Vancouver Canucks 5, Montreal Canadiens 3
The score was not indicative of the overall game. The Vancouver Canucks were the far better team. Canadiens goaltender Samuel Montembeault kept them in it. Montreal cut the Canucks lead to 4-3 in the final minutes, but the Canucks wrapped it up with an empty netter and mostly played like a confident, somewhat relentless bunch.
The Vancouver Canucks line-up stayed the same from the wins over the Islanders on Thursday and the Maple Leafs on Saturday.
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
High Voltage Offence
The Vancouver Canucks power play has been excellent lately. Over their last 12 games the Canucks are 12 for 38, good for a 31.5% stretch. Vancouver is 3 for 6 over the last two wins against Toronto and Montreal.
Even strength hasn’t been too shabby either when you consider the Canucks had 13 different goal scorers during their recent four-game road trip. Their top scorers then stepped it up in this first game back against the Habs.
1st Period 1-0 Montreal – Artturi Lehkonen (12) – Jake Evans, Rem Pitlick (12:41) Even Strength
1st Period 1-1 Vancouver – Travis Hamonic (3) – Brad Hunt, JT Miller (13:35) Even Strength
2nd Period 2-1 Vancouver – Brock Boeser (17) – JT Miller, Quinn Hughes (10:34) Power Play
2nd Period 2-2 Montreal – Artturi Lehkonen (13) – Rem Pitlick (14:22) Even Strength
3rd Period 3-2 Vancouver – JT Miller (23) – Unassisted (3:44) Even Strength
3rd Period 4-2 Vancouver – Elias Pettersson (18) – JT Miller, Bo Horvat (8:53) Power Play
3rd Period 4-3 Montreal – Rem Pitlick (11) – Cole Caulfield, Artturi Lehkonen (15:35) Extra Attacker – Even Strength
3rd Period 5-3 Vancouver – Bo Horvat (18) – Tanner Pearson, Elias Pettersson (19:02) Empty Netter
It was a fortuitous night to select JT Miller for a Vancouver Hockey Now shift diary, but that’s exactly what we did. Not only did he have a four-point night, his go ahead goal early in the third period gave his team a boost that seemed to carry it the rest of the way. After stealing a puck from Montreal defenceman Jeff Petry at centre ice, Miller cruised in and absolutely scorched a wrister high glove on Canadiens goalie Samuel Montembeault to put the Canucks up 3-2.
Turning Point Part 2
Not so much a turning point, but a point of emphasis. The Vancouver Canucks thought they had slammed the door shut when Elias Pettersson dipsy dooed his way into the Canadiens zone on the power play and ripped a shot past Montembeault to give Vancouver a two-goal, third-period cushion at the 8:53 mark. Although the Habs would cut that lead to a goal late in the period, the Canucks body language and confidence-level seemed to will an empty-net goal and a 5-3 win.
He Said It:
Vancouver Canucks Head Coach Bruce Boudreau – “Our special teams, which a lot of times this year has been skewered for lack of production; we won that battle and that was the difference in the game.”
Simmer’s Canucks 3 Stars:
3) Brock Boeser – A goal on four shots, 1 takeaway, and 16:31 in ice time.
2) Elias Pettersson – A goal and an assist in 20:47 in ice time. ‘Petey’ had six shots on goal, delivered two hits and won four of his seven face-offs.
1) JT Miller – A goal and three assists to continue a ten-game point streak. Blocked two shots, had a hit and won 11 of 18 face-offs.