. Boeser rang a shot off the post before Pettersson drew a penalty when he forced a stick-less Ryan Dzingel to take him down. The Canucks went to their 3rd power-play of the game 7 minutes in.

It took 3 power-plays, and 27 shots before the Canucks finally got on the scoreboard, but they got on the board first. After the 2nd unit with Pettersson saw Ben Hutton ring his shot off the post, the top unit capitalized. After some nice passing, it was Sven Baertschi who buried home a big rebound from Hogberg for his first goal since October 22nd, and opening tally 8:30 minutes into the period.

The Senators roared back quickly, and Markstrom needed to make a nice pad stop on a shot from Matt Duchene. On the play however, Tyler Motte tripped up Mikkel Boedker and the Senators went to their first power-play of the game. On the man advantage, the Senators tied up the game. Duchene sniped home a rebound of his own, and the Canucks penalty kill gave up their 5th goal in the past 4 games 12:30 minutes in.

Only took 3 minutes, but the Canucks struck right back with a beautiful passing play started from their own end. Chris Tanev started the rush, left the puck for Pettersson, who then dished it to Edler, who then dished it to Boeser, who then dished it to Pettersson, who then hammered home a shot off Hogberg and in for his 20th goal of the season, and the 2-1 lead.

The Canucks strong play continued right till the final horn, and the boys took their lead into the 3rd period. Great game so far from Vancouver, as through the first 2 periods they looked like the much better team.


3rd Period

The Canucks came out with a vengeance in the 3rd, as they pushed the pace of play right from puck drop. Just a minute into the frame, and Boeser looked to have an easy tap in, but Dylan DeMelo made a great play to knock the puck out of mid air with his stick to save the goal.

3 minutes into the frame, and the Canucks went to their 4th power-play of the evening when Harpur tripped up Schaller in the corner. On the power-play, the Senators manufactured another great short handed chance when Magnus Paajarvi found himself in alone on Markstrom. Markstrom made the stop, and the Canucks rewarded him with a 3-1 lead. Edler put the puck into Pettersson’s wheelhouse, and Pettersson unloaded a cannon of a one-timer past Hogberg for his 2nd goal of the game 5 minutes into the period, and right as the power-play was set to expire.

A huge chance for the Senators 8 minutes in was whiffed when Duchene put the puck into Markstrom’s pad instead of a wide open net, a key moment in the game tonight. Just a few minutes after the Duchene gaffe, Baertschi fed Boeser for another mini breakaway in a game filled with them. Boeser was slashed by DeMelo and was unable to score, but the Canucks received their 5th power-play as a result, and looked to put the game out of reach.

Instead, the pesky Sens again raced down the ice for a scoring chance. Tierney received the puck, and was able to force Hutton to slash him down to the ice and the Canucks power-play ended just like how it started. 9 seconds into the 4 on 4 action, the Senators pulled the game within 1, when Christian Wolanin picked up the puck to the right of Markstrom and fired one home. 3-2 and the Senators still had a power-play on the horizon.

The Canucks were able to kill off the Senators power-play, and still held a lead with 7 minutes left. A few minutes later, Tanev made a terrible decision and tried to throw the puck through the slot to Pettersson. The pass was intercepted, and it ended up on the stick of Stone right in front of Markstrom. Tanev hustled back and slashed Stone to break up the scoring chance, but what ensued was the Senators 4th power-play of the game, and a glorious chance to tie up the hockey game.

Markstrom was the Canucks best penalty killer this time around, and a minute in he made a slick pad stop on Brady Tkachuk right on the doorstep to keep it 3-2. The Senators were unable to capitalize on the man advantage.

However, with 50 seconds to go and the Ottawa net empty, the Senators tied up the game. A couple of nice spin passes led to the puck on Stone’s stick, and he sniped one up high on Markstrom for the equalizer…

There wasn’t any additional scoring for the remainder of the period, and this game saw some overtime action.



