Saturday, May 21, 2022

CanucksArmy post game: Elias Petersen says once more as Canucks end their road trip with a pair of wins

On the final day of a treacherous road trip, the Vancouver Canucks rolled in Nashville to take on a Predators team, leading 12-1-1 before their current three-game losing streak.

The Preds were second in back-to-back games and the Canucks knew they needed to take advantage. Asked if his team needed a strong 20-minute start in this game, JT Miller instead said the first five minutes were going to be crucial.

It was going to be an uphill battle for the Canucks, who saw their captain Bo Horvat go into COVID protocol on Tuesday afternoon.

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Horvat joined Connor Garland as the second top-six forward from the lineup. The team needed to rely on players lower in the lineup to get more minutes. Elias Petersson slips into the middle to play alongside Vasily Podkolzin and Nils Höglander.

Here’s what the rest of the lineup looked like.

Back among the pipes was Canucks All-Star, Thatcher Demko, while the Preds threw their backup into the crease with “Big Save” Dave Ritich.

The captainless Canucks had a tough one on their hands, but caught Prades at just the right time with the expectation of an upset.

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It’s puck drop time in Nashville, you know the drill…

let’s go!

What happened

There wasn’t much to write home about in the whistle-filled first five minutes of the game. The first play of note was a fight between Tyler Myers and Michael McCarron. There weren’t many punches in the fight and the big boys went into the box for five minutes each.

The first power play in this period went to the Canucks with 12:52 remaining. The second unit was uh… interesting. I am the box to fight with Tyler Myers, Tucker Poolman saw some time with Oliver Ackman-Larson as the points man. He managed to hit three shots over the net, but scored no goal on his first attempt with a man-advantage.

Demco made some good saves as we went deeper into the period, including a strong right-pad save on former Broadcast guest and Preds lead scorer Roman Josie. Pred was moving with speed throughout the period and Demco had to be quick in the opening frame.

Quinn Hughes took a shot on the inside of his right ankle with five minutes to go and was in pain while skating straight on the bench. He remained in the game and did not miss a single innings.

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Pearson was checked in front of the preds net and scored a cross-checking penalty with 1:41 remaining in the period.

JT Miller had an open net that he fired over the puck when given a chance from the left. He advanced a man-advantage of 19 seconds in the second period.

second thoughts

On the back of two power plays, the Canucks controlled possession of most of the offensive territory in the first period. Not much had happened during this period. The Preds looked like they were skating a bit better than the Canucks and it came as a shock because the Preds were considered a tired team. The goalkeepers were fine but the Canucks needed to test Retich more in the next period.

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What happened

Preds killed in the remaining few seconds of the power play. Tucker Poolman was back on the ice and pinched at poor timing, resulting in Brock Bowser hitting harder and getting his stick on a streaking predator. Boeser was called in for tripping and went to work on his first power play of the Preds game.

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Matt Duchenne had a partial break in the tight, but Demco held on and made a quality save when Duchenne hit a forehand.

Preeds continued to apply pressure and Philippe Tomasino fired a shot from the right half wall on Demko from the far side. 1-0 East.

After the goal, the Canucks had some strong bounce-back shifts. The best came when Demko threw a puck up the ice for Hoglander, who tapped the puck to send Podkolzin streaming over the net, and as he fired the shot, a rebound came from Petersen. He threw the puck into the open net for his third goal in two games. 1-1 after Petersen’s goal.

There was another outstanding change in the Podkolczyn–Petersen–Hoglander line that saw Hoglander see Tee-up Petersson for a shot, which he fired off the crossbar. The Canucks felt like five to their zone but more like three minutes into their zone. The Preds were gassed but forced a turnover and a three-on-one with Demko saving a strong glove to keep everyone tied in a three-on-one way.

Patterson had another big inning in the line as he constantly had tape to tape mixed with saucer passes to make the passes between the young trio look beautiful. He had several chances to score in a couple of innings and started building chemistry.

