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Semi- Finals game #3 – Vegas Golden Knights (2-1) @ Vancouver Canucks (1-2) – game recap

After a two day hiatus to boycott in support of the fight against cops injuring and/or injuring black suspect. I’m not going to get into the protest too much here (maybe a bit in my random thoughts post if I post one Monday). I will say this tough, kudos to players from all eight teams for coming together to fight for a cause they feel strongly about. It was great to see Ryan Reaves and Nazim Kadri for being front and center for the Western conference hub’s presser on Thursday. Enough about that, we have a Canucks game to recap. The series was even at 1 game apiece heading into tonight’s tilt. After the Golden Knights threw the first gauntlet, thoroughly outplaying the Canucks in game 1. The Canucks responded with a much better effort in game two, beating Vegas for the first time in regulation time. The rest of the series will be especially difficult on Jacob Markstrom, who could potentially play five times in the next 7 days. The Canucks iced the same lineup as game 2. Could the Canucks make it 2 in a row vs. Vegas? Here is tonight’s game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Golden Knights opened the scoring just over 4 minutes into the game as Alex Tuch was sprung on a breakaway and snapped it far side on Jacob Markstrom
  • Eighty-three seconds later, Zach Whitecloud beat a screened Markstrom far side with a seeing-eye shot through a crowd
  • The Golden Knights added a goal just over 2 minutes into the 3rd period as Mark Stone rifled a wrister top shelf for a PP marker
  • Jacob Markstrom stopped 31/34 shots
  • Final score: Golden Knights 3 Canucks 0

My Take:

  • Same result as game one, but with more positives to hang their hat on. The Canucks came out flying in the 1st period and outshot Vegas 15-6. Jacob Markstrom had a solid night in net stopping 31/34 shots. Vancouver also continues to do well in the faceoff dot.
  • Scoring early will be the key tomorrow. Canucks need to cast some doubt in the head of goalie Robin Lehner
  • One thing I noticed is the Canucks play much different in their own zone defending a lead versus protecting a lead. Tonight, they were aggressive on the Vegas skaters, trying to force a turnover. In game two, the final 7 minutes of the game felt like a Vegas PP (of course they pulled the goalie for much of that time)
  • Special teams has been a big difference maker in this series. Vegas put the game away early in the 3rd period, connecting on a PP after the Canucks were called for too many men, ironically enough, when they were on a PP themselves. Vancouver is 1-11 with the man advantage. Vegas has been very successful at challenging the point man when shorthanded. In general, they defend more aggressively while shorthanded. Robin Lehner played a big factor tonight, stopping 10 Canucks shots when the Canucks had the man advantage
  • Concerning stat of the night: 1 shot <40 feet by the Canucks in the final 40 minutes. They have to drive the net hard and create chances from closer range
  • Antoine Roussel got his second 10 minute misconduct of the series. Vegas gets nothing from the crap they’ve been spewing from their bench?
  • The Canucks won 58% of the faceoffs, led by JT Miller and Tyler Motte, who won every draw they took. Brandon Sutter (80% success rate), Jay Beagle (64% success rate) and Bo Horvat (53% success rate) also had good nights in the faceoff circle
  • The Canucks banged out 30 hits tonight, led by Roussel, who had 5 hits tonight
  • The Canucks blocked 20 shots, led by Alex Edler, who blocked 4 shots
  • Up next, the Canucks try to tie the series. They won’t have to wait long to avenge this loss as they are back at it tomorrow night. Jacob Markstrom will definitely be starting. I thought there was a chance that Thatcher Demko might get a start with potentially 5 games in 7 nights, but not now that they lost tonight. There could be lineup chances to spark a different result. Loui Eriksson or Zack MacEwen could draw in. I don’t think Tyler Myers will play until the Canucks are facing elimination (even then, he has to be close to returning)
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