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Game #41 – Vancouver Canucks (18-20-3) @ Ottawa Senators (18-26-4) – game recap

After splitting games Thursday and Saturday, the Senators and Canucks made their way to Ottawa to complete the season series with games tonight and Wednesday. Both squads are dealing with injuries to their goalies. On Saturday, the Senators lost Anton Forsberg in the warm-up to a lower body injury. Matt Murray left the game in the second period after getting tangled up with Jake Virtanen. Murray received a tripping penalty on the play and injured something in his lower body. Murray could potentially be out the remainder of the season. Thatcher Demko left the morning skate this morning with a lower body injury and is listed as day-to-day. In the most Canuck fashion, the Canucks had just sent Mike Dipietro to Utica to play some games. Now he may be needed back in Vancouver. The trouble is he’ll need to undergo a week long quarantine. Twenty-year-old rookie Arturs Silovs will be backing up Braden Holtby tonight, and he could potentially play Wednesday or Thursday if Demko is not healthy. Jimmy Vesey drew into the lineup and skated alongside JT Miller and Brock Boeser. Tyler Motte was in the lineup as well, skating with Brandon Sutter and Jayce Hawrlyuk. Zack MacEwen was either out with an injury or the odd man out as a healthy scratch. Could the Canucks make it two wins in a row against the Sens? Here is tonight’s game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Senators had a goal disallowed just over eight minutes into the game due to goalie interference
  • Almost two and a half minutes later, Nate Schmidt made 2 fatal mistakes. First, a cross-ice feed at the Sens blueline was intercepted. Then, he slid to try and block a shot. Senators C Josh Norris calmly outwaited Schmidt and snapped a wrister over the shoulder of Braden Holtby
  • Just over 3 and a half minutes later, Olli Juolevi send a seeing-eye shot through a crowd and past Senators goalie Marcus Hogberg
  • The Sens took the lead just over 11 and a half minutes into the 2nd period as Drake Batherson ripped a centering feed by Holtby.
  • Braden Holtby stopped 25/27 shots
  • Final score; Senators 2 Canucks 1

My Take:

  • Braden Holtby was great again tonight, holding the Senators to two goals against, neither of which were his fault. On the first goal, it was the result of a bad giveaway and Nate Schmidt didn’t help things by sliding across screening Holtby. The second goal came on an extended shift in the second period when the Canucks were hemmed in their own end. Drake Batherson fired a laser beam to the top corner.
  • The second period with the long change could be a factor with the brutal schedule, travel and after-effects on COVID-19. Tonight,, the Canucks were outshot 13-6 in the middle frame and the Senators scored what turned out to be the GWG on an extended shift where the Canucks couldn’t get a clear. Alex Edler had been on the ice for 90+ seconds.
  • Discipline was much better tonight for the Canucks, who took only one penalty, (two if you count the fighting major to Jake Virtanen) a roughing minor to Travis Boyd. The penalty killers held the Sens PP to a single shot. The Canucks were also held to one shot on their lone man advantage and gave up a shorthanded chance that Holtby stopped.. The first PP unit was on the ice for the entire two minutes.
  • Jayce Hawrlyuk barely saw the ice in the final half of the game. Pending the health of Zack MacEwen Wednesday, he could be the odd man out
  • The Canucks won 59% of the draws, led by Bo Horvat (73% success rate). Brandon Sutter (58% success rate) also had a good night in the faceoff circle
  • The Canucks banged out 25 hits, led by Tyler Motte, who had 5 hits tonight
  • The Canucks blocked 14 shots, led by Alex Edler, who blocked 3 shots tonight
  • Up next, the Canucks wrap up the season series with Ottawa. The game is at the unusual time of 2:30pm PST or 5:30 local time. It means gameday routines will be thrown off. Expect Holtby to start next game to give Demko more time to recover from his injury. If Demko is not able to play Thursday, it will likely mean Arturs Silovs starting his first career NHL game under similar circumstances that Mike Dipietro faced in his first NHL game
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