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Instant Reaction: Boeser nets a hat trick, ties NHL goal lead as rested Canucks take care of Lightning

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Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
David Quadrelli
2 months ago
Welcome back to Instant Reaction — the series here at CanucksArmy where we give you our instant reaction to the game and ask our readers to do the same in the comments section below.
Three wins in a row for the first time
It took just 1:25 of game time for the Tampa Bay Lightning to open up the scoring tonight. A defensive breakdown with Nikita Zadorov and Tyler Myers on the ice put the Canucks down by one early.
A Filip Hronek turnover after a failed breakout looked like it was going to lead to Steven Stamkos putting the Bolts up once again, but it was Kuzmenko who came back hard on the backcheck, getting to the “rails” of the ice to tie up Stamkos’s stick and negate the chance.
As important as Kuzmenko opening the scoring tonight was for his confidence, him getting back like that was arguably just as important for him getting his confidence back.
Following the Kuzmenko goal, the Lightning ramped up the pressure as both Elias Pettersson and *checks notes* the Canucks bench took penalties in the final ten minutes of the period. By the end of the opening 20 minutes of play, Tampa generated 11 shots on goal. Thankfully for the Canucks, Thatcher Demko was up to the challenge, as they left the period tied at one apiece.
In the second period, the Canucks took control of the game, with the NHL’s leading goal scorer, Brock Boeser, banging home a rebound on his backend to give the Canucks a one goal lead.
That was Boeser’s 19th of the year, and it wouldn’t be long before he added number 20 to put the Canucks up 3-1 heading into the third.
20 goals in 29 games for Brock. I’d be remiss if I didn’t use this opportunity to remind all of our regular readers and commenters who called me delusional that I told you so when I predicted Boeser would score 30 goals this season back in August. That’s sure looking like a good prediction now. ISN’T IT?!?!?! *knocks on wood*
You know what they say about a broken clock!
In the third, the Canucks turned in a professional effort in locking down the victory — exactly what the doctor ordered, as they’ve now won three straight after going almost a month without consecutive wins.
When I say it was a professional win, I meant that there were no theatrics tonight. No letting Tampa back into things, just a complete effort to effort to hold the victory and look competent and confident while doing it.
Oh, and here is Boeser’s third goal of the game to tie him with Auston Matthews for the NHL goal lead with 21.
4-1 Canucks final.
Some other takeaways from tonight:
-Nils Höglander was buzzing tonight, as he continues his improved play in the top six. In the third period especially, there were a couple of instances where Höglander came very close to scoring what would have been his third goal in four games. Instead, he extends his point streak to four games.
-JPat wrote yesterday about how Rick Tocchet has been using rest as a weapon — with two regularly scheduled practices having been cancelled in the past week. This included yesterday’s practice, as Tocchet went with his gut feeling that his team would benefit more from having the day off on Monday. He seemed to have been right about that.
-Perhaps nobody benefited from having two days off in a row than captain Quinn Hughes, who tallied three points this evening after putting up just three in his last six games. Hughes also etched his name in the Canucks’ record books, as he became the third-highest-scoring defenceman in franchise history tonight. He also moved into a tie for first in franchise history for multi-point games from a defenceman. Because of course he did.
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