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Photo Credit: ยฉ Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Postgame: Canucks lose two points to a division rival in a 6-3 thumping

Well, that was forgettable.

The Canucks fell 6-3 in their second of a back-to-back against another divisional opponent in the Vegas Golden Knights.

Hopefully, you weren’t late tuning into this one as things got off to a quick start. It was a very high-event game, but unfortunately not in the Canucks’ favour.

Vegas has been more inconsistent this season than theyโ€™ve been in the past, but tonight they brought it against a tired Canucks squad who really fought the puck at times. Breakouts weren’t smooth, entries weren’t with possession, there wasn’t much sustained offensive pressure, etc… It was an all-around rough night for the Canucks who may be eased knowing they’re heading home for a five game homestand after recent road woes.

Before this game was ten minutes old, we saw two Jordie Benn penalties and a few goals resulting in a quick 2-1 Vegas lead. Per JPat, it was the 22nd time in 34 games that the Canucks allowed the first goal. It wasn’t the ideal start, but it was also wasn’t a surprising one. Vegas looked like the rested team coming off a win while the Canucks looked like the opposite in both senses.

To the Canucks’ credit, they didn’t completely fold when they came out for the final frame. Boeser was able to chip in a goal off a creative pass from Hughes, creating one of the few positive highlights for the good guys. They also seemed to briefly gain more of a jump when Mikey DiPietro came in relief for Markstrom following the fifth Vegas goal. They seemed like they didn’t want to leave the young goalie hung out to dry once again.

Lines

The experiment that saw Virtanen on a line with Pettersson and Miller wasn’t seen to start this one, as Boeser was bumped back up to the first line. Tyler Motte also made his return to the lineup, replacing Schaller on the left-wing of Beagle.

The pairings on the back end saw no change.

Prior speculation regarding the possibility of Michael Dipietro getting the nod for his second career NHL game was squashed earlier today when the team announced that Jacob Markstrom would start in back to back games. Tonight was also his third game in four nights.

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Highlights

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Stats

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Game Notes

  • This loss now puts the Canucks 4 points out of a playoff spot.
  • You couldn’t fault Markstrom much in this one. The goals he allowed were high danger opportunities from the Golden Knights. Considering the minutes he’s given this team lately, this one isn’t on him.
  • To start the third, Travis Green moved Virtanen up to the top line with Pettersson and Miller once again. It was an odd move considering the Lotto Line had controlled shot share and owned the only goal for at the time of the change.
  • While the Canucks appeared to try and weather the early storm, the second period wasn’t kind either. Shot attempts were 29 to 12 for Vegas in a middle frame dominated by the Golden Knights.
  • The Canucks went 1/2 on the PP and 2/4 on the PK.
  • It was a rough game in particular for one Canuck defender. Benn took two penalties and finished with a team-worst 23.08 Corsi %. Benn has quietly been the least effective Canuck lately and more often than not, appears to be struggling to find confidence in his game.
  • Much was made of Quinn Hughes’ 27 minutes of ice time in San Jose, especially considering the short turnaround. Green may have been more mindful of that as he lowered the 20-year-old’s time to 23:12 tonight, which still led the team.ย 

 

Top Performers

  • Pettersson had another solid game, opening the scoring for the Canucks on a stellar effort. In the third, he was able to draw yet another penalty and he was also one of three Canucks to finish with an expected goals share over 50%. Pete also led the team with six shots.
  • Miller led the Canucks in expected goals and Corsi while proving to be one of the few bright spots for the team.
  • Boeser chipped in nicely with a goal and an assist. He finished with two scoring chances, one of which was the high danger opportunity he cashed in on.