Kyle Burroughs threw a big hit and then dropped the glove with Tanner Jeannot in a scrap where Burroughs appeared to make the decision. It was a strong effort from the local kid as their dance partner Jeannot is second in the NHL for fights.

Patterson was favoring his left hand after cross-checking the wrist. As time passed, he seemed to shake her.

second thoughts

The biggest takeaway from the second period was the dominance of the Podkolzyn–Petersson–Höglander line. He spent a large part of his ice time in the offensive zone as he passed the puck well. Each player in the line demonstrated that they had stick-handling and skating abilities to achieve the zone on their own.

All three dominated possession and also expected control of the target share at 81.69%.

What happened

Early in this period, Matt Benning took the penalty for interfering with Myers. The Canucks went to work on their third power play of the game with the opportunity to even join the special teams and break the tie game.

Bowser had a chance at the edge of the net but Ritich managed to keep the puck out of the net. Just after the power play ended, Jason Dickinson took a stick to the face and sent the Canucks back into the power play.

It didn’t take long for the Canucks to capitalize as Miller went inside and fired a shot that Bowser tipped to give the Canucks the first lead of the game. 2-1 Canucks.

Hughes made a second assist on a power play goal.

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Preds brought a ton of pressure to the midpoint of the period. There were several scoring opportunities where Demko and the defense were able to keep the puck out of the net even with a few scuffles around the crease.

The Canucks’ fourth row has excelled on the forecheck of this road trip and their effort was rewarded once again. Juho Lamikko hits a loose puck into the back of the net after a forecheck. 3-1 Canucks.

Demko started locking up under some Preds pressure and made some big saves. The pressure resulted in Tyler Motte taking a tripping penalty with 5:25 remaining.

The Canucks exited the penalty kill as Prides hit the post but was unable to find the back of the net. After the penalty ended, Nashville pulled the goalkeeper with more than three minutes remaining in the period.

Pettersson was able to clear the snow off the motte that fell on the ice and created another power play for the Canucks.

Demko blocked all but one in a big 3-1 win for the Canucks, as he wrote just that.

CanucksArmy post game: Elias Petersen says once more as Canucks end their road trip with a pair of winsCanucksArmy post game: Elias Petersen says once more as Canucks end their road trip with a pair of wins CanucksArmy post game: Elias Petersen says once more as Canucks end their road trip with a pair of winsCanucksArmy post game: Elias Petersen says once more as Canucks end their road trip with a pair of wins

Throw another top-performing medal at Thatcher Demko’s trophy case. He faced 32 shots and intercepted 31 of them. Of those 32 shots, Demko saw 25 goalscoring chances and was excellent. He didn’t make many five-alarm saves, but he was just solid throughout the game. He was rarely out of position and big when the preds were tight with opportunity.

The Canucks closed their road trip with a pair of victories over a five-game stretch, where they went up against some of the best teams in the league. They came out and won the game in the third round. The Preds were running out of gas as they played their sixth period in two days and the Canucks took advantage.

It was great to see Paterson come back to the net three times in the last two games of the trip and Bowser explained what it was like to get Paterson back in his scoring way.

“I think everyone can see the confidence he has with the puck and the plays he’s been making for the last few games,” Bowser said. “That’s the thong we all know, maybe he could have had two or three more” [goals] Tonight. It is huge for him and we need him in every match. Obviously, he is a big part of this team.”

The Canucks will now wait and see what happens to Horvat, Garland, Jaroslav Halak and Travis Hamonic. Head coach Bruce Boudreau was asked about it and wasn’t sure how to respond with COVID-19 and limitations throwing everything through a loop.

COVID aside, we’re unsure what the status quo is, but may see him return to the lineup soon as the Canucks prepare to return to Vancouver and get back in action on Friday as they take on the Florida Panthers. Looking for revenge against him.

Would be nice to have another puck drop at 7pm!

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Nation World News Desk
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