Instant Reaction: Dakota Joshua scores twice as Canucks beat Ducks 3-2 in Easter Sunday matinee

Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
David Quadrelli
11 days ago
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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! 
As you (hopefully) read yesterday, the Canucks changed up their lines for today’s game against the Anaheim Ducks. JT Miller centred a line with Conor Garland and Dakota Joshua on his wings, while Nils Höglander and Brock Boeser flanked Elias Pettersson on the other top six line.
Both the Pettersson and Miller lines started the game with some offensive zone time that ended in chances on Lukas Dostal. It was tight checking from there at even strength, but after a delay of game penalty called against Anaheim, the Canucks’ power play got their first chance of the night.
They’ve been a story lately, and not for the right reasons. Head coach — and PP1 coach — Rick Tocchet stressed the important of his team generating more chances off broken plays — to stop looking for their set plays so much.
And yes, it came against the Ducks, but this is about as broken of a play as it gets:
So far so good for the power play’s philosophy change.
Shortly after that, Tyler Myers took a holding penalty and put the Canucks on their first penalty kill of the game. This is a good time to talk about the Canucks’ solid work at keeping shots to the outside and Arturs Silovs looking sharp early on. The Canucks exited the first period up by a goal and that’s certainly partly thanks to Silovs’ solid play in the opening frame. That’s a great sign for a player who has had a bit of an up-and-down season in Abbotsford after showing plenty of promise last season at both the AHL and NHL levels.
In the second, the Canucks got a power play opportunity early on and didn’t look for any set plays! But that wasn’t because they were dialled in on looking for broken plays — it was because they didn’t get set up in the first place. Not good.
Vasily Podkolzin took a far too obvious holding penalty when he grabbed Leo Carlsson’s jersey. The Canucks killed off the penalty and were given their fourth power play of the game shortly thereafter. Aside from their first PP goal, a theme of today’s power play was bobbling the puck and not snapping it around with nearly enough speed or poise.
The first unit got some better looks than they had earlier in the game, but it was power play two that broke through to give the Canucks a 2-0 lead.
So, yesterday at Canucks practice, I asked Rick Tocchet a lot about the power play. I asked him about Dakota Joshua slotting in at the net front, and Tocchet informed me that Joshua was the placeholder for Elias Pettersson, who took a maintenance day. He also admitted that he liked the look of Joshua in that spot, and that he might get a chance there.
Joshua sure looked capable in that spot on PP2.
The Canucks were up by a pair of goals after 40 minutes of play, but the shots were dead even at 17 apiece and the Canucks had just eight shots at even strength. That certainly doesn’t inspire a ton of confidence.
In goal, Arturs Silovs’ first blemish came off of Olen Zellweger’s first career NHL goal just under four minutes into the third period. From a technical perspective, there’s basically nothing Silovs could have done better to try to stop this shot.
It was just a perfect shot that would have beat almost anyone.
The Ducks’ second goal, just moments later in the third, was less of a “Arturs had no chance” and more of a “Arturs had a chance, but would have had a much better chance if JT Miller didn’t lose Mason McTavish.
Just like that, this game was tied up.
The Canucks woke up at 5v5, getting plenty of chances off on Dostal. They deflected plenty of pucks and got traffic in front of him, but the young Anaheim netminder stood tall.
The Canucks pulled ahead with just over two minutes to go after Conor Garland made his second beautiful behind the back spin pass in as many games to set up Dakota Joshua for his second goal of the game.
It was a lot closer than anyone would have liked, but in the end, the Canucks turned it on when they had to and took home a win against a lesser and tired Anaheim Ducks team. 3-2 Canucks final, and Arturs Silovs’ first win of the season.
What’s your instant reaction to tonight’s game? Let us know in the comments section below!

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