The Vancouver Canucks failed to expand and hold a 2-0 lead, then came back from down 3-2 in the third period, only to lose in a shoot-out 4-3 to the visiting non-playoff Ottawa Senators at Rogers Arena on Tuesday night. This, while two of the three teams they’re chasing that are currently in Western Conference playoff spots, the Los Angeles Kings and the Nashville Predators, both won.
“We would have liked to have had two points, there’s no doubt,” Canucks Head Coach Bruce Boudreau said postgame. “It makes things a bit more difficult, but gotta move on here, put that one behind you. Give Ottawa credit, they played really hard, played really well.”
After finding the net in just six-seconds on its first opportunity early in the 1st period to take a one-nothing lead, the Vancouver power play sputtered. The Canucks had the only two opportunities in the second period, one early, one late, and even though they swarmed the net at times, they failed to score.
“Once we started missing on that one power play, I thought ‘uh oh’,” Boudreau said. “You only get so many kicks at the can, you only get so many chances and once we weren’t scoring and they (Ottawa) were in it and they weren’t backing up, I was thinking ‘OK, the third period’s gonna be a tough period’.”
“Lot of chances in the second when we could have broken the game open and their goalie played really well tonight,” Canucks forward JT Miller said postgame. “Nothing really changes for us, we’ve gotta run the table no matter what.”
Miller opened the scoring with his 30th goal of the season at the 1:55 mark and added an assist at 15:14 of the first period to give the Canucks a two-nothing lead. He wasn’t interested in talking about reaching the 30-goal milestone.
“Not right now, no.”
Here’s where the Vancouver Canucks stand with games in Minnesota against the Wild on Thursday and in Calgary against the Flames on Saturday looming:
3rd Place – Pacific Division – Los Angeles Kings – 78 games played, 92 points
1st Wild Card – Nashville Predators – 77 games played, 93 points
2nd Wild Card – Dallas Stars – 76 games played, 91 points
Vegas Golden Knights – 77 games played, 87 points
Vancouver Canucks – 77 games played, 87 points
Boudreau didn’t address the team Tuesday night after the loss. He’ll speak to them as they prepare to travel to Minnesota later today (Wednesday).
“You don’t want to speak emotionally, you want to speak analytically, intelligently,” Boudreau said. “I could have gone in there and said a number of things tonight, but I’ll wait until tomorrow.
“We still have to win. I mean, if we still win I believe we’re in. Nothing’s really changed. We were going to be allowed one mulligan somewhere along the road, we were thinking it might be on the road trip at some point, but now we have to … this is a group that has fought for four-and-a-half, five months and they’re not going to quit now.”