In overtime, the Canucks put on an offensive clinic, and ultimately pulled out of Ottawa with the win. Pettersson came down the wing, pulled off a nifty toe drag on Stone and unleashed a wicked wrister that fooled Hogberg but nailed the post (4th Vancouver post of the game), and stayed out. The puck floated down the ice, when Tanev made a great outlet pass to Boeser. Boeser fed Pettersson across the ice, and Pettersson made no mistake on his 2nd chance, as he beat Hogberg for his first ever hat-trick, 7th game winning goal of the year, and 22nd of the season to give the Canucks the win!


Advanced Stats

Both photos courtesy of naturalstattrick.com

Wrap Up

The Vancouver Canucks played a great game tonight, but they could’ve easily lost this one with a couple of mistakes they made.

Markstrom was terrific again tonight, another game where he stood tall when he had too and made some big stops. The Canucks badly out-shot the Senators tonight, but they don’t win this game without the goaltending of Markstrom. It was his 6th straight win on the road, and he’s looked great ever since his slump.

I thought Schaller tried to grab the attention of his coach tonight, and didn’t need to fight Harpur when he did, but he wasn’t bad. He threw his body around, and created some havoc when he played.

Pettersson did Pettersson things… that is all. He also made over $400,000 today in signing bonuses (Making the all-star game and 20 goals).

Boeser was snake bitten tonight. So many chances for #6 to pot a goal, but in the end he came through clutch with another great assist in overtime on the game winner.

The Canucks need to keep their foots on the pedal when they have the lead like they did tonight. Good teams don’t let the basement dwellers of the league back into games late, and the Canucks almost let a winnable game slip away. Another good game for Green to teach this young roster with, but it’s good to see the boys pull out with the win.

  • DJ_44

    I thought Schaller tried to grab the attention of his coach tonight, and didn’t need to fight Harpur when he did, but he wasn’t bad. He threw his body around, and created some havoc when he played.

    Lievo was went out with the dreaded UPI. This preceded the Schaller fight by like two shifts. I have a suspicion that Harpur caused the injury, Schaller saw it and stepped up for a teammate.

    I did not see a replay of Lievo getting injured, but this would not surprise me. Schaller did not need to fight a big Dman to make an impression on the coach.

  • LTFan

    Thanks for the write-up Cole. I thought the Canucks were going to blow this one but Pettersson saved the game with his first hat-trick in OT. EP is something special and really has a great partnership with Boeser. The NHL is going to watch these two put up some impressive numbers over the next 5 to 10 years. Looking forward to the ride.

  • truthseeker

    Don’t know whether to be angry because of the 3rd period collapse or happy because it went to OT and we got to see another EP goal, the hat trick, and him continue to pile up the points. Both I guess.

    And geezus do they need to STOP giving up short handed goals/opportunities. (What was Grandlund doing out there on the first unit?). It’s great the power play gets good chances and has been cashing in much better than last year but there is a part of their play where they look very shaky and unsure of themselves.

    I did like the fact that they tried to push play when they had the lead in the game though. Perhaps it was the team they were playing against, but it looks better than collapsing back and hanging on for the win. The two goals at the end weren’t a result of getting burned off the counter attack so that’s good.

    Surrendering a single to an Eastern team is no big deal so take the 2 points and onto the next one.

    • Jock-Itch

      Doesn’t seem to matter what place the team the canucks are playing against in the standings they are still ripe for the picking so to speak on the PK scoring chances. The team needs to start getting creative on the PP deployment, it’s fine to load up the first unit with 4 forwards but they need 2 positional D men on the second.. hell throw out Tanev… Might not be the best offensive player but at least he can defend back

    • truthseeker

      The guy got body checked. It was an excellent play by that Sens player. He didn’t give it away. And then nobody went to help him and clear the puck. And it was Boeser who didn’t back check on which ever Sens player scored that goal. Allowed him to walk right in untouched from the blue line. That goal was a total team break down.

      • TD

        He had full possession and instead of moving the puck, Pouliot tried a spin move and got body checked. The rest of the team was transitioning to a break out as Pouliot had possession. They weren’t expecting the give away which was why no one else was ready to play defence.

