The Canucks wrapped up a tough California road trip tonight in their own house of horrors. The Canucks came into this one a dismal 0-6-1 in their last 7 visits to San Jose and had been outscored 27-9 during that period. Canucks last win in San Jose was March 31st, 2016. Vancouver is 2-11-1 in their last 14 overall meetings vs the Sharks dating back to February 2017. Things were a bit more challenging with Quinn Hughes out with a knee injury. Ashton Sautner drew into the lineup and was paired with Richmond native Troy Stetcher. Thatcher Demko got the start with a back-to-back situation tonight. The forwards remained the same as last night. I guess the team wants Sven Baertschi to get a full practice in before they play him. Could the Canucks make it 2 wins in 3 games and earn 5 of 6 points on this road trip? Here is tonight’s game recap.
- The Canucks opened the scoring just over 4 minutes into the game as Brandon Sutter was johnny on the spot to collect a rebound and outwait Sharks goalie Aaron Dell before calmly sliding a backhander home
- Eight and a half minutes later, Elias Pettersson showed deft hand-eye coordination whacking the puck into the far corner out of midair
- The Canucks added a goal 45 seconds into the second period as Jake Virtanen just squeaked the puck over the line with a sweet backhander while on a breakaway and a Sharks defender draped all over him
- Just under four and a half minutes later, Adam Gaudette banked the puck in off Sharks defender Mario Ferraro
- The Sharks got one back almost 11 minutes into the 3rd period as Marc-Edouard Vlasic redirected a centering feed by Barclay Godrow past Thatcher Demko for a shorthanded goal
- Ninety-two seconds later, Pettersson snapped his second of the game past Dell
- Just over seven minutes later, Evander Kane was johnny on the spot to put his own rebound over the glove of Demko
- Thatcher Demko stopped 24/26 shots
- Final score: Canucks 5 Sharks 2
- This Canucks team is proving early on to be better than last year’s team. The Canucks had every excuse to mail it in tonight. They were in the midst of a tough stretch that had them playing seven of their last ten on the road and were finishing off a week where they played 4 games in 6 nights. Instead, the Canucks jumped out to a 4-0 lead and had a decent final period where the legs were probably tired.
- The loss might be the last straw for Sharks coach Peter DeBoer. The Sharks have now lost five straight and are last in the Western Conference. They have one more loss in regulation than the Canucks have wins in regulation.
- Thatcher Demko continued his strong start to the season, stopping 24 of the 26 shots he faced. He made some big saves, including all 8 when the Sharks had the man advantage. The only goals to beat him were a shorthanded goal on a cross-ice feed that he had no chance on and off a rebound to an unchecked Evander Kane
- For the third straight game, the Canucks lost a player due to injury. Ashton Sautner absorbed a bad hit that sent him flying into the boards and he landed face first on the ice hard. Don’y be surprised if Brendan Dillon gets a hearing with NHL players safety. With four Canucks (Quinn Hughes, Sautner, Michael Ferland, and Antoine Roussel) all out with injuries, it will be a good test for the Canucks and a chance for the healthy scratches to play. Oscar Fantenberg will likely make his Canucks debut, depending on the status of Hughes. We might see Sven Baertschi draw into the lineup.
- The Canucks won 45% of the draws, led by JT Miller, who won 78% of the draws. No other Canuck was above 50% success rate
- The Canucks banged out 7 hits, led by Jordie Benn, who had 3 hits
- The Canucks blocked 22 shots, led by Chris Tanev, who had 5 blocked shots
- Up next, the Canucks head home for one game against St. Louis before yet another road trip.