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Game #29 Ottawa Senators (11-16-1) @ Vancouver Canucks (14-11-4) – game recap

It was a big game in more ways than one. First, Alex Burrows was inducted into the ring of honor tonight. In twelve seasons as a Canuck, Burrows had 384 regular season points (193G 191A). His most infamous moment was this goal to eliminate the Chicago Blackhawks in game seven of the 2011 playoffs after the Blackhawks had eliminated the Canucks in the second round. Burrows was also an agitator, drawing penalties and taking them too. Elias Pettersson played his 100th career game tonight. Antoine Roussel made his regular season debut after missing almost 9 months with a torn ACL. Thatcher Demko got the start with Jacob Markstrom away in Sweden attending his father’s memorial service. Jake Virtanen was a game-time decision after missing the morning skate with an illness and he played. Tim Schaller shifted to center with the expected lengthy absence of Tyler Groavac. The defensive pairings remained the same as Sunday with Alex Edler still nursing an upper body injury. Could the Canucks score a win over the lowly Ottawa Senators? Here is tonight’s game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Canucks opened the scoring almost 2 minutes into the game as Antoine Roussel put a backhander over a sprawling Anders Nilsson
  • Just over two and a half minutes later, Tanner Pearson tipped home a point shot by Chris Tanev
  • Nine and a half minutes later, Elias Pettersson tipped home a shot by Brock Boeser for a PP marker
  • Almost three and a half minutes later, Zack MacEwen tipped home a Jordie Benn point shot for his first career goal
  • The Senators got one back twelve minutes into the second period as Jean-Gabriel Pageau was johnny on the spot to put home a juicy rebound
  • The Senators got a goal closer forty seconds into the 3rd period on a slick tip-in by Tyler Ennis
  • Almost seven minutes later, Oscar Fantenberg scored his first as a Canuck with a knuckle-puck that deflected off the post and in
  • The Senators had a goal disalllowed almost five minutes later due to offside
  • Thatcher Demko stopped 38/40 shots
  • Final score: Canucks 5 Senators 2

My Take:

  • On a night when Alex Burrows was enshrined into the ring of honor (great speech by him by the way), the Canucks played like the team that took the NHL by storm in 2010-11 when Burrows and the Sedins were in their heyday, jumping out  to a 4-0 lead. Antoine Roussel couldn’t have asked for a better season debut, scoring on his first shift with Burrows watching from the press box. I thought it was awesome that Burrows congratulated Roussel on the goal during his first intermission interview with Dan Murphy. The final two periods, the Canucks reverted back to a more defensive shell. The Senators outshot the Canucks 26-14 over the final two periods and scored twice (would have been three times if not for an offside call via a coach’s challenge).
  • Thatcher Demko was sharp tonight, stopping 38/40 shots. He might want the Senators first goal back and maybe cover the puck
  • Oscar Fanbtenberg is proving to be an upgrade over Alex Biega. Fantenberg scored his first as a Canuck, was +2, threw 2 hits and blocked 3 shots
  • The Canucks won 45% of the draws, led by Elias Pettersson, who won every draw he took Bo Horvat (52% success rate) and Tim Schaller (50% success rate) also had good nights in the faceoff circle
  • The Canucks outhit the Senators 23-21, led by Zack MacEwen, who had 6 hits
  • The Canucks blocked 16 shots, led by Fantenberg, who had 3 blocked shots
  • Up next, the Canucks face off against their expansion cousins, the Buffalo Sabres. It’s possible one or two of Jay Beagle, Michael Ferland and Brandon Sutter will return to the lineup. The Canucks will have to clear cap space so a trade could be in the works. Thatcher Demko will likely start for a second time with Markstrom away in Sweden attending his father’s memorial.
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