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Game #26 Vancouver Canucks (12-9-4) @ Pittsburgh Penguins (13-7-4) – game recap

The Canucks played their final Eastern time zone game of this road trip, which wraps up in Edmonton on Saturday. The Penguins were without captain Sidney Crosby, who continues to recover from sports hernia surgery. Nikolay Goldobin was recalled from Utica with Sven Baertschi being sent back down. Goldobin was in tonight’s lineup starting with JT Miller and Elias Pettersson with Brock Boeser playing alongside Bo Horvat and Tanner Pearson. That meant Loui Eriksson found himself being a healthy scratch for the 12th time this season. Thatcher Demko got his second straight start after a dominant game two nights ago . Could the Canucks get back on track after a lackluster effort two nights ago? Here is tonight’s game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Penguins opened the scoring just under two and a half minutes into the game as Jake Guentzel snapped a quick shot off the draw that deflected off Thatcher Demko and in
  • Almost ten and a half minutes later, Bryan Rust whipped a shot past Demko for a PP marker
  • Just under four minutes later, the Canucks got on the board as JT Miller backhanded one past Pens goalie Matt Murray
  • The Canucks tied the game just over seven minutes into the 2nd period as Elias Pettersson snapped one short side on Murray
  • Just over eleven minutes later, Jake Virtanen snuck by Kris Letang and stuffed it by Murray
  • Forty-one seconds later, Adam Gaudette was able to find a loose puck in a goalmouth scramble and slide it in the back of the net
  • The Pens got one back just over a minute into the 3rd period as Guentzel wheeled behind the net and backhanded it by Demko
  • Ninety seconds later, Miller was johnny on the spot to rip a rebound pas Pens goalie Tristan Jarry
  • Thirty-five seconds later, Adam Gaudette weaved into the offensive zone and ripped one far side on Jarry
  • Just over three minutes later, Dominic Kahun deposited a centering feed into the net as Demko couldn’t get across with a Canucks defender in his lap
  • Just over a minute later, Evgeni Malkin unleashed a howitzer for a PP marker
  • Just over three minutes after that, Zach Ashton-Reese was johnny on the spot to snap a rebound past Demko
  • Just over 6 and a half minutes later, Kris Letang hammered a one-timer by Demko
  • Malkin added an empty-netter with one second left in the game
  • Thatcher Demko stopped 32/39 shots
  • Final score: Penguins 8 Canucks 6

My Take:

  • The good: Canucks coming back from a two goal deficit and scoring 4 straight. Blocking 21 shots and finishing their checks with a season-high 45 hts
  • The bad: allowing the first goal. Thatcher Demko wasn’t at his sharpest, giving up a season-high 7 goals on 40 shots.
  • The ugly: blowing a three goal lead in the 3rd period
  • This one was wide open all night with the teams trading goals and chances all night. Canucks defenders struggled to stay with their checks, leading to wide-open grade A scoring chances. Demko would like a couple of the goals back.
  • The Canucks won 45% of the faceoffs, led by Elias Pettersson, who had a 60% success rate. Tyler Graovac (60% success rate) and Bo Horvat (52% success rate) also had good nights in the faceoff circle
  • As mentioned above, the Canucks banged out 40 hits, led by Alex Edler, who had a whopping 8 hits
  • The Canucks blocked 21 shots, led by Edler, who had 6 blocked shots
  • Up next, the Canucks wrap up the road trip Saturday in Edmonton against the Oilers, who defeated the Canucks opening night and will face the Canucks the next day in Vancouver. The Canucks may get one or two injured players back. Brandon Sutter and Michael Ferland are nearing their returns to the lineup. Expect Jacob Markstrom back between the pipes.
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