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NHL Final: Vancouver Canucks 5, Seattle Kraken 2

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Vasily Podkolzin, Vancouver Canucks
Vasily Podkolzin gave the Vancouver Canucks a 3-2 lead over the Seattle Kraken after swatting the puck past goalie Chris Driedger.

NHL Final: Vancouver Canucks 5, Seattle Kraken 2

Coming in:

Brad Hunt replaces Kyle Burroughs on the blueline, the latter out week-to-week with an upper body injury. Canucks D-man Oliver Ekman-Larsson missed part of the third period Saturday night but he plays. New pairings and line combo’s, including the young “Baltic Line” together again:

Tanner Pearson, JT Miller, Conor Garland

Vasily Podkolzin, Elias Pettersson, Nils Höglander

Jason Dickinson, Bo Horvat, Brock Boeser

Matthew Highmore, Juho Lammikko, Tyler Motte

Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Tyler Myers

Quinn Hughes, Travis Hamonic

Oliver Ekman-Larsson – Tyler Myers

Brad Hunt, Luke Schenn

Thatcher Demko

First Period

Both the Seattle Kraken and the Vancouver Canucks entered action tonight with 34 ‘goals for’ in first periods this season. The Kraken’s goal differential in 1st periods a minus-21 while the Canucks begin the night at minus-13. So which team starts quickly could go a long way in determining the outcome.

Alrightee then; see the scoring below, including the Canucks scoring eleven-seconds into the game …

Goal Scorers

1st Period 1-0 Vancouver – Tyler Motte (6) – Juho Lammikko, Mathew Highmore (:11) Even Strength

1st Period 1-1 Seattle – Jared McCann (3) – Marcus Johansson, Jordan Eberle (3:12) Even Strength

1st Period 2-1 Seattle – Mark Giordano (5) – Joonas Donskoi, Riley Sheehan (14:26) Short Handed

2nd Period 2-2 Vancouver – Travis Hamonic (1) – Juho Lammikko, Tyler Motte (3:45) Even Strength

2nd Period 3-2 Vancouver – Vasily Podkolzin (8) – Quinn Hughes, Elias Pettersson (16:41) Even Strength

3rd Period 4-2 Vancouver – Bo Horvat (15) – JT Miller, Elias Pettersson (:35) Power Play

3rd Period 5-2 Vancouver – Tanner Pearson (9) – JT Miller (18:28) Empty Netter

Bizarro Moment …

With about 13-minutes remaining in the 2nd period a scrum for the puck developed in the Canucks end along the hash-marks on the right wing boards. Juho Lammikko and Tyler Myers waited for a moment and watched the battle between teammate Tyler Motte and pinching Kraken defenceman Jeremy Lauzon.

What they didn’t realize is that Lauzon had unknowingly kicked the puck around the end-boards past Motte. As they battled for a puck that was no longer there, while four other players and referee Kyle Rehman watched, Travis Hamonic and Matthew Highmore started up the ice playing two-on-two hockey against Seattle’s Jared McCann and Vince Dunn. On a give-and-go, Hamonic went to the net and came within inches of scoring.

The Canucks twosome were almost to the Kraken blueilne before the scrum realized there was no puck with Motte.

It was like an unintentional ‘fumble-rooski’ from American college football when the quarterback fakes taking the snap and the center takes off running.

In a way, it was also mildly reminiscent of Patrick Kane’s Stanley Cup winning overtime goal for the Blackhawks in Philly in Game-6 of the 2010 Final against the Flyers. Kane scored, went crazy, and no one was really sure where the puck went. I was sitting in a similar spot in that building for that one.

Given the ginormous implications of the goal, that play probably goes down as the NHL’s most bizarro ever ‘sleight-of-hand’.

 Goaltending Krakked

Despite seeing plenty of work, and yes at times he was tested with 43 shots, Chris Driedger of Seattle didn’t appear to be completely comfortable. The Canucks capitalized on his apparent struggle to move efficiently post-to-post and created havoc feeding pucks from below the goal line.

There were other signs. Just prior to Travis Hamonic’s second period goal, Driedger almost let a routine Tanner Pearson shot from the high left wing circle almost squirt under his pad. Driedger’s highlight came with a pad stop on a JT Miller breakaway with 3:46 remaining in regulation.

With franchise number-one Phillip Grubauer not yet living up to expectations or the big bucks he’s receiving at the start of a six-year contract, the goaltending situation is just one of the Kraken’s weaknesses this season.

Shots Monday night finished 46-27 in favour of the Vancouver Canucks.

Simmer’s Canucks 3 Stars:

3) Elias Pettersson – 2 assists for the a young man who’s found his game. Played 15:49 with three shots.

2) Juho Lammikko – 2 assists. 13:32 with a shot, a hit, and two blocked shots. Workaholic.

1) Tyler Motte – Goal and an assist with he, Lammikko, and Highmore continuing to outwork opponents. 

VHN Managing Editor Rob Simpson has been covering the NHL for three decades on live TV, radio, and as a journalist. He worked his first ever game getting postgame sound as a teenager; it was Vancouver vs. Detroit.

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