Tonight, the Canucks began a two game mini series with the Ottawa Senators in Abbotsford, the hometown of Jake Virtanen, who was in the lineup tonight. The Canucks won both meetings against the Senators last season. Prior to the game in Ottawa back on January 2nd, the Canucks swapped backup goalies, trading Anders Nilsson to the nation’s capital for Mike McKenna, who would be claimed a few days later, leaving the Canucks with just two healthy NHL-caliber goalies. Jacob Markstrom got the start in goal tonight against the aforementioned Nilsson. Four more players were cut after Saturday’s loss in Salt Lake: G Zane McIntyre (allowed 4 goals on 21 shots in Salt Lake), Francis Perron, Reid Boucher and Ashton Sautner. There are still a few roster decisions to be made. Probably just one of the 3rd pairing for tonight will make the team (Alex Biega or Oscar Fatenberg). Among the forwards playing tonight, Tim Schaller, Loui Eriksson and Virtanen must show what they can do. Can the Canucks get back on track and beat the Senators? Here is tonight’s game recap.
- The Senators opened the scoring almost seven minutes into the game as Bobby Ryan snapped one home past Jacob Markstrom
- Just over a minute later, JT Miller tipped home a shot by Brock Boeser for a PP goal
- Three and a half minutes later, Miller tipped home another shot for a PP goal, this time it was Elias Pettersson with the cross-ice feed
- Just under 5 minutes later, Alex Edler whipped home a shot from the point
- The Senators got one back just over 9 minutes into the 2nd period as Artem Anisimov snapped one by Markstrom
- Just over three minutes later, Petterson snapped it home for a PP goal
- Just under a minute later, Rudolfs Balcers finished off a 3-on-2 rush up the ice, snapping the puck under the glove of Markstrom
- Just over six and a half minutes after that Tyler Myers sprung BC boy Jordie Benn on a breakaway from the blueline and he made no mistake beating Nilsson
- The Canucks added a goal 5 minutes into the 3rd period as Bo Horvat tipped home s centering feed by Pettersson for a PP goal
- The Senators got one back just over a minute later as Chris Tierney snapped it home
- Jacob Markstrom stopped 32 of 36 shots
- Final score: Canucks 6 Senators 4
- This one was a wild one with 10 goals between the two teams. Jacob Markstrom played the whole game. He was fighting the puck a bit today and there are a couple of goals he’ll want back. The good news is he’ll get one more chance to work out any kinks before the games begin for real. The Canucks have 2 preseason games left and Thatcher Demko will likely get Wednesday’s game and Marky will be in net Thursday against Arizona.
- Once again, I won’t be able to do too much analysis as NHL.com didn’t really keep track of the stats like faceoffs, blocked shots and hits. They should start posting the in-depth stats when the regular season starts.
- One thing I can comment on is special teams, which looked very good tonight. The Canucks power play struck 4 times in 9 tries and looked dangerous all night. Petey, Brock Boeser, Alex Edler and Bo Horvat were moving the puck like it was Sweet Georgia Brown. JT Miller scored his first 2 goals as a Canuck with two great tip-ins on the PP. Mind you Anders Nilsson isn’t exactly Patrick Roy, but maybe this success will build confidence heading into the regular season.
- The penalty killing unit held the Senators off the scoreboard in all 4 chances.
- Up next, the same two teams meet again in 48 hours for early bragging rights. Expect Demko to start the game and more cuts to come tomorrow.