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Game #3 – LA Kings (1-2) @ Vancouver Canucks (1-2) – game recap

JT Miller had a goal and 3 assists as the Canucks routed the Kings 8-2 during their home opener of their 50th anniversary season

For the first time since the Sedins retied following the 2017-18 season, the Canucks have a team captain. To the surprise of no one, Bo Horvat was named the Canucks 14th captain in a special pregame ceremony involving players from every era (Stan Smyl, Kirk McLean (who came out wearing his old goalie gear and mask), Todd Bertuzzi, the Sedins, Orland Kurtenbach (helped present Bo Horvat with his new jersey. and Dave Talon. Loui Eriksson was a healthy scratch for the second game in a row. Oscar Fantenberg will also have to wait another day for his NHL debut as the Canucks went with the same defense as the first two games The Canucks made some changes to the lines with Michael Ferland swapping spots with JT Miller in an effort to get some consistent scoring. Jacob Markstrom got his 3rd straight start in net. Could the Canucks start the home portion of the schedule with a win and snap the two game losing streak? Here is tonight’s game recap.

Game Highlights

  • Obviously, the biggest highlight tonight was Orland Kurtenbach and Henrik Sedin, the Canucks first and last captain, presenting Bo Horvat with his new jersey with the “C” on it
  • The Canucks opened the scoring just under five and a half minutes into the game as Quinn Hughes hammered home his first career goal. It was also the Canucks first PP goal of the season
  • Almost 30 seconds later, Brandon Sutter doubled the lead, snapping one from a sharp angle over the glove of Kings goalie Jonathan Quick
  • The Canucks added a goal two and a half minutes into the 2nd period as Elias Pettersson snuck behind the Kings defense and snapped it by Quick
  • Almost five minutes later, the Kings got on the board as Tyler Toffoli got on a clear cut breakaway blueline in and whipped it through Jacob Markstrom’s five-hole
  • Just over 7 minutes later, JT Miller banked one off a King’s defender from below the goal line for his first as a Canuck
  • The Kings got one back almost 7 minutes into the 3rd period as Sean Walker snapped a rising shot over the glove of Markstrom
  • Forty seconds later, Chris Tanev tipped home a shot by Hughes
  • Two and a half minutes later, Alex Edler hammered a one-timer by Quick
  • Almost 90 seconds later, Josh Leivo tipped home a centering feed by Bo Horvat
  • Just over five and a half minutes later, a shot by Sutter counted as it just slid over the line before a Kings defender knocked it away
  • Jacob Markstrom stopped 37 of 39 shots
  • Final score: Canucks 8 Kings 2

My take:

  • Boy oh boy did the Canucks ever come out firing on all cylinders. They kept the pedal to the metal and outscored the kings in every period. The shot total definitely didn’t do justice to the game. The Kings actually outshot the Canucks 39-25. The difference is Jacob Markstrom was on his game from the get-go stopping 37/39, including all 10 shots he faced while the Kings had the man advantage. LA even had a lengthy 5-on-3, but could not solve the Canucks goalie. Jonathan Quick, on the other hand was awful, allowing 8 goals on 25 shots and he’ll want several of those goals back
  • One of the concerns heading into this season was scoring from defenseman. That wasn’t a problem tonight as Hughes, Edler and Tanev all had goals. Hughes and Troy Stetcher also had an assist. Jordie Benn and Tyler Myers didn’t get on the scoreboard, but both were plus 1
  • JT Miller also had a huge game with a 4 point night (1G 3A)
  • You know your team had a good night when everyone but three (Leivo, Tanner Pearson and Adam Gaudette) finished with a positive rating. Leivo, Gaudette and Pearson had even ratings tonight
  • I thought the power play was much more effective tonight. They were moving the puck up the ice quickly and didn’t use the drop pass once. When they had control in the offensive zone, the Canucks weren’t stationary. They were moving around and that kept the Kings defenders moving around to cover the Canucks
  • The Canucks won just 39% of the draws, led by Elias Pettersson, who won 75% of the draws he took.Jake Virtanen and JT Miller also had good nights in the faceoff circle, winning half the draws they took
  • The Canucks outhit the Kings 21-15, led by Michael Ferland who landed 5 hits
  • The Canucks blocked 17 Kings shots, led by Chris Tanev, who had 3 blocked shots
  • Up next, the Canucks faceoff against the Philadephia Flyers, who are undefeated at the moment, having won their first 2 games. Look for the Canucks to ice the same lineup that dominated tonight
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