          • DJ_44

            I agree the Truthseeker. His lane to “move the puck” was taken away so he tried to reverse. He could have protected the puck better so worse case would have been that he ate it. Instead he was back to the boards and got knocked off balance. He lost the board battle.


    Happy New Year EP! With a hatty

    Honesty I don’t know what he can’t do and I never use double negatives! He has glue on his stick, can fake you out in an Uber, then knows exactly where the goalie is not!

    We watched the Sedins perform and excel… we are watching the sons that watched them! I’m very excited. I wish someone would get Hank or Danny in the booth to watch EP.

  • Kanuckhotep

    At least the Canucks didn’t give up an LP to a team in their division/ conference tonight but certainly am always pleased with a “W” in any fashion achieved. I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to at least have a conversation about Petey being in the running for the Hart. And what was Granlund doing on the PP? He has other uses but not there. If Leivo is gone for a bit Goldy slots back in anyways so he’d better not want to sit in the press box again. Great game, Petey, where would we be without you?

  • Bud Poile

    Elias ties Cliff Ronning for the most GWG’s in one Canucks season with seven.
    He is also tied with Landeskog for the NHL lead in that category.
    Third highest shot % in the NHL .
    As an aside,the long pass Tanev fed to Boeser for the O/T winner was beautiful.

    • Jock-Itch

      I think he tied Pavel Bure for the most by a rookie. I believe Marcus Naslund has 12 in one season ? Anyway what more to say about the “Brain” he has revived some hope for this franchise

      • Bud Poile

        Correct,I was quoting Wiki.
        Quanthockey lists Naslund in 2002-3 as the leader with 12 GWG’s.
        Bure scored 14 with the Panthers in 1999-2000.He had 6 in his rookie year as a Canuck.
        Geoff Courtnall had 11 in 92-93 as a Canuck.

  • TheRealPB

    Yes, they needed Markstrom but the Sens should never have been in that game. The Duchesne miss was terrible but the Canucks rag dolled Ottawa for most of the game. Tkachuk and Colin White were mostly invisible and I couldn’t believe the number of breakaways (six?) and incredible chances. Hogberg was great and also had at least four posts to save him. The Sens look like the worst team in the league by a long shot and I’m glad that the final score reflected the fact that for most of the game the Canucks absolutely dominated them. For much of the game I was really wondering how this farce continues for Ottawa, especially since they are going to be a pretty strong contender for Hughes. If you’re Colorado, who would you rather have — Brady Tkachuk, Matt Duchesne or a lottery pick this year? Yikes.

  • Locust

    When (if) Goldy gets back in – his first game will determine the rest of his career. If he pouts and floats and plays for himself – it is over for him. If he plays hard, skates, backchecks and goes within 10ft of the boards, he might stick. No room for floaters and selfish players on this team. Growing a winner is hard enough, cant do it with any flakes.

    • Me

      I think he’s already on the trade block. He’s got talent, no doubt about that, but he also has no focus. It’s no good having a guy who scores at a decent pace if he’s always giving away more opportunities than he gets. People complain about the number of odd-man rushes the Nucks face on the power play? Go back and look at how many of those are just boneheaded giveaways by Goldy. I haven’t reviewed it myself, but I suspect he’s responsible for easily half of the PP giveaways when he’s on the ice and many of them are the dangerous kind.

  • Beer Can Boyd

    Am I the only one who wishes they would be way more aggressive on the penalty kill? Allowing the other team to maintain possession with zero puck pressure has me on the edge of my seat every time they are shorthanded.And they did the exact same thing on the tying goal, even though they were not shorthanded! Make the man with the puck hurry his decision , jeez. And also, please take Granlund off the power play immediately , he is a huge liability there. Other than that, most enjoyable game, and Marky was superb again. Should be another fun game tonight, EP’s first trip to Montreal.

  • Norwhereman

    I hope we get some more players soon that stick up for each other especially since Petey is now a target. Dzingel punched him twice in the head when he was without a stick and took a holding penalty. When players do that they need to be buried.