CANUCKS BANTER By Andrew Chernoff January 6, 2016
SPECIAL TEAMS LEAD CANUCKS TO WIN OVER HURRICANES
The Vancouver Canucks (16-16-9) never-say-die attitude against the Arizona Coyotes (16-18-7) pays off, led by Bo Horvat’s offensive outburst, as the Canucks win 3-2, their third win in five games on their seven game home stand.
Bo Horvat, with two goals, including the winner on the power play with 1:06 remaining in regulation; and Sven Baertschi, with a goal on his return to the lineup, scored for Vancouver to improve the Canucks record to 5-2-1 in their last eight games.
For Horvat, after scoring his first goal in 28 games against Arizona on Monday night, he now has 3 goals in two straight games, two on the power play.
Horvat, had his first career multi-goal performance in 109 games played, and also led the Vancouver to its eighth consecutive victory over the Hurricanes at Rogers Arena dating to January 12, 2002 (0-6-2).
For Baertschi, he now has 4 goals and 2 assists along with 12 shots on net, in his last 6 games played.
Jacob Markstrom stopped 26 of 28 shots in his 6th straight start, for a Sv% of .929. He is now, 4-2-1 in his last 7 games, with a GAA of 2.12 and a Sv% of .929. In his last nine games, he is 4-4-1, with a GAA of 2.02 and Sv% of .932.
Vancouver was 1 for 5 on the power play, and 2 for 2 on the penalty kill. Canucks are now 2 for 27 in their last 11 games with the man advantage, and 21 for 24 in their last 9 home games on the penalty kill.
The Canucks came out in the first period with Sven Baertschi and Brandon Prust returning from injuries; Alex Edler over the flu, and the return of Eddie Lack, in a different uniform no less, to motivate them in the opening period.
The period was scoreless but not uneventful.
Bo Horvat had at least four good scoring chances and was easily the best forward on the ice for Vancouver.
Eddie Lack had a couple of goal posts and some tremendous stops, especially on Bo Horvat, Alex Burrows and Daniel Sedin.
Even though Jacob Markstrom only had two shots, his calming influence when Carolina had some prolonged offensive pressure in the Canucks zone, gave the Canucks the ability to move the puck out of their end unscathed.
Carolina was out shot by Vancouver 8 to 2; with the Hurricanes not getting their first shot on goal until between the 10th and 11th minutes of play.
Vancouver was 0 for 1 on the power play. Carolina was 9 for 16 on face-offs. Canucks Linden Vey was 3 for 5 in the face-off circle. Bo Horvat led Canucks in shots with 3; Daniel Sedin had 2 shots. Derek Dorsett led Vancouver in hits with 2. Carolina had 5 giveaways in the opening period. Jordan Staal was 5 for 8 for Carolina on face-offs.
Carolina carried over their late power play opportunity in the first period into the middle frame but the Canucks killed it easily enough. Canucks power play is a killer at 20for 23, 86.96 percent in their last 9 home games.
Play in the second period was initially to Vancouver’s liking, with the Canucks continuing to look for that elusive first goal of the game but with the amount of offensive possession in the Hurricanes end, Carolina was out shooting Vancouver 3-2 nearing the seven minute mark of the period.
Canucks received a power play opportunity when Noah Hanifin was penalized for holding Sven Baertschi at 6:37.
Unfortunately for the Canucks, on the power play Linden Vey gave up the puck on a stick check by Jordan Staal, and Carolina quickly left their zone, eventually scoring the opening goal of the game shorthanded.
John-Michael Iles, his 2nd goal of the season, on a wrist shot, assisted by Jordan Staal (9) at 8:02 to give Carolina a 1-0 lead.
To add insult to injury, the Canucks were unable to capitalize on their power play opportunity, going 0 for 2 in the game, making it 1 goal on 24 opportunities in their last 11 games.
After the Hurricanes goal, and a dejected Canucks team, Carolina turned up their game a notch, pestering Markstrom and the Canucks with shots, eventually catching up to the Canucks for shots in the game and surpassing them.
Canucks were getting the odd scoring chance but Eddie Lack continued to stymie his former Vancouver teammates, holding the Canucks off the score sheet, as Carolina continued to build on their momentum.
Then with the second period nearing an end, Sven Baertschi, with a leading pass from Adam Cracknell, went in on Eddie Lack all alone, burying the puck behind a surprised Lack, to tie the game up at 1-1.
Sven Baertschi, his 6th goal of the season, on a wrist shot, assisted by Adam Cracknell (5) at 17:39.
The Canucks good fortune, sort of, continued late in the period, as Vancouver received their third power play of the game when Jordan Staal was sent to the penalty box for hooking Ben Hutton at 18:41.
Then with six seconds left in the middle frame, Carolina’s Elias Lindholm, received a delay of game penalty for putting the puck over the glass, giving the Canucks a 5-on-3 for the first 41 seconds of the 3rd period.
The Hurricanes out shot the Canucks 13 to 7 in the period with both teams having 15 shots each after two. Carolina was 11 for20 on face-offs. Daneil Sedin had 4 shots after two periods; Bo Horvat, 3 shots; Alex Edler and Ben Hutton, 2 shots each. Linden Vey was 6 for 10 on face-offs after two; Henrik Sedin, 4 for 9; Bo Horvat, 5 for 14.
The Canucks entered the final period of the game with a two-man advantage, but were disappointing with both power plays, as they were unable to take advantage of either opportunity, and became 0 for 4 in the game on the power play, making it 3 for 41 in their last 15 games with the man advantage; 1 for 26 in their last 11 games.
With the killing of both power plays, the Hurricanes continued to dominate the game, continuing to out shoot Vancouver, and out chance them, in the first six minutes of the final frame.
And then demonstrating that persistence pays off, Bo Horvat gave the Canucks its first lead in the game, 2-1, as he grabbed the puck in the neutral zone, came down the right side of the boards, swung into the middle, rushed in on net, moved wide to his left and buried the pick past a sprawling Eddie Lack, with a highlight-reel goal.
Bo Horvat, his 4rth of the season, and second goal in two games, assisted by Matt Bartkowski (8) and Alex Biega (3), at 7:15.
But the Hurricanes still had air in their sails, as Jordan Staal, would even up the game 2-2 just over four and a half minutes later, with his 8th goal of the season, at the twelve minute mark, on a wrist shot, assisted by Noah Hanifin (7).
Jannick Hansen would leave the game with just under five minutes left in the game unable to play through an injury suffered earlier in the game.
The Canucks received an excellent opportunity with 2:43 left in the game with their 5th power play on a delay of game penalty to Carolina. Canucks were having repeated difficulty to gain control of the Hurricanes blue line and set up.
But once again, the persistence of Bo Horvat and the Canucks pays off, as Horvat scored a power play goal, his second goal of the game, and third goal in two games.
Horvat, his 5th goal of the season, on a wrist shot, assisted by Sven Baertschi (7) and Linden Vey (2), giving Vancouver the go ahead goal, 3-2.
Carolina would pull goalie Eddie Lack but the Vancouver Canucks would hang on for the 3-2 victory on home ice; their third victory on their seven game home stand, with two games left.
With the win, Vancouver takes over 3rd place in the Pacific division with 41 points, a point behind Arizona in 2nd place. They are 11 points behind Los Angeles; are a point in front of Calgary. They are two points in front of Anaheim, three a head of San Jose and 4 points in front of Edmonton.