Further unpacking a huge Canucks win over the Penguins: Canucks Conversation

Photo credit:© Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Clarke Corsan
5 months ago
On today’s episode of Canucks Conversation, David Quadrelli and Harman Dayal recapped Vancouver’s Thursday game against the Penguins.
Elias Pettersson and the Canucks continued their red-hot road trip with a 4-3 overtime victory in Pittsburgh, with EP40 scoring the winner and Demko stopping 32 of the 35 shots sent his way. Vancouver has won 4 of 5 so far on this 7-game road trip and looks to continue their pace against Buffalo on Saturday.
“Such a wildly entertaining game,” said Harman. “Before we even get into the Canucks’ performance, just as a fan of hockey, that was a breathtaking experience. You saw so much high-end skill on both sides. It had a bit of everything; you had Pettersson looking unstoppable. On the other side, you have Sidney Crosby, who’s probably the talent of our generation, putting on an absolute show. You also had two of the game’s best offensive defensemen in Quinn Hughes and Erik Karlsson, so you had the skill shining, but you also had moments where both goaltenders were excellent. Tristan Jarry, in the second period, held the fort down, and Thatcher Demko was unbelievable in the third. You had some emotion, some feeling, some physicality in the third as well. The depth lines were involved and competitive on both sides. It felt like more than just a mid-January game between an East and West team. This felt like a playoff game.”
The Canucks came out of the gates quickly against Pittsburgh, with Boeser scoring two goals in the first ten minutes. Vancouver held a 3-1 lead into the second, but the Penguins chipped away, and Crosby tied the game with less than 30 seconds to go. Elias Pettersson would eventually get the O.T. winner, and his fourth consecutive game-winning goal. 
“I’m not afraid to call this [Pettersson’s] best game of the road trip,” said Quads. “It’s not like Miller or Boeser were bad, and I thought they’ve been equally as noticeable as Pettersson when they’ve been together, but last night it felt like it was Pettersson that was the engine driving everything on that line.”
“Absolutely,” Harman said. “I don’t think it was J.T. Miller’s best game; he struggled in the faceoff dot against Crosby. Defensively, there were a couple of moments, a couple turnovers in the offensive zone as well where I don’t think he was as sharp as he’s been in earlier parts of the road trip. You’re right; Pettersson was the engine, and you could tell from the very first shift, how quickly on his own entry he was able to stickhandle with lightning-quick hands yet make a play. He nearly set up a scoring chance right off the hop. It was a combination of the quick hands, but he also has the patience to change speed, so in one moment, he’s attacking the zone quickly, but then he’ll pull off a hesitation move and throw off the defender that way. He has the poise and vision to find teammates on the back door the way he did on Boeser’s goal. Those are the types of sequences where you’re like, “How do I even defend against him?”
Watch the full replay of today’s episode below!

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