The Canucks got their sweet revenge by stealing two points in a 5-4 overtime win after losing to the Golden Knights only five days ago. The Knights have been a problem for the Canucks since they’ve entered the league, and the team still has yet to register a regulation win against them.
Tonight was the Canucks first home win versus the Knights bringing their all-time record against Vegas to 2-7-1. Similarly to the previous match-up on December 15th, the Golden Knights looked like the the superior team and the Canucks were badly outplayed all game allowing 42 shots and 21 high danger chances against. They ended their three game losing streak, but still haven’t had a regulation win since December 3rd against the lowly Senators.
Antoine Roussel opened the scoring for Canucks only 2:49 into the game. Adam Gaudette hustled to a Jake Virtanen pass to set up the goal. This was the second game in a row where the Canucks scored the first goal of the game. It’s something they have struggled with this year, allowing the first goal in 22 of their 36 games.
The Canucks notched their second goal of the first period when Tanner Pearson scored on the power play just as time was about to expire. He now has 16 points in his last 18 games. Josh Leivo and Jake Virtanen grabbed the assists. The Canucks went 1-5 on the power play tonight. Jake had 2 points tonight and he stays hot. He is third on the team with 17 5-on-5 points and sits behind Brock with 18 and Petey with 19 points. Just imagine what he could do if he would drive to the net instead of passing it off or going around it.
After a horrid turnover at the Vegas blue line by J.T. Miller, Jonathan Marchessault cut the Canucks lead in half on the transition and the dreaded two-goal lead was in jeopardy.
The Canucks were fighting the puck at the end of the first period. Jacob Markstrom made a spectacular save at one end and Elias Pettersson put it home on the rebound after J.T. Miller drove to the net. Petey never ceases to amaze and dazzle with his skill. Bow down to your king.
The Golden Knights continued to apply the pressure to the Canucks in the second period. Reilly Smith scored for the Knight bringing them within a goal once again.
The Canucks survived their first two-goal lead of the game but couldn’t hold on to their second. After Josh Leivo was boarded by Nick Holden on a play that took Leivo out of the game, Holden scored just minutes later knotting the game at 3. At the intermission Bo Horvat said the refs didn’t call a penalty because it looked like he tripped, but itwas still a questionable missed call by the officials.
Just like the two periods previous, the Canucks were on their heels in the third. It was Pettersson with his 16th of the year and second of the night, who once again showed us his prowess and scored the go ahead goal for the Canucks making it 4-3. Brock Boeser notched the lone assist.
Mark Stone tied the game at 4-4 when it was 4 on 4 with under 5 minutes remaining in the third. This game went to overtime ending the Canucks dream of a regulation win and giving their opponent 1 point or in this case they were the ones gifted the single point.
It was the most unlikely of heroes that scored the game winner in overtime. Chris Tanev did the damn thing and scored his 2nd of the year from Bo Horvat and Brock Boeser giving the Canucks the two points the desperately needed but didn’t deserve.
In the last 10 games for the Canucks Jacob Markstrom has played in 8 of them. He has played great posting a 0.916 SV% and 2.83 GAA. He’s saved 240 of 262 over that span and only Frederik Anderson has faced more with 270 shots against in 9 games played. The Canucks have to be careful not to overwork Marky. They have a couple of back to back games coming up December 28th and 29th and with Thatcher Demko out its the perfect time to give Michael DiPietro a chance to start and redeem himself after last years debacle. In Utica he has a 2.56 GAA and 0.910 SV%.
If Josh Leivo is out for awhile its a big loss for the Canucks. After the game Travis Green said he didn’t have an update on him but implied the prognosis wasn’t great. Right now the Canucks could still really use another top-six forward and that need will be sorely magnified if he is out, although there is always Virtanen or Roussel to play spot-duty alongside Horvat and Pearson.
This isn’t something I envisioned myself saying at the beginning of the year, but I think it’s time to call up Reid Boucher. In 24 games played with the Utica Comets he has 34 points, including 20 goals. My only concern would be how Travis Green would manage him. Would he give Boucher a fair shot or if he has one bad game like Goldobin will be shunned to the bench for eternity?