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Game #4 – Vancouver Canucks (1-3) @ Calgary Flames (2-0-1) – game recap

After a tough 3-0 shutout to ex-teammate Jacob Markstrom and the Calgary Flames, the Canucks were looking to exact some revenge and end the road trip with a .500 record. Thatcher Demko got the start against his former goalie partner. No doubt Demko will be motivated to have a good game tonight. The Canucks got a big boost with the return of JT Miller, who missed the first 3 games due to COVID-19 concerns. Jordie Benn remains out with COVID-19 concerns. The hope is he will be set to return too. Quinn Hughes was in the lineup after missing practice Sunday for a maintenance day. Staying out of the box is going to be critical. The Canucks penalty killing unit has allowed 5 goals in 3 games, including all three goals in Saturday’s loss. Miller’s return should help the power play, moving Tyler Motte, who looked out of place and took the Canucks off the PP with a penalty, off the second unit. It also adjusts the lines and reunites Miller with Petey and Brock. Could the Canucks snap the 2 game losing streak and beat the Flames? Here is tonight’s game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Canucks opened the scoring as Jake Virtanen pinballed one off a Flames defender and past goalie Jacob Markstrom
  • The Flames tied the game just over twelve minutes into the 2nd period as Johnny Gaudreau flipped a wrister up and over Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko
  • Eighty-five seconds later, Mikael Backlund snapped a rebound by Demko after a turnover at the Flames blueline triggered an odd-man rush
  • Six and a half minutes later, Elias Lindholm hammered a one-timer by Demko for a buzzer beater with 2 seconds left in the middle period for a PP marker
  • The Flames added a goal just over six and a half minutes into the 3rd period as a wide-open Mark Giordano slammed a one-timer past Demko for a PP marker
  • Just over six and a half minutes later, Tyler Myers beat Markstrom far side for a SH marker
  • Just under six and a half minutes later, the Flames added an empty-netter, scored by Rasmus Andersson
  • Thatcher Demko stopped  27/31 shots
  • Final score: Flames 5 Canucks 2

My Take:

  • While the goal differential was the same as Saturday, there were more positives for the Canucks to hang their hats on. They had a great 1st period, outshooting the Flames 16-4, Their penalty kill is getting tons of practice early on with the number of penalties taken. Olli Joulevi probably had his best game as a Canuck with 2 shots on goal, 1 hit and a blocked shot. JT Miller had an assist in his first game of the season.
  • Thatcher Demko allowed 4 goals, but could not be faulted on any of them. He came up with some big saves to prevent this one from being a blowout
  • Way too many penalties. The Canucks handed the Flames 7 PP chances and a few of the penalty calls were the result of frustration. Tyler Myers punch Matthew Tkachuk in the head to leave his team too men short. Adam Gaudette threw a crosscheck. The Flames scored twice with the man advantage and that was the difference in the game
  • The power play still has many kinks to work out, especially getting the puck up the ice after a clear. I’m sure with  a practice or two, the PP unit will start converting their chances
  • After a terrific 1st period, the Canucks sat back and the Flames took full advantage firing 20 shots at Demko and scoring three times. The Canucks were a bit better in the 3rd, but the damage was done.
  • The Canucks won 47% of the draws, led by Bo Horvat, who won 59% of the draws he took. Adam Gaudette and JT Miller (both 50% success rate) also had good nights in the faceoff circle
  • The Canucks outhit the Flames 14-10, led by Tyler Motte, who had 3 hits tonight
  • The Canucks blocked 12 Flames shots, led by Tyler Myers, who blocked 4 shots
  • Up next, the Canucks head home to regroup and get ready for the next mini series vs. the Habs. Montreal has won 2 straight games. The 2 teams split the season series last season with the home team winning both games. Montreal outscored Vancouver 6-5. Tyler Toffoli makes his return to Vancouver after electing to sign with the Habs in the off-season
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