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Game #28 Edmonton Oilers (17-9-3) @ Vancouver Canucks (13-11-4) – game recap

After beating Edmonton with one of the most complete performances of the season, the Canucks returned home to face the Oilers back to back. Oscar Fantenberg finally made his Canucks debut as Alex Edler missed tonight’s game after missing the final period last night with an upper body injury. The Oilers were missing several players with defenseman Kris Russell awaiting the birth of his second child, Mike Smith injuring his leg and Zack Kassian felled by a back injury. Jacob Markstrom got the start for the second straight game. Could the Canucks make it two in a row vs. the Pacific-leading Oilers? Here is tonight’s game recap.

Game highlights:

  • The Oilers opened the scoring just over nine minutes into the game as Josh Archibald beat a screened Jacob Markstrom with a seeing eye shot from the slot
  • Just under six and a half minutes later, Brock Boeser tipped home a centering feed by Quinn Hughes. Boeser paid the price, taking a high stick to the mouth. He had to leave to the dressing room for repairs
  • Twenty-eight seconds later, the Oilers had a goal disallowed due to Markus Granlund not letting Markstrom properly make a save (goaltender interference)
  • The Canucks took the lead just over twelve minutes into the 2nd period as Josh Leivo was johnny on the spot to whack a rebound past Mikko Koskinen
  • Almost two minutes later, Leon Draisaitl blasted a one-timer past Jacob Markstrom for a PP marker
  • The Oilers took the lead 46 seconds into the 3rd period as a wide open Draisatl hammered a one-timer past Markstrom for a PP marker
  • Jacob Markstrom stopped 25/28 shots
  • Final score: Oilers 3 Canucks 2

My take:

  • Special teams was a big difference in this one. The Oilers converted on both their power play chances and the Canucks failed on both their PP chances. You also have to credit the Oilers defenders who got in the way of 22 Canucks shots. Edmonton was missing more of the key players, but they played a solid team game and that’s why they prevailed tonight
  • Jacob Markstrom was pretty solid tonight and could not be faulted on any of the Oilers goals, which resulted from poor defensive coverage (twice Leon Draisaitl was left wide open and I don’t know what Loui Eriksson was doing on the 1st Oilers goal)
  • The Canucks lost Tyler Graovac to a lower body injury midway through the game. It may buy Eriksson an extra game.
  • Oscar Fantenberg had a decent Canucks debut with an even rating, one shot on goal and a hit in 12 minutes of ice time.
  • The Canucks won 45% of the draws, led by Elias Pettersson, who won every draw he took. Adam Gaudette (63% success rate) and JT Miller (54% success rate) also had good nights in the faceoff circle
  • The Canucks outhit the Oilers 19-14, led by Tanner Pearson and Zack MacEwen, who both had 3 hits
  • The Canucks blocked 9 shots, led by Chris Tanev, who blocked 3 shots
  • Up next, the Canucks take on the Ottawa Senators. Alex Burrows will be inducted into the ring of honor in a pregame ceremony. Antoine Roussel should make his regular season debut after completing a conditioning stint on Saturday. The other injured players, with the exception of Alex Edler and maybe Graovac should return in the coming days/weeks. Look for Thatcher Demko to start Tuesday after Markstrom start both ends of the weekend back-to-backs.
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