CANUCKS BANTER By Andrew Chernoff January 15, 2016
The Vancouver Canucks (18-17-10) played the second game of their 6-game road trip tonight against the Carolina Hurricanes ( 20-18-8) at PNC Arena.
The Canucks were going for their third consecutive season sweep of the Hurricanes, while Carolina was trying for their 5th win in a row.
The Hurricanes took Vancouver to overtime, but in the end, the game would belong to the Canucks, as they would take their third consecutive season sweep of the Hurricanes; snap Carolina’s consecutive winning streak at 5 games; win their third overtime game, in their last 9 games; and win their first game of the road trip, defeating Carolina, 3-2 in OT.
Vancouver is now 10-9-5 against the Eastern Conference, and and 5-5-1 against Metropolitan division teams.
Bo Horvat, with his second goal of the game, and 8th goal of the season, would put the game away for Vancouver in the overtime, at 3:25.
Linden Vey would also score; four different Canucks received assists; and Jacob Markstrom, stopped 38 of 40 shots, for a .950 Sv%.
Bo Horvat’s points streak goes to 6 games (6-3=9), while Radim Vrbata takes his points streak to 3 games (1-2=3).
Markstrom in his last 9 starts has a record of 6-2-1, and a goals against average of 2.15; .930 save % during that stretch.
For Vancouver, the victory gave them their 6th win in overtime this season; 7th win in 12 games (7-3-2) and their 3rd win on the road in their last 5 games (3-1-1).
And the Canucks would finally score the first goal of a game since just before the Christmas break of 2015.
Vancouver is 1-1-0 on the six-game road trip that continues Sunday at the New York Islanders.
The Canucks had no power play opportunities, the second time this season that has happened. The only other time was on December 15, 2015, on the road against the Minnesota Wild.
Vancouver power play was 2 for 3, 67 percent tonight. It is 25 for 29, 86 percent in their last 9 games; 20 for 23, 87 percent, in their last 5 road games.
Vancouver is in 4rth place in the Pacific division, tied for 3rd place with San Jose; and 3 points behind Arizona, in 2nd. Los Angeles is 11 points in front of Vancouver in 1rst place with 57 points. Anaheim is one point behind the Canucks, who possess 5th place. Vancouver is 4 points ahead of Calgary, who occupy 6th. Edmonton occupies the cellar of the division with 39 points.
The positions of Nos. 2 thru 5 in the Pacific division are separated by 4 points.
The Canucks started the opening period hoping to end their eight consecutive game streak of being scored on for the opening goal of the game.
Bo Horvat had a great scoring chance within the first half minute of the start of the game, as the Canucks got off to a quick start.
The first ten minutes of the period did not have a lot to offer. Shots were 5 to 3 for Carolina.
The last half of the opening period would have more action. Linden Vey would open up the scoring, the first time for the Canucks in 9 games, on their 5th shot of the period, at 13:14.
Vey’s first goal of the season, unassisted, on a wrist shot, to give Vancouver a 1-0 lead.
The first power play of the game went to Carolina, as Brandon Prust went off for holding Nathan Gerbe at 17:01.
Kris Versteeg, on the power play, would even up the game for Carolina, at 1-1 at 18:27. Versteeg, his 8th of the season, assisted by J. Slavin (7) and J. Staal (12)
Before the end of the period, Jake Virtanen would give the Hurricanes their second and third power play’s, at 19:23; a double-minor for high sticking Justin Faulk.
Carolina and Vancouver finish the opening period tied 1-1.
After one period:
- Carolina out shot the Canucks 9 to 6. The Hurricanes had 6 giveaways to the Canucks 1.
- Vancouver had 3 takeaways to the Hurricanes 2 .Carolina had 4 blocked shots to the Canucks 3 .
- Carolina ruled the face-off circle, going 17 for 26 , percent. Matt Bartkowski led Canucks in shots with 2 .
- Four of the top six players in TOI for Canucks, were defensemen: Tanev, Edler, Hutton, Fedun.
- Vancouver and Carolina had 4 hits each
The Canucks would open the second period by killing off the double-minor to Jake Virtanen, hoping for a momentum surge from it; at the very least, giving the penalty kill a rest in order to pursue scoring some more goals.
It didn’t turn out that way exactly. The Canucks were out shot and were struggling in the face-off circle.
But Vancouver would score.
The Canucks would take its second lead of the game at 9:32, as Bo Horvat, on a wrist shot would score his 7th of the season, assisted by Tyler Fedun (1) and Matt Bartkowski (9).
It was Horvat’s 5th goal in his last 6 games, extending his points streak to 6 games.
After two periods:
- Carolina out shot the Canucks 27 to 11 . The Hurricanes had 8 giveaways to the Canucks 2 .
- Canucks had 4 takeaways to the Hurricanes 3 . Both teams had 7 blocked shots.
- Carolina ruled the face-off circle, as Canucks 18 for 47 , 38.3 percent.
- Matt Bartkowski led the Canucks in shots with 3; Daniel Sedin and Bo Horvat had 2 each.
- Matt Bartkowski led the Canucks in hits with 3. Emerson Etem and Linden Vey had 2 blocked shots each.
In the final period, the Canucks were having issues organizing some action in the offensive zone due to showing signs of running out of gas; and getting lots of time in their own end, courtesy of the Hurricanes, who were having an easy time not allowing Vancouver to break out of their end.
Jacob Markstrom routinely made save after save, protecting the Canucks 2-1 lead, as his teammates were having issues generating push back.
With nine minutes left, Carolina was out shooting Vancouver, 35 to 15.
Canucks continued to battle hard, doing what they could to get that third goal without putting their one goal lead at risk.
With 2:10 left in regulation, the Hurricanes would even up the score at 2-2, as the puck would deflect in off both Biega and Bartkowski in front of the net.
John-Michael Liles, his 4rth goal of the season, on a deflected shot, at 17:50, assisted by Andrej Nestrasil (9) and Victor Rask (17).
The game would head to overtime.
And in overtime, Bo Horvat, on a delayed penalty, would score the overtime winner, on a steaming slap shot, on the short side of Cam Ward.
Horvat, his second of the game, 8th of the season, assisted by Radim Vrbata (10) and Chris Tanev (7), at 3:25.
CANUCKS PLAYERS STATS
WESTERN CONFERENCE WILD CARD STANDINGS
NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE STANDINGS
STATISTICS COURTESY OF THE NHL AND VANCOUVER CANUCKS