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game #64 Vancouver Canucks (27-28-9) @ Colorado Avalache (28-24-12) – game recap

After a strong trade deadline shutout of the Anaheim Ducks Monday, the Canucks opened a crucial 3 game road trip in Colorado Avalanche. A regulation win tonight would move the Canucks within a point of the Coyotes, who they play tomorrow night in Arizona, two points back of the Avs, and three points back of the 8th place Dallas Stars. Tanner Pearson made his Canucks debut, playing on the wing with Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser. After a strong first game as a Canuck Monday, Luke Schenn played his second game paired with Ashton Sautner. Adam Gaudette sat this one out with an illness. Jacob Markstrom got the call in net. Could the Canucks sweep the Avs in the season series? Here is tonight’s game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Avalanche opened the scoring 8:19 into the 1st period off a horrible turnover just inside the Canucks blueline. Nathan MacKinnon cracked a one-timer from inside the left faceoff circle high blocker side
  • Just under a minute later, the Canucks tied it as Antoine Roussel tipped home a point shot by Alex Biega
  • Just over nine minutes later, on another Canucks turnover, Mikko Rantanen ripped a one-timer high-glove side on Jacob Markstrom
  • The Canucks tied it with just over three minutes left in regulation as Josh Leivo cracked a one-timer far side on Semyon Varlamov
  • Carl Soderberg scored the shootout winner
  • Jacob Markstrom stopped 47 of 51 shots tonight, including 4 of 6 in the shootout
  • Final score: Avalanche 3 Canucks 2 (shootout loss)

My Take:

  • The stars on the Canucks tonight were Jacob Markstrom (stopped 43 of 45 through overtime and 4 of 6 in the shootout. If it wasn’t for him, there’s no way Canucks get this to overtime and it could have been a blowout loss), Alex Biega (two clutch assists), Nikolay Goldobin (probably best Canuck other than Markstrom on the ice. He created many scoring opportunities and nearly tied the game a few minutes before Leivo scored)
  • Key difference of game #1: blown power play chances. The Canucks were 0-5 with the PP tonight with 6 shots on goal. They were indecisive and the drop pass has to stop! it just wastes valuable time when you need to be pushing the puck up the ice
  • key difference in game #2: turnover, turnover, turnover. Both Avs goals in regulation came directly off turnovers and the Avs came close to winning it in overtime off a costly turnover.
  • I thought Tanner Pearson had a decent first game as a Canuck with a pair of shots and almost scoring the game winning goal, but it was called back because he had kicked it in. Pearson also saved Markstrom’s bacon in the 3rd period and had 2 blocked shots.
  • The Canucks won 46% of the draws tonight, led by Ryan Spooner, who won every draw he took. Jay Beagle (56% success rate), Markus Granlund (57% success rate) and Elias Pettersson (50% success rate) also were good in the faceoff circle.
  • Pettersson seemed tired tonight. Mind you, the games are getting much harder as teams battle for playoff position and Petey has already played more games than he did last year due to a longer season.
  • The Canucks outhit the Avs 18-10, led by Derrick Pouliot, Troy Stetcher and Alex Biega, who each had 3 hits
  • The Canucks blocked 17 shots tonight, led by Loui Erickson, who had 3 blocked shots
  • Up next, the Canucks take on the Arizona Coyotes. Expect Thatcher Demko to get the start. Other lineup changes may include the returns of Alex Edler and Adam Gaudette to the lineup. The Canucks must win tomorrow in regulation to keep their fast fading playoff hopes alive.
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