NHL Final: Vancouver Canucks 7, Calgary Flames 1
The Calgary Flames started their current ten-game winning streak on January 29th against the Vancouver Canucks.
Canucks Head Coach Bruce Boudreau’s experiment putting Quinn Hughes with Travis Hamonic together to start last game didn’t last long. Early on he went back to the pairings that you see here tonight.
Quinn Hughes, Luke Schenn
Oliver Ekman-Larsson – Tyler Myers
Brad Hunt, Travis Hamonic
It’s current Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko against former Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom, just like it was for the Flames 1-0 overtime victory on the 29th in Calgary.
Tantalizing Line Match-up
The Flames top line of Johnny Gaudreau, Elias Lindholm and Matthew Tkachuk has a combined 41 points over the course of the winning streak.
The Canucks most exciting line, ‘The Baltic Line’, Vasily Podkolzin, Elias Pettersson, and Nils Höglander, will try to have a break-out evening.
The comparison in the first period:
— The Baltics had an excellent shift three minutes into the game with a point blank chance for Höglander that went off Markstrom’s stick shaft.
— Seven minutes in the Lindholm line had a beauty shift with a minute of continuous pressure, two great scoring chances, that ended when Tkachuk took a slashing call while giving Ekman-Larsson a whack. (Blake Coleman had a breakaway chance short-handed and Demko stoned him)
— 12:00 minutes in, Pettersson had an excellent scoring chance but fanned. Podkolzin then had a point blank chance and Markstrom made a glove save.
— 6-1/2 minutes remaining, off a JT Miller turnover, Gaudreau had a great chance and Demko stopped him.
— 3 minutes left, Gaudreau got tied up deep in the Canucks zone and lost the puck to Quinn Hughes. Gaudreau whined to the ref’ as Hughes skated out.
— 1:30 remaining, an excellent backcheck by Höglander stopped a great opportunity for Nikita Zadorov.
In the second period, special teams took over and after the Canucks built a hefty lead, Boudreau broke up the line and moved Pettersson with Juho Lammikko and Tyler Motte.
In the third period, the Baltic Line was back together again for at least the first half of the period as Boudreau decided to keep the pressure on. Special teams took over late.
2nd Period 1-0 Vancouver – Elias Pettersson (15) – Quinn Hughes, Brock Boeser (3:42) Power Play
2nd Period 2-0 Vancouver – JT Miller (19) – Quinn Hughes, Elias Pettersson (10:18) Power Play
2nd Period 3-0 Vancouver – Bo Horvat (16) – Unassisted (10:50) Even Strength
2nd Period 4-0 Vanvouver – Bo Horvat (17) – JT Miller, Brock Boeser (18:42) Power Play
2nd Period 5-0 Vancouver – JT Miller (20) – Penalty Shot (19:55)
3rd Period 6-0 Vancouver – Conor Garland (14) – Tanner Pearson, JT Miller (4:33) Even Strength
3rd Period 7-0 Vancouver – Elias Pettersson (16) – Unassisted (7:23) Shorthanded
3rd Period 7-1 Calgary – Andrew Mangiapane (26) – Mikael Backlund, Blake Coleman (17:53) Even Strength
Despite the lopsided score, don’t downplay the performance of Thatcher Demko who made stops on two separate breakaways in the first period among 11 Calgary shots.
In the end, current-Canuck Demko vs. ex-Canuck Markstrom now stands at 1-and-1 on the season. Shots-on-goal finished 38-30 in favour of the Canucks.
Markstrom left the game with a skate problem with two minutes remaining in the 2nd period. After Dan Vladar replaced him and was welcomed with two Vancouver goals before that period was over, Flames Head Coach Darryl Sutter decided to rest his workhorse starter in the 3rd. Markstrom takes the loss.
They said it:
Vancouver Canucks Head Coach Bruce Boudreau on wearing the black sweaters with the Canucks ‘Flying Skate’ logo: “If we keep getting results like that, I’ll wear them to bed.”
Miller on the importance of the upcoming four-game eastern road trip that starts Sunday in New York: “I think it’s everything.”
Simmer’s Canucks 3 Stars:
3) Bo Horvat – The Canucks captain gets a little scoring momentum going with two goals, after ending a short dry spell with one against Seattle the other night.
2) Elias Pettersson – Full on ‘Petey’. The shot is working at 100%, slapper and the wrister. He showed both tonight. Added an assist for a 3-point night.
1) JT Miller – A four point night and he’s believing the Canucks have a shot at the playoffs. He reached 20 goals for the 4th time in his career and added 2 assists.