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Game #4 – Philadelphia Flyers (2-0-1) @ Vancouver Canucks (2-2) – game recap.

After pounding the Kings 8-2 in the home opener, the Canucks were looking to keep things going against the Philadelphia Flyers, who are in the midst of an epic 10,000KM road trip that saw that start the season in Prague as the NHL continues to expand into European markets. As expected, the Canucks went with the same lineup that clobbered LA on Wednesday. Jacob Markstrom started his 4th straight game. Could the Canucks beat the road-weary Flyers? Here is tonight’s game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Canucks opened the scoring five minutes into the game as Brock Boeser was johnny on the spot to knock home a rebound past Flyers goalie Carter Hart
  • The Flyers tied the game As Carson Twarynski snapped one short-side on Jacob Markstrom
  • Just over a minute later, Tanner Pearson tipped home a point shot by Chris Tanev
  • The Flyers tied the game with just over five minutes left in the game as Oskar Lindblom wired home a cross ice feed from Travis Konecny for a PP goal
  • Tanner Pearson scored the shootout winner; Elias Pettersson scored another beauty in the shootout
  • Jacob Markstrom stopped 31 of 34, including 2 of 3 in the shootout
  • Final score: Canucks 3 Flyers 2 (shootout win)

My Take:

  • The first 2 periods were pretty solid for the Canucks, but they sat back too much and nearly lost the game in the final minute on a goal post. OT was mostly back and forth, the Canucks had a solid chance to win with a power play for just over a minute. They did a good job moving the puck in OT and forced Carter Hart to come up big
  • Jacob Markstrom deserves a free dinner because he was excellent, coming up with big saves to keep the Canucks ahead and alive after the game was tied. He ended the game with a sweet pad stack in desperation. He could not be faulted on two of the three goals, although he might want the Flyer first goal back
  • The blasted drop pass was back. The Canucks failed on their only full PP chance because they were far too stationary in the offensive zone and wasted  valuable seconds getting the puck back up the ice. The Canucks have enough talent where they should be in the top ten, but they must change their approach on the PP or they could be in the bottom ten in the league. I also think eventually Quinn Hughes should eventually be on the top unit before the season is done. He’s been much more dynamic than Alex Edler, the other Canucks PP QB.
  • In a twist of irony, the Flyers also used a drop pass on their PP. They scored the tying goal on swift puck movement that ended with a no-doubter goal.
  • Tanner Pearson (scored 2nd Canucks goal, was +1, 4 shots on goal, 1 hit, 2 blocked shots, 2 forced turnovers), Bo Horvat (was +1, 3 shots on goal, 1 hit, 2 blocked shots), Josh Leivo (1 assist, was +1, 3 shots on goal), Chris Tanev (2 assists, was +1, 4 hits) and Quinn Hughes (was +1, 1 shot on goal, made smart plays), Jacob Markstrom (stopped 31 of 34, including 2 of 3 in the shootout) all impressed me tonight
  • The Canucks won 56% of the draws tonight, led by Tim Schaller, who won every draw he took. JT Miller (70% success rate), Adam Gaudette (57% success rate), Bo Horvat (57% success rate), Jay Beagle (56% success rate) and Brandon Sutter (50% success rate) also had good nights in the faceoff circle
  • The Canucks landed 22 hits, led by Michael Ferland, who landed 4 hits tonight
  • The Canucks blocked 19 shots, led by Tanev’s 4 blocked shots
  • Up next, the Canucks wrap up the homestand with a tilt against the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night. Loui Eriksson might get to play with a Tim Schaller felled on a blocked shot. Jacob Markstrom’s status may be questionable too. He was unavailable to talk to the media for the second straight game as he was receiving treatment. The two teams split the season series last year, with the Canucks taking 3 of a possible 4 points.
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