Instant Reaction: Dakota Joshua scores twice as Canucks beat Predators 4-2 in game one

Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
David Quadrelli
1 month 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! Wyatt Arndt will have The Stanchies up later tonight, and Mike Liu will have The Statsies — CA’s analytics-based post game report — up tomorrow morning!
All anyone could talk about heading into this game was how the first ten minutes would tell us a lot about how this series was going to go.
So here’s what happened in the first ten minutes of the game.
Each team got a shot against early, and each team’s second shot of the game was a high-danger chance that their goaltender needed to be sharp on.
Thatcher Demko’s save was a loud one, and it got the towels moving early as the Canucks’ goaltender moved post to post to absolutely rob former Canuck Anthony Beauvillier.
The Canucks got a power play that Nashville killed off thanks in part to some more great goaltending from Juuse Saros.
So what did the first ten minutes of this game seem to show us? Both of these teams are ready for the playoffs, and both of these teams have excellent goaltending behind them.
In the final ten minutes of the first period, however, the Predators drew first blood. Nashville’s trade deadline pickup, Jason Zucker, beat Demko short side with a shot through traffic.
The Canucks tried to take advantage of having last change, as we saw The Lotto Line reunited for two offensive zone shifts. The second shift for The Lotto Line was much better than the first, as they built some serious momentum that it sure seemed like Elias Lindholm was able to bring into the second period.
Lindholm scored the first playoff goal on Rogers Arena ice since Henrik Sedin. Feel old yet?
The Canucks poured on the pressure after this goal, and it was all Canucks to open the second after a fairly even back and forth first period.
That was until Teddy Blueger took an interference penalty to put Nashville on the power play, where Ryan O’Reilly made no mistake in giving Nashville the lead once again.
If learning that Henrik Sedin scored the last playoff goal on Rogers Arena ice didn’t make you feel old, watching the Canucks continue to take penalties after getting burned by the Predators’ power play surely did.
The Canucks killed off their second penalty of the period, reuinted the Lotto Line again, and then Filip Hronek took the Canucks’ third consecutive penalty of the period.
What started as such a strong period for the Canucks quickly turned into one where they simply played to not get scored on. The Canucks managed to kill off the Hronek penalty, but the point remained — the Canucks entered the third down by a goal, just as they entered the second down by a goal.
Similarly, the Canucks started with a great opportunity. Brock Boeser set up JT Miller for a chance all alone in front, but Miller chipped the puck wide. On the same shift, the Canucks picked up a power play opportunity, with a prime chance to even things up in this one.
The power play failed to convert, and struggled to get their quality looks to actually end with a shot on goal. Back at even strength, Phil Di Giuseppe got in on the forecheck and then made a crucial mistake when he tripped Ryan O’Reilly to give Nashville their fourth power play of the game.
The Canucks once again killed it off, but they needed to hurry if they were going to come back in this one.
This game was filled with the type of intensity that we call “playoff-like” when describing extra-spirited regular-season games. There were hits, battles, and both teams were unwilling to give the other an inch.
Quinn Hughes took it upon himself to make it happen for his team, firing a puck through traffic to make it 2-2.
Then, with Rogers Arena already as loud as its been in years, Conor Garland set up Dakota Joshua for a goal that nearly took the roof off the place.
Per John Shorthouse, that’s the fastest two goals in Canucks playoff history.
All of the momentum was officially in the Canucks’ favour. Late in the season, the Canucks made it a habit to keep coming at teams when they get a lead, and that’s exactly what they did tonight.
They got some key saves from Thatcher Demko, some big hits from Nikita Zadorov, and much more, as it was a total team effort for the Canucks to lock down the victory in this one.
Dakota Joshua, looking every bit the part of a player who could become a serious fan favourite and playoff hero for this city, scored the empty net goal to ice this one for the Canucks.
Joshua was throwing the body plenty tonight and his two goals were absolutely crucial to the Canucks winning tonight.
It was maybe a bit closer than they would have hoped, but the Canucks are officially up by a game in this series, and that’s certainly the outcome they were hoping for after tonight.
What’re your thoughts on tonight’s game? Let us know in the comments section below!
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