Instant Reaction: Lotto Line reunites and hits the jackpot in Canucks’ 6-4 win over Devils

Photo credit:© Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
David Quadrelli
5 months ago
Who do you call when your top six fails to generate anything and you lose to the St. Louis Blues by a final score of 2-1?
You reunite the Lotto Line.
And that’s exactly what Rick Tocchet did tonight.
For the first time since he became the Vancouver Canucks’ head coach, Tocchet submitted his opening lineup with the Lotto Line together.
For whatever reason, both Tocchet and Bruce Boudreau have been reluctant to go to it, but Tocchet was rewarded for his decision early, as Travis Green, the original mastermind behind the Lotto Line, looked on from the New Jersey bench.
On their first shift of the game, the line created a prime scoring chance for Brock Boeser. On their second shift, they did the same thing, and this time, Boeser scored! Unfortunately for the Canucks, the goal was called back for goaltender interference.
The Canucks went right back to their new first line afterwards, and again, the line created a prime scoring opportunity. The line was three for three in creating good looking scoring chances — which was three more chances than the top six generated through 60 minutes against St. Louis on Thursday night.
The Canucks were absolutely buzzing to begin this game as they looked to take advantage of the Jack Hughes-less Devils, who also played last night.
Simply put, this was about as dominant of a first period that the Canucks have played this season, and the 17-5 shot total after 20 minutes did not lie. Despite this, the Canucks entered the first intermission tied at zero.
That didn’t deter them, as the Canucks opened the second period the exact same way they did the first period — with the Lotto Line out creating chances.
Elias Pettersson deflected a Filip Hronek point shot past Nico Daws in the opening minute of the second period to make it 1-0 Canucks.
And just like they did in the second period, the Lotto Line got right back to creating offence, as JT Miller buried the Canucks’ second goal of the game after an excellent box out effort from Elias Pettersson allowed Miller to get to the loose puck.
The Lotto Line continued their domination of the Devils, this time with Pettersson finding Miller for a one-timer, and Miller’s second goal of the game.
The Devils flipped the script for a moment, as Collin Miller beat Thatcher Demko with a point shot to get the Devils on the board.
Before the second period ended, Erik Haula scored off the rush to cut the Canucks’ lead down to just one heading into the third period.
Or so you thought.
With just seconds remaining in the second period, the Canucks sent out their most consistent line, and an individual effort from Conor Garland put the Canucks up by two once again.
Undefeated this season when leading after 40 minutes, the Canucks got to work at closing out this game that they so thoroughly dominated.
And as was a theme in this game, the lotto line got to work early in the third, with Brock Boeser setting up Elias Pettersson, who made no mistake in beating Nico Daws five hole to make it 5-2 Canucks.
The Devils made things interesting as they scored two goals in the final ten minutes of the period. The first one came from Collin Miller, and is one Demko typically stops.
The second came just over a minute later and was the result of some poor defensive zone coverage from the Andrei Kuzmenko-Pius Suter-Ilya Mikheyev trio. Simply put, you cannot have every player down this low, and they need to be better.
Things got especially hairy for the Canucks when Dakota Joshua took a holding penalty with just over three minutes remaining, setting up the Travis Green-run third-best power play in the NHL to get to work needing a goal — albeit without Jack Hughes.
There were some close calls, but Joshua managed to redeem himself by stepping out of the box and fighting off pressure in order to bury the empty net chance to give the Canucks a 6-4 lead.
Some other takeaways from tonight:
-Tonight was the 69th career multi-point game for Quinn Hughes, which broke the tie he was in with Alex Edler for the Canucks’ franchise lead.
-This morning, Rick Tocchet said he thought Andrei Kuzmenko would have a good game, and he did. Kuzmenko was creating chances all night long and was playing with a ton of energy.
It’s hard to imagine that Kuzmenko would get scratched again on this road trip with how he played tonight.
-Is anyone shocked that Elias Pettersson had a great game as soon as he was paired with two competent linemates? It’s funny how that works, eh? Let’s see more of the lotto line, please!
What’s your instant reaction to tonight’s game? Let us know in the comments section below!

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