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Game #66 Vancouver Canucks (27-30-9) @ Vegas Golden Knights (36-26-5)

The Canucks wrapped up a three game road trip this afternoon after dropping the 1st two games of the trip, salvaging a single point vs. the Avs. The Canucks switched things up this afternoon, dropping Brock Boeser to the 3rd line with Adam Gaudette and Antoine Roussel. Meanwhile, Elias Pettersson skated between Tanner Pearson and Nikolay Goldobin. The other two lines remained the same and defensive parings were the same as Thursday in Arizona. Jacob Markstrom was back in goal. Could the Canucks salvage a win and keep their slim playoff hopes alive? Here is today’s game recap.

Game highlights:

  • The Golden Knights opened the scoring 5:42 into the 2nd period as Max Pacioretty cracked a one-timer by a screened Jacob Markstrom
  • Two minutes, forty-one seconds later, the Golden Knights doubled the lead as Ryan Carpenter deftly slipped a rebound past the outstretched glove of Markstrom
  • Ten and a half minutes later, Reilly Smith stuffed a one-timer by Markstrom, who had zero chance on the play
  • Jacob Markstrom stopped 45 of 48 shots, to match his total from his last start through the overtime period against the Avs
  • Final score: Golden Knights 3 Canucks 0

My take:

  • Jacob Markstrom was literally the only Canuck to show up tonight. Had he not shown up, the score could have been much more lopsided. In fact, Markstrom of last season might have allowed double digits in goals. If this is the way the Canucks defense plays Wednesday, don’t be surprised if Thatcher Demko gets the start the next night in Edmonton. There is no question now that Markstrom is the clear MVP for the Canucks. He has kept them in so many games that they did not deserve to be in.
  • The one other good thing from tonight was special teams. The penalty killing units blanked the Golden Knights power play, holding Vegas to three shots in their two opportunities. The realigned power play did not get an opportunity as the Canucks did not get a power play tonight.
  • Alex Edler was the best position player for the Canucks with a shot on goal, 3 hits, 5 blocked shots and an even rating.
  • The Canucks won 47% of the draws tonight, led by Tanner Pearson. Bo Horvat (58% success rate), Jay Beagle (53% success rate) and Antoine Roussel (50% success rate) also had good nights in the faceoff circle.
  • The Canucks outhit the Golden Knights 41-33, led by Luke Schenn, who had a whopping 8 hits today.
  • The Canucks blocked 21 shots tonight, led by Edler, who blocked 5 shots.
  • Up next, the Canucks return home to face the Toronto Maple Leafs, who shut out the Canucks back on January 5th. By the way, Toronto has a +47 goal differential, second only to the Lightning, who have been making every team look amateurish. This one could get ugly on the scoreboard.
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