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Game #12 Vancouver Canucks (8-3-1) @ LA Kings (4-9) – game recap

Since, and including, the stomping of the LA Kings on the night of the home opener, the Canucks are an impressive 7-1-1. Tonight, the Canucks opened a three-game California road trip taking on the aforementioned Kings team, who are tied for dead last in the Western Conference and are tied for 28th overall in the with only Ottawa and New Jersey below them in the standings heading into tonight’s action. The Canucks were tied with the Arizona Coyotes for a WC spot and were a point back of Vegas and Anaheim and 2 points back of Edmonton in the Pacific division. Oscar Fantenberg was sent to Utica (presumably to get some playing time) and Ashton Sautner was recalled. Same lineup as the one that soundly beat the Panthers on Monday, except Jacob Markstrom was back between the pipes. Could the Canucks start the road trip with a win? Here is tonight’s game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Kings opened the scoring lmost 4 minutes into the game as Jeff Carter walked in and beat Jacob Markstrom with a deke to the backhand. Anze Kopitar got his 900th point with an assist on the play
  • Just over sixteen and a half minutes later, Elias Petterson found Brock Boeser with a cross-ice slap pass that was shades of the Sedins. Boeser made no mistake whipping it past Kings Goalie Jonathan Quick for a PP goal
  • Just under two minutes later, Bo Horvat tipped home a point shot from Quinn Hughes for a PP marker
  • The Kings tied it midway through the 2nd period as Adrian Kempe tipped one home past Markstrom for a PP marker
  • Just over five minutes later, Pettersson found a streaking Boeser right after the Kings nearly retook the lead, but instead rang a shot off the post. Boeser beat Quick with a slick backhand deke
  • The Canucks added a goal 55 seconds into the 3rd period as Boeser pin-balled one in off a Kings defender for a PP goal to complete the hat trick
  • Just under 15 minutes later, Pettersson wired a shot top corner on Quick for a PP marker
  • Just over 3 minutes later, Carter was johnny on the spot to stuff a bad rebound from Markstrom into the yawning cage
  • Jacob Markstrom stopped 21 of 24 shots
  • Final score: Canucks 5 Kings 3

My Take:

  •  Special teams was a huge factor tonight with the Canucks converting on 4 of 6 PP opportunities. The boys were moving the puck well and opening up those shooting lanes. At times, I could have sworn Sweet Georgia Brown was playing in the background. Somewhere the Sedins were watching the slick slap passes with pride. On the other side of the coin, the Canucks allowed the Kings to convert just once in 6 tries, including three huge kills in a row in the 3rd period. The Kings were limited to just 4 shots in their 6 PP opportunities
  • Speaking of Jacob Markstrom, he had a nice bounce back after a rough third period against Washington last Friday. The hallmark of an elite goalie is the ability to bounce back after a rough game and Markstrom did exactly that.
  • Brock Boeser and Elias Pettersson are arguably the best duo the Canucks have had since the Sedins were playing. The duo scored 4 points each tonight (Boeser had a hat trick and an assist and Pettersson had a goal and three assists) and were unstoppable with the man advantage
  • A couple of scary moments for the Canucks in the second period. Alex Edler took a shot off his testicles. He stayed down for a few minutes, but eventually got back up and finished the game. Bo Horvat absorbed a huge open ice hit and glided to the bench hunched over. He apparently only had the wind knocked out of him because he finished the game as well. Michael Ferland did not fare as well. He left the game after getting into his first fight as a Canuck. I would presume an upper body injury
  • The Canucks won 65% of the faceoffs, led by Josh Leivo, who won every draw he took. Bo Horvat (80% success rate), Brandon Sutter (67% success rate) and Jay Beagle (60% success rate) also had good nights in the faceoff circle
  • The Canucks landed 15 hits, led by Elias Pettersson and Tim Schaller, who landed 3 hits each
  • The Canucks blocked 17 Kings shots, led by Chris Tanev who had 6 blocked shots
  • Up next, the Canucks head to Anaheim to take on the surging Ducks, who are currently in the 1st wild card spot in the Western Conference due to one more regulation loss than Vegas. Ex Canuck Erik Gudbranson will be facing his former teammates for the first time since last season’s trade deadline deal. Michael Del Zotto is also still with the Ducks. There may need to be a lineup change, depending on how hurt Ferland is
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