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Game #70 NY Rangers (28-29-13) @ Vancouver Canucks (29-32-9) – game recap

The Canucks are down to the last dozen games of the season, playing out the season as another playoff miss is a forgone conclusion. No Quinn Hughes tonight as he is being held back from skating with the team pending MRI results on the foot/ankle he injured over the weekend blocking a shot. However, Chris Tanev returned to the lineup and Sven Baertschi joined the team for the morning skate. Guillaume Brisebois also drew into the lineup. Jacob Markstrom was back in net after an early pull last game.  Another huge development was Loui Erickson was a healthy scratch tonight, meaning Bo Horvat is the lone Canuck to play every game this season. Could the Canucks make a good first impression with Quinn Hughes? Here is tonight’s game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Canucks opened the scoring just over 6 minutes into the 2nd period as Josh Leivo found Brock Boeser with a no-look pass and Boeser snapped the one=timer by Henrik Lunqvist
  • Just under three and a half minutes later, Alex Edler found a streaking Tyler Motte, who deftly beat Lundqvist with a slick forehand-backhand deke
  • Eleven seconds later, Motte walked into a rebound and blasted one past Lundqvist. Antoine Roussel was hurt on the play after running into a NY Rangers defender just before the goal.
  • The Rangers got one back just over halfway through the third as Pavel Buchnevich let go with a quick shot from the slot that beat Jacob Marktrom glove side
  • Jake Virtanen added an empty-netter with 25 seconds left in the game
  • Jacob Markstrom stopped 21 of 22 shots
  • Final score: Canucks 4 Rangers 1

My Take:

  • This was a rough game, literally and Canucks trainer Jon Sanderson was among the busier men on the Canucks, tending to the players who went down with injury (two of whom returned). First Chris Kreider elbowed Elias Pettersson, who returned after spending time in the quiet room. Kreider was booted from the game. Then Josh Leivo got hit in the head, but later returned. Next, Antoine Roussel was injured (knee) when he fell awkwardly. Roussel was done for the night and quite possibly the season judging by the way the knee buckled. Roussel also struck his head against the body of  Rangers defender. Finally Ashton Sautner was hit into the end boards late in the 3rd period and required attention from Sanderson. He will be re-evaluated. It’s a good thing there are so many extra bodies in the press box. A few might find their way into the lineup Friday, pending the status of the above mentioned players. Oh, and after the game it was revealed that Quinn Hughes has a bad bone bruise and will miss a week at least.
  • The silver lining in the dirty game was the Canucks PP got some sorely needed practice. It took a major penalty to convert. The Canucks were 1-5 on the night, firing 8 shots on Lundqvist. I noticed the Rangers were trying to stop the dreaded drop pass and got a pair of shorthanded chances with the ill-fated play. The penalty-killing unit gave up 7 Rangers shots. They need to do a better job of blocking shots and clearing the puck.
  • I’ll touch more on the ejections of the Rangers players, but I think only Kreider deserves supplementary discipline. I don’t think Brandon Lemieux even needed to be booted from the game, but perhaps the refs made the move to prevent the game from getting out of hand.
  • Jacob Markstrom had a nice bounce back game after being pulled last game. He had a shutout going until the 3rd period was mostly done, then was beaten by a slick snap shot.
  • Congrats to Jake Virtanen who played his 200th career game tonight, scoring an empty-netter, dishing out 4 hits and forcing 2 turnovers.
  • The Canucks won 55% of the draws, led by Bo Horvat, who won 68% of the draws he took. Jay Beagle (63% success rate) and Adam Gaudette (50% success rate) also had good nights in the faceoff circle.Elias Petterson lost all 3 draws he took.
  • The Canucks had 15 hits, led by Virtanen, with 4 hits.
  • The Canucks blocked 10 shots tonight, led by Jay Beagle and Alex Edler, who both blocked a pair of shots
  • Up next, the Canucks wrap up the brief home stand with a game vs. Cory Schneider and the Devils. There will be at least one lineup change with Roussel done for the year and Sautner maybe not available. Plenty of ice baths needed after this one.
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