CANUCKS BANTER By Andrew Chernoff January 10, 2016
The Vancouver Canucks (16-16-10) lost for the third time on their 7-game home stand against the Tampa Bay Lightning (21-17-4) Saturday night at Rogers Place, 3-2 in overtime.
Bo Horvat, had a goal and an assist ; and Sven Baertschi, a power play goal, in the losing effort. Vancouver is now 5-3-1 in their last nine games. And 8-8-4 at home this season.
For Horvat, he now has 4 goals in three straight games, two on the power play, and an assist. For Baertschi, he now has 5 goals and 2 assists along with 15 shots on net, in his last 7 games played.
Jacob Markstrom stopped 32 of 35 shots in his 7th straight start, for a Sv% of .914. He is now, 4-2-2 in his last 8 games.
Vancouver was 1 for 2 on the power play, and 4 for 4 on the penalty kill. Canucks are now 3 for 29 in their last 12 games with the man advantage, and 25 for 28 in their last 10 home games on the penalty kill.
Tampa Bay got some early scoring chances putting the Canucks on notice they came to play. Vancouver could not, or just didn’t, make the necessary adjustment and that would lead to something Canuck fans are too used to seeing: the other team score the first goal.
Tampa Bay, on their 4rth unanswered shot of the game, would open the scoring and take a 1-0 lead at 3:41 on a goal by Alex Killorn, his 7th of the season, on a wrist shot, assisted by Nikita Kucherov (17) and Vladislav Namestnikov (11).
Canucks would get their first shot at the 5:53 mark of the opening period, as they continued to play without any push back against the Lightning, who were dominating the period.
Nearing the halfway point of the period, the Lightning had a 5-1 edge on shots, with Vancouver seemingly starting to figure out how to get some offensive play going in the Lightning end.
A penalty by Tampa Bay to Ryan Callahan at 9:21 for holding Ben Hutton, would give Vancouver their first power play of the game, and a chance to get some shots on Andrei Vasilevskiy, the Lightning goaltender. Unfortunately for the Canucks, the power play was anything but polished with little good puck movement and was free of any real scoring threat.
At 14:12, Alex Killorn of the Lightning would be assessed a penalty for hooking Jake Virtanen, putting the Canucks back on the power play.
This time, Vancouver would do a better job with the man advantage, getting the tying goal, on Sven Baertschi’s 7th goal of the season at 15:24, on a backhand shot, assisted by Bo Horvat (9) and Yannick Weber (5).
With a couple of minutes left in the period, Vancouver caught up to the Lightning in shots, surpassing them 7-5, making the last half of the opening period opposite of the first half.
The period would end with both teams tied at 1-1.
After being out shot 5-0, the Canucks ended up out shooting the Lightning 8-6 in the first period. Vancouver was 10 for 19 on face-offs. Bo Horvat was 4 for 5; Adam Cracknell, 4 for 6. Henrik Sedin led Canucks in shots with 2. Jake Virtanen had 2 of Vancouver’s four hits in the opening period and drew one penalty that led to the tying 1-1 power play goal. Vancouver was 1 for 2 on the power play.
In the second period, Vancouver would get some good shots on the Lightning goalie early, but things would settle down with the momentum shifting to Tampa Bay.
The Lightning received a 4 minute power play as the Canucks were assessed a double minor to Alex Edler at 4:03 for high sticking Nikita Kucherov and drawing blood. The Canucks killed the double minor successfuly.
Alex Edler would receive a minor almost five minutes later, for interference at 8:59, handing the Lightning another power play opportunity to get the go ahead goal.
Edler’s teammates bailed him out, killing off the penalty. The penalty kill was 3 for 3 in the period, keeping the game tied at 1-1. Canucks penalty kill improved to 24 for 27, 88.89 percent in their last 10 home games, with the penalty kills.
With five minutes left, both teams would start getting scoring chances, as the special teams gave way to regular lines for both teams, but the game would continue to be tied after two periods.
Shots were 9 to 7 Lightning and even at 15 each after two periods. Face-offs were 9 for 16 for Tampa Bay. Radim Vrbata and Henrik Sedin led Canucks in shots after two periods with 3 each; Sven Baertschi had 2. Alex Edler led the Canucks in penalty minutes after two periods with 6.
Canucks entered the final frame with a record of 9-7-9 in 1-goal games and 6-0-3 when tied after two periods; and 8-5-3, when tied after the 1rst period.
Bo Horvat got himself an breakaway on the Tampa Bay goalie in the opening minute of the 3rd period but his chance was snuffed out.
Nearing the halfway point of the 3rd the Canucks were getting some sustained pressure in the Lightning end.
While there was lots of skating, and play making, shots were 5-3 Tampa Bay, at the 10 minute mark.
Vancouver got into penalty trouble again, and Tampa Bay would get a man advantage at 10:19 when Yannick Weber would be sent off for cross checking Tyler Johnson, and a chance to break the tie.
The Canucks would kill the penalty one second before the Lightning would finally score, and take the lead 2-1, on a goal by Valtteri Filppula (5), on a wrist shot, assisted by Anton Stralman (15) and Ryan CAllahan (9), off the skate of Alex Edler and past Jacob Markstrom.
After the go ahead goal, Tampa Bay dominated the rest of the period, plugging up the neutral zone, and putting up a wall on their blue line.
With under three minutes left, the Lightning were out shooting Vancouver 13-4, and 8 to 1 in the final half of the final frame.
With 2:50 left in the game, Bo Horvat on a seemingly innocent play on the Lightning net, would score to even the game up at 2-2.
Horvat, his 6th goal, on a wrist shot, assisted by Ben Hutton (10) and Alex Biega (4) at 17:10. It was Horvat’s 4rth goal in his last 3 games.
The game would go into overtime tied 2-2 at the end of regulation play.
For the 14th time this season, the Canucks would go into overtime with a chance to improve upon their 1-7 record.
Several Canucks had opportunities to put the game away but it would take a sloppy change to lead to the winning goal.
With Henrik Sedin out of gas and changing, Lightning player Vladislav Namestnikov threw the puck up the ice to Nikita Kucherov, who went in on Markstrom, and scored the winning goal for a 3-2 victory for Tampa Bay.
Nikita Kucherov, his 16th goal of the season, assisted by Vladislav Namestnikov (12) and Anton Stralman (16) at 3:51.
With the loss, Vancouver takes over 3rd place in the Pacific division with 42 points, 4 points behind Arizona in 2nd place. They are 13 points behind Los Angeles; a point in front of Anaheim. They are two points ahead of San Jose and Calgary; 5 points in front of Edmonton.
CANUCKS PLAYERS STATS
WESTERN CONFERENCE WILD CARD STANDINGS
NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE STANDINGS