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Canucks Stun Leafs – Comeback Win 6-4, Go 3-and-1 on Roadie

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Vancouver Canucks, JT Miller
JT Miller of the Vancouver Canucks celebrates the team's first goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs Saturday night.

Vancouver Canucks 6, Toronto Maple Leafs 4

Heading In

The Vancouver Canucks have the opportunity to finish their four-game eastern road trip one of three ways; with a win and a 3-and-1 mark, which would make for a remarkably successful trip, a post-regulation loss that would earn them one point in the standings and make the trip definitely above average at 2-1-and-1, or a loss, a 2-and-2 record, and the feeling that the journey was just ‘acceptable’.

The Vancouver Canucks line-up stayed the same from the win over the Islanders on Thursday.

Tanner Pearson, JT Miller, Brock Boeser

Nils Höglander, Elias Pettersson, Conor Garland

Vasily Podkolzin, Bo Horvat, Alex Chiasson

Matthew Highmore, Juho Lammikko, Tyler Motte

Quinn Hughes, Luke Schenn

Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Tyler Myers

Brad Hunt, Travis Hamonic

Thatcher Demko

Demko Larceny Repeat?

No doubt the man to watch in this one is Vancouver Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko, who turned aside 51 shots in Vancouver’s 3-2 win against the Maple Leafs at Rogers Arena back on February 12th.

In the first period he wasn’t confronted by any overly challenging shot attempts other than the goal from Tavares on the power play. #91 walked in all alone and fired point blank, low blocker. No chance.

In the 2nd period, things stepped up at both ends of the ice and ‘Demmer’ was forced to make two or three huge saves before giving up the three goals on Grade-A chances later in the period. Turnovers, including a doozy by Brock Boeser (see turning point below) didn’t help matters.

Third period, Demko and the Canucks were under attack. The big man made some sterling saves, ten-bellers in the closing minutes. The Maple Leafs finished with 38 shots.

Goal Scorers

1st Period 1-0 Vancouver – JT Miller (22) – Travis Hamonic, Brad Hunt (7:48) Even Strength

1st Period 1-1 Toronto – John Tavares (18) – Mitch Marner, Morgan Rielly (9:49) Power Play

1st Period 2-1 Vancouver – Travis Hamonic (2) – Brad Hunt, Bo Horvat (19:30) Even Strength

2nd Period 3-1 Vancouver – Brock Boeser (16) – JT Miller, Quinn Hughes (4:12) Power Play

2nd Period 3-2 Toronto – Nick Robertson (1) – William Nylander, John Tavares (5:33) Even Strength

2nd Period 3-3 Toronto – Auston Matthews (38) – Unassisted (8:52) Even Strength

2nd Period 4-3 Toronto – Auston Matthews (39) – Timothy Liljegren, Michael Bunting (12:06) Even Strength

3rd Period 4-4 Vancouver – Tanner Pearson (12) – Tyler Myers, Brock Boeser (1:03) Even Strength

3rd Period 5-4 Vancouver – Alex Chiasson (6) – Bo Horvat, Vasily Podkolzin (6:55) Even Strength

3rd Period 6-4 Vancouver – Tyler Motte (6) – Elias Pettersson, Oliver Ekman-Larsson (19:40) Empty Netter

Turning Point

With the Vancouver Canucks leading 3-2 in the second period nearing the midway point and the Canucks in their own end under some pressure, forward Boeser made a very bad choice from along his own goal line. Rather than rimming or chipping the puck along the boards in either direction, he threw it up the middle right on to the tape of Auston Matthews, such a perfect pass that Matthews was able to one-time it from the left wing circle past Demko for his 38th goal of the season and tie the game.

With momentum taken, the Leafs scored again, Matthews, 3:14 later to take the lead. It was a scramble, Demko lost his stick, and Matthews’s point shot caromed in off Quinn Hughes’s leg.

Turning Point Part 2

When Tanner Pearson tipped home a Tyler Myers shot just 1:03 into the third period, you could feel the lift in the Canucks and some deflation from the Maple Leafs. Alex Chiasson would give Vancouver the lead once again at the 6:55 mark, 5-4.

The Canucks would tally the game winner less than six minutes later. Alex Chiasson with some solid work down low, in traffic, and he squeaked one through.

Simmer’s Canucks 3 Stars:

3) Bo Horvat – 2 assists. Work horse. Disruptor.

2) Tanner Pearson – Goal, assist, 15:41 in ice time.

1) JT Miller – Did everything, goal, assist, and a huge PK face-off win in the 3rd period.

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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