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Playoff Game #4 – Vancouver Canucks (3-1) @ Minnesota Wild (1-3) – game recap

The Canucks were looking to finish off the series and move onto the quarterfinals of the playoffs after two straight wins over the Wild. Canucks Nation was nervous after the Canucks were shutout to open the best-of-5 series. Luckily, the Canucks end the shutout streak of Alex Stalock early (29 seconds into game 2) and would build a three goal lead, then hang on for a closer-than-it-should have been 4-3 win to even the series at 1. Last night might have been their best game of the series with Jacob Markstrom rock solid in net and special teams coming through for 2 huge goals, including one with 90 seconds left in the game. Strong five-on-five play has been key to the Canucks success. One thing they needed to do tonight was be more disciplined. Last night, the Canucks gave the Wild 7 PP opportunities. Olli Joulevi made his NHL debut tonight with Oscar Fantenberg coming out of the lineup. Could the Canucks make it three in a row and send Minnesota home? Here is tonight’s game recap.

Game highlights:

  •  The Wild opened the scoring just under 3 minutes into the game as Luke Kunin jammed the puck past Jacob Markstrom for a PP marker
  • Just under 10 minutes later, Tanner Pearson came steaming down the wing and snapped it home past Alex Stalock
  • Forty seconds later, the Wild retook the lead as Eric Staal snapped the puck off the post and in from an impossible angle
  • The Wild added a goal just over five and a half minutes into the 2nd period as Joel Eriksson Ek grabbed a rebound, got Markstrom moving and fired it over the sliding Canucks goalie
  • Almost two minutes later, Brandon Sutter jammed one past Stalock
  • Eighty-four seconds after that, Quinn Hughes wristed a seeing-eye shot through a crowd of players and off the post and in
  • Just under ten and a half minutes later, Nico Sturn gave the Wild their third lead of the game, with yet another shot from an impossible angle
  • The Canuck tied the game just over 14 minutes into the 3rd period s Bo Horvat ripped a centering feed by Stalock
  • The Canucks won the game and series 11 seconds into OT on a seeing-eye shot by Chris Tanev that found the far side of the net
  • Jacob Markstrom stopped 25/29 shots
  • Final score: Canucks 5 Wild 4 (OT win)

My Take:

  • To say the least, this was the worst game Jacob Markstrom played in months. The Canucks starting goalie let in three goals he’ll want back and three of those goals came at even strength. With the Canucks done for a few days, he’ll have some time to work with Ian Clark to work out his kinks. The Canucks will need him to be at the top of his game next round.
  • One thing I really liked seeing today was the Canucks tenacity. They could have packed it in when the Wild scored almost right away, when the Wild built a two-goal lead and when the Wild took a late lead in the middle frame. Instead, the Canucks showed their character and chipped away, coming back all three times before taking their only lead this game in OT.
  • Tyler Myers took two more penalties, making it 10 total for the series.  He will need to stay out of the penalty box next round.
  • Brandon Sutter had two strong games in a row
  • The Canucks got a scare when Jay Beagle left the ice in pain after a shift on the PK in the 2nd period
  • Antoine Roussel also left early. Hopefully the few days of rest ahead will give the team time to heal.
  • Up next, the Canucks head to the Quarterfinals against a team to be determined (likely St. Louis or Dallas)
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