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Game #73 Vancouver Canucks (31-32-10) @ Chicago Blackhawks (32-30-10) – game recap

The Canucks wrapped up a brief two day, two game trip tonight. Last night, they pulled off a hard-fought shootout win over the Dallas Stars with Tim Schaller rewarding Travis Green for putting him in the lineup with a 2 goal effort. Marky was Marky, stopping 48 of 50 shots, including all four he faced in the shootout. Petey tied Pavel Bure’s rookie scoring record with an assist on Schaller’s second goal. Tonight, the Canucks went with the same lineup, except Thatcher Demko got the start in goal. The two teams split the first two games of the season. Could the Canucks gut out a win and take the season series from Chicago? Here is tonight’s game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Blackhawks opened the scoring with 35 seconds left in the 1st period as Jonathan Toews tipped home a point shot by Patrick Kane. The assist gave Kane 100 points on the season
  • The Canucks tied the game 53 seconds into the second period as Alex Edler whipped a point shot through a crowd and past Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford
  • Just under five and and a half minutes later, Markus Granlund was johnny on the spot to put home a rebound. Pettersson became the new Canucks rookie scoring leader with an assist on the play
  • The Blackhawks tied the game with just over three minutes left in the 3rd period as an Erik Gustafsson point shot deflected in off Edler.
  • The Canucks won the game sixteen seconds into overtime as Bo Horvat beat Crawford through the five hole with a quick shot. The goal set a new career high for Horvat.
  • Thatcher Demko stopped 29 of 31 shots
  • Final score: Canucks 3 Blackhawks 2 OT win

My Take:

  • Quirky stat of the night: Bo Horvat (#53) scored his 53rd point of the season 53 seconds into the second period.
  • The Canucks had a great response after giving up the first goal of the game in the final minute of the 1st period, striking in the 1st minute of the 2nd period.
  • Alex Edler overall had a great night, but was nearly the goat of the game after inadvertently he tipped home the  game-tying goal. He quickly made up for his mistake, setting up Horvat’s winner. This is why Edler is so valuable to the Canucks. He made a mistake and made up for it later on. He led the team in blocked shots and was game enough to play 26+ minutes after playing 29+ minutes the previous night
  • Thatcher Demko was excellent tonight, stopping 29 of 31 shots, including 16 of 17 in the 3rd period when the Blackhawks were pressing to tie. The Canucks have had a bad habit of sitting on leads in the 3rd period and more often than not the game-tying goal is scored. The Canucks should try keeping the pedal to the metal instead of sitting back.
  • You can’t be more efficient on the power play than the Canucks were tonight. Edler struck a mere four seconds into the only power play chance the Canucks had all night, scoring off the faceoff. It’s a play the Canucks have used in recent games and tonight was the first time the strategy payed off. At least Canucks fans weren’t subjected to the dreaded drop pass tonight.
  • The Canucks won 54% of the draws they took, led by Brock Boeser and Elias Pettersson, who both won 75% of the draws they took. Horvat also had a strong night in the faceoff circle with a 74% success rate
  • The Canucks outhit the Blackhawks 26-20, led by Luke Schenn and Markus Granlund, who both had 4 hits
  • The Canucks blocked 18 shots, led by Edler with 3 blocked shots
  • Overall a great effort on a tough back-to-back with travel.
  • Up next, the Canucks return home and kick off their final home stand of the season with a tilt against the worst team in the NHL, the Ottawa Senators. Ex-Canucks coach Marc Crawford has the unfortunate task of coaching this sorry team for the remainder of the season. Ottawa is riding a 2 game winning streak, so perhaps the Canucks shouldn’t take them lightly.
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