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Instant Reaction: Canucks abysmal in 5-1 loss to Oilers as series heads back to Vancouver for game seven

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Photo credit:© Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
David Quadrelli
28 days 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 comment section below! Wyatt Arndt is on The Stanchies and Mike Liu will have The Statsies — CA’s analytics-based post game report — up tomorrow morning. 
If the Canucks had five or six passengers in game four of this series, they had at least 12 tonight. Let’s get into Instant Reaction.
 
As we’ve become accustomed to in this series, there was a power play early in this game. Thankfully, that call went in the Canucks’ favour when Leon Draisaitl was called for interference on Conor Garland.
The Canucks got few looks and zero shots on the opening man advantage, and yet it still somehow felt like Stuart Skinner was at risk of letting in a softie.
Despite this, it was the Oilers who opened the scoring, as Dylan Holloway found himself on a breakaway that he made no mistake in burying five hole on Arturs Silovs.
It didn’t take long for the Canucks to answer back, as Nils Höglander scored his first goal of the playoffs just over a minute after the Holloway goal.
Connor McDavid took a high-sticking penalty on Carson Soucy to put the Canucks back on the power play, but once again, the Canucks didn’t register a shot on goal despite creating some dangerous-looking chances.
In the dying seconds of the first, Evan Bouchard let go of a shot through traffic that got behind Arturs Silovs but was immediately waved off after Connor McDavid bumped into Silovs’ skate. Oilers coach Kris Knoblauch didn’t seem to disagree too much with the call, as he didn’t ask for a challenge.
This one was tied up at one apiece after 20 minutes of play.
The Oilers picked up their first power play of the game a couple minutes into the second period, but the Canucks penalty kill once again came up big, making it seven straight penalties killed in this series.
Connor McDavid made a great play to set up Zach Hyman in the slot, and Hyman buried his playoff-leading 10th goal as McDavid picked up his 17th assist of the playoffs.
The Oilers kept up the pressure on the Canucks, and Evan Bouchard scored just four minutes after the Hyman goal as Filip Hronek got stuck out on a long shift.
After a fairly even first period, it was all Oilers in the second period. Conor Garland was called for roughing, giving the Oilers’ power play another chance to go to work and another chance to break their scoreless streak. To make matters worse, Dakota Joshua high-sticked Zach Hyman with 55 seconds remaining on the first power play to give the Oilers’ power play a prime opportunity to get things right.
Instead, the Canucks’ penalty kill came up huge once again, extending the Oilers’ PP scoreless streak to nine.
The Canucks got a power play opportunity of their own with just over two minutes to go in the second, and that opportunity became even greater when Edmonton was called for too many men on the ice with 56 seconds remaining on the Canucks’ first power play.
They failed to convert, and entered the third period with 48 seconds remaining on their second power play.
To this point in the game, the Canucks had missed the net far more than they hit it, and with Stuart Skinner in goal, getting shots on net needed to be a focus.
It was the Oilers who scored the game’s next goal, however, as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins buried a great feed from Connor McDavid to make it 4-1 Edmonton in the third.
It was genuinely shocking to watch the Canucks’ performance tonight given the context of what we saw from them in game five. They looked like a completely different team in the worst possible way.
This game was very similar to game four, when Rick Tocchet called out his team and said they had five or six passengers in their lineup. They failed to generate shots on Skinner, and gave him every opportunity to build confidence heading into a crucial game seven in Vancouver on Monday night.
Truly, there are just very few words to describe tonight’s effort from the Canucks.
What’s your instant reaction to tonight’s game? Let us know in the comments section below!
Be sure to tune into Rink Wide Vancouver moments after the final horn LIVE on YouTube!

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