Instant Reaction: JT Miller scores OT winner to cap off gutsy Canucks effort to beat Kings 2-1

Photo credit:© Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
David Quadrelli
1 month 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! Wyatt Arndt is on Stanchies and Mike Liu will have The Statsies up tomorrow morning!
The first period was a great example of why hockey might not be very popular in the United States. The Kings rolled out their boring brand of hockey and waited for the Canucks to make a mistake. The last time these two teams played, the Canucks made a ton of mistakes, and the Kings converted five times. Tonight was all about not making many mistakes, or at least delaying when the mistake would come.
Unfortunately, that mistake came fairly early on in the game, as Quinn Hughes failed to move the puck up the ice, which led to Filip Hronek misplaying the puck, which led to Trevor Moore being in front of the net all alone. It’s also worth mentioning that JT Miller could have been in a better spot on this goal.
We’re obviously on trade watch all week, but the Spidey senses really went off when Elias Lindholm left midway through the first period and didn’t return until the halfway point of the second period. For about 20 minutes, everybody on Twitter was convinced that Lindholm was gone and that Jake Guentzel was on his way to becoming a Canuck.
Lindholm, of course, was the subject of trade rumours earlier today, when Chris Johnston reported that the Canucks have “had discussions” about flipping Lindholm to the Boston Bruins to help them execute a trade for Jake Guentzel. Anyways, back to the game.
The Canucks got a power play opportunity early in the second period as they tried to play catchup. The Canucks moved the puck around but didn’t prevail. They got another chance almost immediately after, thanks to Quinton Byfield taking another penalty.
Again, they did not convert, and with the Kings leading by just a goal at this point, it felt like a moment you’d want to remember when looking at what went wrong for the Canucks tonight.
The Kings did their absolute best to suck all the life out of this game and make even more people want to go to Lakers games instead of Kings games. Despite this, the Canucks managed to get some possession and offensive zone time. Slowly but surely, the Canucks were breaking the Kings down.
Elias Pettersson finally got the Canucks on the board in the waning moments of the second period after a dominant shift for the Canucks.
Just like that, the Canucks were heading into the third period tied at one, after a relentless effort to not have their will to compete beat out of them by the Kings’ boring as hell style of hockey.
That was one of the Canucks’ most resilient efforts of the year, and certainly the best period they’ve played in the last 30 days.
Quinn Hughes also picked up his 60th assist of the year on Pettersson’s goal, which was EP40’s 30th goal of the season.
In the third, Thatcher Demko matched his team’s compete level, especially early on. In the first few minutes of the third, Demko was faced with a two on one that he played perfectly, capping things off with a marvellous glove save off of Alex Turcotte.
The Kings continued their 1-3-1 trap, and the Canucks continued to try not to let that make them hate the game of hockey. Oh wait, that was the fans that were watching this game. Maybe I’m being dramatic, but holy smokes, the Kings did their best to make this a snoozefest.
The Canucks kept their foot on the gas as the third period died down, refusing to let up. Hughes had a sequence in the final moments of the third where he just stood in his own end and dared the Kings to forecheck. They refused, and this game needed overtime.
Quinn Hughes was great in this game and almost made some magic happen on the first shift of OT. Kevin Fiala grabbed Filip Hronek’s jersey, giving the Canucks a power play in OT. But before the Canucks even went to the power play, they went to work with the extra attacker, with JT Miller ending things to cap off a gutsy effort from the road team.
That’s two straight wins for the Canucks for the first time since February 13th and 15th, when they beat Chicago and Detroit, respectively.
What are your thoughts on tonight’s game? Let us know in the comments section below!

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