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Canucks kill FOUR penalties against the Edmonton Oilers but fall in overtime

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Photo credit:© Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
David Quadrelli
6 months ago
Up, up, up
Can only go up from here
Up, up, up
Where the clouds gonna clear
Up, up
There’s no way but up from here
You’d think she were a writer on the Simpsons with the way Shania Twain was able to predict how Sunday’s game in Calgary would go for the Vancouver Canucks in her 2002 hit single Up!
Yes, this is just a regular old preseason recap, but that doesn’t mean I can’t use the preseason to warm up my intros for when I write The Stanchies. And while I won’t be writing them for a while in all likelihood, the first two Stanchies you read this season will be from two games against the Edmonton Oilers.
But first, you have this recap of the Canucks facing off against the Oilers and just hoping they don’t lose 10-0 for the second time in as many games.

Starting lineup

Let’s do this!

First Period

This is going to be a GIF-heavy first period recap, because the first five minutes of this one saw more action than the entire game on Sunday did.
Dakota Joshua clearly got the “pick it up” message from Rick Tocchet, and was hands down the Canucks’ most noticeable player in the first ten minutes of this game. Joshua threw the body around plenty, and was certainly “picking it up” early on.
He appeared to tweak something after this hit, but was right back to his wrecking ball ways after.
Joshua also looked great on the Canucks’ penalty kill, and given who they were matching up against, that’s a great sign. Joshua was so good that he even got under the skin of Connor McDavid a bit!
Joshua 1, McDavid 0.
Evan Bouchard took the first penalty of the game after cross-checking Elias Pettersson in the ribs. After staying down for a second (not good) Pettersson was right back out for the O-Zone faceoff to start the power play (good).
The Canucks’ best chance of the period came from a Quinn Hughes point shot, that beat Skinner under the glove but found iron. Hughes has made it a point to shoot more, and that’s a great thing to see.
The Canucks’ two power play opportunities went by the wayside, with the Canucks being credited with just one official shot on goal.
The Canucks got a chance to kill a couple penalties as well as Hughes and McWard, who were paired up somewhat regularly tonight, were the two Canuck culprits to put the Oilers on the man advantage. Dakota Joshua stood out positively on the PK, as did Elias Pettersson (what else is new?), Teddy Blueger, and Carson Soucy.
Arshdeep Bains was buzzing in the first period and didn’t look out of place at all, which is all you’re really looking for from a developing player like him. Here he is coming back on the back check and clearing the puck out of the blue paint.
Faber summed up the first pretty well in this tweet:

Second Period

After all the high-flying of the second period, the two teams appeared to have a gentlemen’s agreement to take a breather to begin the second period. This no-look pass from Elias Pettersson to Nils Högladner in the slot was pretty enough, but Höglander tried to make it even prettier by faking the shot and bumping the puck to Andrei Kuzmenko:
So close.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins hooked captain Quinn to put the Canucks back on the power play. Unfortunately they didn’t manage to get set up very well and there just wasn’t much that came of it.
It was a rough period for Nils Aman, who wore an elbow that knocked him to the ice before taking a slash to the back of the leg from Leon Draisaitl.
This put the Canucks back on the man advantage, and we’d like you to remember that Quinn Hughes is making a conscious effort to shoot more.
BECAUSE HE SCORED!
1-0 Canucks.
Arshdeep Bains continued his strong play from the first period, and set up Andrei Kuzmenko to do Andrei Kuzmenko things after Bains did well to strip Darnell Nurse of the puck in the neutral zone before sending the puck cross-ice to Kuzmenko.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored the Oilers’ first goal of the game following a missed switch from Carson Soucy. It’s the preseason! That’s why we play preseason games, right?
1-1.
Dakota Joshua continues to be a topic of conversation as Darnell Nurse shoved him into the boards for no apparent reason, giving the Canucks one last power play opportunity to close out the second period.
The Canucks cycled the puck well on the man advantage and Christian Wolanin continued to impress when given a chance to quarterback PP1, which is certainly a good thing!
Honestly, the Canucks looked great through 40 minutes of play. Their energy, defensive structure and transitional play were all very sharp to begin this one. When we previewed this game this morning, did you think we’d be tied one apiece after 40 minutes? Probably not!

Third Period

The third period was quickly looking like the Period of Teddy, as Teddy Blueger executed a nice steal on the penalty kill and turned it into a scoring chance. Efficient penalty killing against the Oilers! Huzzah!
Then Elias Pettersson broke in and set up the same Teddy Blueger for a scoring chance. Pettersson may have wanted to shoot here.
The fun didn’t stop there for Blueger, as with the Canucks shorthanded once again, Blueger forced Connor McDavid out of the zone as the Oilers captain tried to walk the blue line. Efficient penalty killing once again from Blueger!
This was by far the most entertaining game the Canucks have played this preseason, and if they can keep up this level of play all season long, they’ll be just fine.
Nils Höglander made a big play to take the puck away and spring Elias Pettersson with Andrei Kuzmenko on a 2-on-1 but Stuart Skinner turned aside the chance to keep this one tied.
A shoutout is in order for Casey DeSmith, who showed well in his Canucks preseason debut. He made 27 saves through regulation and although there wasn’t a ton of highlight-reel saves, he was steady all night long against one of the league’s best offences. The Canucks also defended a lot better as well, so there’s that factor as well.

OT

Elias Pettersson was winning draws all night long and gave the Canucks early possession in overtime.
Unfortunately, Connor McDavid eventually got the puck and ended this one 55 seconds into overtime. Quinn Hughes wanted a change and was trying to get Andrei Kuzmenko to cover the middle of the ice, but that just didn’t happen.
All in all, this was a great preseason showing for the Canucks in a lot of different ways, and it feels so good to say that instead of “well hey at least Aatu Räty looked better and Akito Hirose was on for just one of the 10 goals against!”

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