The Canucks came into Sunday night’s tilt against the Oilers with a lot to look forward to. They were finally home from a long six game road trip that saw them go through three different time zones with only one game in the next five days after tonight. Getting back-to-back wins against the Pacific leading Oilers would really send a message to the division as they would also jump into third in the division with a win. That’s right, we’re talking playoff spots. It is after American Thanksgiving right?
Jacob Markstrom would get the start and for the first time this season the same goaltender would play back-to-back nights. After a big night from the team’s depth players and a relatively quiet night from The Lotto Line, I was expecting to see a big night from Pettersson and his linemates. The Canucks could get a quick 4 points in 24 hours and this game could jumpstart this team as they move into December. Let’s get into it!
The first period began and it didn’t stop for a long while.
First whistle. 8:37 into the game.
— Bailey Meadows (@baileymeadows20) December 2, 2019
The Canucks were full of piss and vinegar early on as they battled and controlled the pace of play early on. The Oilers were able to get on the board when Josh Archibald scored on a set up from Darnell Nurse and Connor McDavid. 1-0 Oilers.
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) December 2, 2019
The Canucks got their first powerplay attempt just over half way through the first period. They were all over the Oiler’s penalty killers and though the Oilers had a lead it seemed like the Canucks were thoroughly outplaying them in the early stages of the game.
The Lotto Line went to work later in the period and with 4:26 remaining in the first period JT Miller was able to fight off a defender before making a wonderful pass across to Quinn Hughes who made a perfect pass to Brock Boeser who was stationed in right in the crease and had his stick on the ice to bury his 11th of the season. 1-1 After the Canucks goal.
Brock Boeser took a stick to the face during the goal, and though he was bleeding enough to warrant a double minor the referees didn’t call a penalty. The Oilers would come back down the ice and with 3:54 remaining in the first period Patrick Russell scored his first NHL goal while it looked like Markus Granlund gave Markstrom a shove in the crease and was sitting in the crease when the puck crossed the goal line.
It’s another CanucksArmy postgame that had goals quicker than I could type and after a lengthy review the goal was called off and the game was still tied 1-1.
Chris Tanev was playing a great defensive game against Connor McDavid in the first period as he was able to wait out McDavid on a few rushed up the ice and had perfect positioning to deal with McDavid’s speed.
Matt Benning took a Josh Leivo shot off the head with 2:15 remaining in the first period and that’s especially tough to see because Matt Benning is just coming off of a concussion. The camera panned to Uncle Jimbo for a bit and Matt Benning went down the tunnel for precautionary reasons.
Connor McDavid took a penalty with 5.4 seconds remaining in the period as he held Chris Tanev’s stick and the Canucks would get one dangerous chance when Pettersson fed JT Miller in close.
The Canucks outshot the Oilers 12-7 in the first period. They provided most of the offensive pressure and it shows when you look at the Corsi%. Every single Canucks player aside from the fourth line had a positive Corsi% after 20 minutes. The fourth line did only play for about a minute and a half in the period but it felt like the Canucks had an extra step on the Oilers in this back to back situation. 1-1 After 20 minutes.
The Oilers killed off the remainder of the penalty that Connor McDavid took late in the first period and we were back to some fast-paced hockey. The Lotto Line was looking very dangerous at 5-on-5, Brock Boeser was having a great game passing and Miller was just leaning on the Oilers defenders and going wherever he wanted on the ice.
The Oilers split up Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl for this game and it seemed that neither of the two superstars could amount any consistent attacking pressure at 5on5.
The Canucks were all over the Oilers for the first five minutes of the second period. JT Miller had a partial break in on the Oilers goaltender Mikko Koskinen but Koskinen was playing pretty well through the first half of the game.
The Canucks depth stepped up once again and with 7:54 remaining in the second the period the Canucks had their first lead. Bo Horvat got the puck to the point and Jordie Benn threw a puck on net and as Loui Eriksson and Josh Leivo were battling in front of the net, the puck found its way to Leivo’s stick and he did not hesitate and fired one past Koskinen for his fourth of the season. 2-1 Canucks.
That Leivo goal doesn't happen without Loui Eriksson.
No, seriously. Great game so far by No. 21.
— Bailey Meadows (@baileymeadows20) December 2, 2019
Bailey’s right. It’s weird to see, but Loui Eriksson is looking effective on a line with Bo Horvat. I’m going to need to see at least 5-7 games of this in a row to really buy into it being a possibility but so far through a game and half he has looked good.
Oh would you look at that, Loui Eriksson takes a penalty with 6:36 remaining in the period.
On the powerplay it didn’t take long for McDavid and Draisaitl to strike. McDavid drew in the Canucks penalty killers after a board battle and McDavid made a perfect cross ice pass to Leon Draisaitl who buried a one timer past Jacob Markstrom. 2-2 after the Oilers goal.
Loui Eriksson took another penalty with 1:13 remaining in the period as Loui Eriksson set a pick on Darnell Nurse and took a interference penalty. The Oilers weren’t able to amount much pressure in the minute and a bit of powerplay time and after two periods the game was tied 2-2. The Canucks were leading in the shots and dominating in the 5on5 Corsi (Shots Attempted).
Just 46 seconds into the second period Leon Draisaitl scored his second powerplay goal with Loui Eriksson in the box on a one timer and the Oilers lead 3-2.
Tyler Graovac wouldn’t return to the game as Brendan Batchelor of Sportsnet 650 would report. This would mean that Horvat, Miller and Pettersson would have to play a little extra in the third period.
Tyler Graovac is done for the night with a lower body injury. #Canucks
— Brendan Batchelor (@BatchHockey) December 2, 2019
The Oilers were controlling the pace of play early on in the third period and it seemed that they had the momentum after an early power play goal in the period.
This game was a lot of fun to watch, with back-and-forth chances for both teams which included some great rushes from Connor McDavid and sustained pressure by the Canucks. The Lotto Line seemed to be in to offensive zone the most while Horvat seemed to matchup against Draisaitl or McDavid.
Tim Schaller, Jake Virtanen and Adam Gaudette had a few good shifts together and were able to control a lot of the offensive zone time as the third period continued on. Markstrom began making some timely saves in the last 10 minutes of the game and gave the Canucks a fighting chance to tie this game up.
The Canucks applied a ton of pressure with their goalie pulled but were unable to tie the game and the Oilers win 3-2.
Best of Twitter
The Legend pic.twitter.com/EKT9yDMhEi
— ~Alaines ~ (@A_Wahnstrom) December 2, 2019
Not hearing much from critics of the JT Miller trade Jim made these days
— Francesco Aquilini (@fr_aquilini) December 2, 2019
— Laurel (@laureleliza40) December 2, 2019
— Daniel Wagner (@passittobulis) December 2, 2019
me enjoying the baby yoda memes knowing I haven’t seen a single episode of the show pic.twitter.com/FsxH3pBBqs
— kiran (@xkirannnn) December 2, 2019
The Canucks played alright tonight. They were able to dominate the shot share and were able to have sustained pressure in the offensive zone. They just weren’t able to get enough very dangerous chances, Koskinen was good tonight but not great. This was a winnable game for the Canucks but the Canucks were at the end of what was basically a 7 game road trip with back to back games to finish it off.
This team has one game in the next five days (Tuesday vs Senators) and with these days off the Canucks could expect to see some injured bodies return to the lineup and allow Travis Green to get back to his preferred game plan. Tonight they basically played the whole game without a fourth line. MacEwen only played 5:57 and with players like Roussel, Ferland, Beagle and Sutter set to return to the lineup soon this team is setting themselves up for a fun December.
Who were your Canucks top three stars tonight?