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Semi-Final game #4 Vegas Golden Knights (3-1) @ Vancouver Canucks (1-3) – game recap

After a tough shutout loss to the Golden Knights that gave Robin Lehner his 4th career win (all shutouts) over the Canucks, Vancouver was right back at it trying to knot the series at 2. Last night, the Canucks jumped out to a quick start, outshooting the Golden Knights 15-6 in the opening period. Unfortunately, they were unable to beat Lehner. The Golden Knights took advantage of 2 Canuck mistakes and scored twice in the same frame. After that Vegas did what they do best, smothering the Canucks and taking away time and space with aggressive forechecking. Tyler Myers returned to the lineup after missing a couple of weeks with a shoulder injury. Jacob Markstrom was back in net, meaning he’s almost certainly playing potentially five in seven nights. Could the Canucks bounce back and tie the series? Here is tonight’s game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Golden Knights opened the scoring nine and a half minutes into the game as Max Pacioretty whipped a wrister through a crowd and past Jacob Markstrom for a PP marker
  • Just under two minutes later, Elias Pettersson picked the top corner on Marc-Andre Fleury for a PP marker
  • Just over two minutes after that, Chandler Stevenson completed a slick give and go with Shea Theodore to give the Golden Knights the lead again
  • The Canucks tied it up just over 4 minutes into the 2nd period as Bo Horvat was johnny on the spot to tap a bouncing puck past Fleury
  • Seven minutes twenty seconds later, Tyler Toffoli snapped a beautiful centering feed from Quinn Hughes past Fleury
  • The Golden Knights tied the game just under 3 minutes into the 3rd period as Nate Schmidt cracked a one-timer by Markstrom
  • Just over 4 minutes later, Pacioretty was johnny on the spot to tip Schmidt’s shot by Markstrom
  • Eighty-seven seconds later, William Karlsson slipped a centering feed by Markstrom
  • Jacob Markstrom stopped 28/33 shots
  • Final score: Golden Knights 5 Canucks 3

My Take:

  • Jacob Markstrom must be exhausted. He’s been facing a ton of rubber with nary more than a day between games and playing both games of several back-to-backs. He played well today, but showed frustration at a couple of goals he wants back. Vegas had 57 shot attempts today, 18 that were blocked and 33 that were on target and either Markstrom stopped or that found the back of the net. Markstrom did his best to try and spark the offense for the Canucks, coming out of the net several times to stop the puck and send it back up the ice or around the boards. Will he have enough left in the tank to put the team on his back? We’re about to find out.
  • No ten minute misconduct for Antoine Roussel today. Ryan Reaves continues to be a pest. He was jawing at Travis Green after wiping out Quinn Hughes along the boards in the Vegas zone.
  • The Canucks power play, that has been a non-factor in this series, struck twice in 5 tries, but couldn’t convert late in the 3rd period. Vegas also tallied once on their PP, and the Canucks had a huge kill in the 3rd period to give them a chance to come back
  • Again, the Canucks play completely differently protecting a lead vs. trying to tie the game. They are much more aggressive down a goal. This cost the Canucks right away in the 3rd period with the Golden Knights pinning the Canucks in their end. Tyler Myers was hunched over after the extended shift ended in a goal.
  • Tyler Myers played 22 minutes in his return, was -2, had a shot on goal, threw 2 hits, blocked a shot, forced 2 turnovers and coughed up the puck three times
  • Zack MacEwen could find himself in the lineup with the Canucks with their backs against the wall. Could Loui Eriksson also return to the lineup? Candidates to come out of the lineup would be Adam Gaudette or Jake Virtanen (but he was one of the better Canucks tonight with an even rating, 3 shots on goal, 5 hits a blocked shot and a forced turnover and he won every draw he took
  • The Canucks continue to dominate in the faceoff circle, winning 65% of the draws tonight, led by Virtanen who won every draw he took. Bo Horvat (71% success rate), Jay Beagle (64% success rate) and Adam Gaudette (63% success rate) also had good nights in the faceoff circle
  • The Canucks banged out 47 hits tonight, led by Virtanen and Oscar Fantenberg, who both had 5 hits tonight
  • The Canucks blocked 18 shots, led by Alex Edler, who blocked 18 shots tonight
  • Up next, the Canucks get a day to regroup before playing a do or die game for the first time this season (they weren’t at that point when the regular season paused and they defeated the Wild in 4 games and the Blues in 6 games). They will need to keep driving hard to the net and pepper Robin Lehner or Fleury with shots. They must avoid the penalty box, as they did tonight.
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