It wasn’t exactly a 7-5 barnburner, but the Canucks will take the 2-1 win while looking oh-so-fly on Hockey Night.
Before puck drop in the last scheduled matchup between the two teams, the Canucks took the time honour some of the greats who represented the organization throughout the ’90s. Among the special guests were Gino Odjick, Kirk McLean, Jyrki Lumme, Dave Babych, Cliff Ronning and Greg Adams. The nostalgic ceremony also served as a great opportunity to see McLean whip out the old gear once again.
Meanwhile, the Canucks entered the night at in search of their 7th consecutive win against a Rangers squad who haven’t exactly enjoyed western Canada. The Rangers, losers of their previous two in Alberta, looked to right the ship before heading home. Tonight also served as the Canucks’ final home game before their five game road trip.
Both goalies had terrific games and set the tone for what would be a tight contest. Perhaps it was because we were coming off the heels of arguably the most thrilling game of the season, but this one felt uneventful until Tyler Myer’s go ahead tally with 1:29 remaining. What immediately followed was David Quinn’s timeout call and a lot of Rangers zone time, capped with a Pavel Buchnevich goal post to close out the remainder of the game.
The Canucks will no head down the Tampa Bay in search for their 8th straight win, while the Bolts gun for their 7th straight.
Travis Green understandably opted to run with the same lineup in this one. If it ain’t broke, right? The lineup decision also meant Jordie Benn missed his 5th straight game.
— Jeff Paterson (@patersonjeff) January 5, 2020
Antoine Roussel got the scoring started 1:46 into this one after Alexandar Georgiev wasn’t able to control the rebound. The goal ended the winger’s streak of five games without a goal.
Loui Eriksson goes between the legs to get one on net and Antoine Roussel buries the rebound
— /Cam Robinson/ (@Hockey_Robinson) January 5, 2020
With 1:29 remaining in the game, Tyler Meyers takes a feed from Horvat to wire it past Georgiev.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) January 5, 2020
- The Canucks registered just seven shots in the first period, from Motte, Roussel, Fantenburg, Eriksson, Hughes, and Beagle. Shots picked up in the 2nd period even though the team went through an eight minute stretch with no rubber on Georgiev.
- The first unit PP showed great puck possession and puck retrieval, but ultimately weren’t able to bury one. Despite the positive zone time, Georgiev stood tall as the Rangers effectively kept the Canucks on the outside. Boeser in the bumper position wasn’t exactly fruitful either.
- The Canucks dominated the faceoff circle, winning 42 draws to the Rangers 22. Horvat led the way, going 20 for 29.
- The usually porous Rangers defence, which owns the third worst expected goals against rate at 5-on-5, actually did quite well in limiting the Canucks high danger shot attempts to 4 (and that’s with the three power plays). For context, the Rangers had 10 high danger shot attempts.
- Jacob Markstrom, the latest all-star Canuck, was easily the team’s best player tonight. He felt great coming into this one and it translated to 35 stops on 36 shots. Oh, and one of those saves looked like this…
Markstrom has been so good it's becoming comical.
Don't underrate the degree of difficulty on this save either. Hard to stack the pads when you're carrying the team on your shoulders. pic.twitter.com/7z9IYK1Gs9
— Thomas Drance (@ThomasDrance) January 5, 2020
- In addition to winning 69% of his faceoffs, Horvat stayed hot offensively tonight, registering an assist on both goals.
- Quinn Hughes was once again noticeable, manning the point and making great breakout plays at 5 on 5. The all-star hopeful also led the team in Corsi% at 53.85. Now go vote!