After a sloppy performance on Thursday night in Boston, the Vancouver Canucks rode Derek Dorsett and Jacob Markstrom to a 4-2 bounce-back victory.
The Vancouver Canucks may not take much pride in beating the lowly one-win Buffalo Sabres 4-2 on Friday night, but they should. This was another excellent and complete performance, and it was a vintage way to rebound from that ugly 6-3 loss against the Boston Bruins.
It wasn’t Bo Horvat, Brock Boeser or the Sedins that led the Canucks to victories. This time, it was career fourth-liner Derek Dorsett and goalie Jacob Markstrom — who rightfully earned the starting job in this one.
Dorsett scored Vancouver’s second and fourth goals (via empty net), and assisted on Markus Granlund‘s first goal of the season. He made the most of his 18:02 time on ice, and is now tied for first in team scoring with Boeser and Michael Del Zotto, believe it or not.
Meanwhile, Markstrom turned aside 20 of 22 shots. He gave up two softies in the opening frame, but settled down nicely and made some big saves to preserve the victory. You have to think he’s going to start on Sunday against the Detroit Red Wings.
Vancouver’s goaltending situation has been leaky this season, as both Markstrom and Anders Nilsson have struggled with consistency. But Markstrom has more experience and comes with more upside, so it remains his job to lose for the time being.
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The Canucks played an excellent game all around, minus the power play (again), that went 0-for-4. But they killed off all three Sabre power plays and hung in there despite dishing out seven times (while Buffalo dished out 17 hits).
For the Canucks, there wouldn’t be any positive takeaways if they let this one slip away.
Vancouver has taken four of a possible six points on this tough road trip, and visit Detroit and the Minnesota Wild before they return home for the Washington Capitals on Thursday. As long as they take two more points on this trip, they’ll have to be content.
The Canucks have played very well then they’ve won. When they lose, it tends to be in ugly fashion. But the scoring by committee approach (intentionally set up by head coach Travis Green or not), is working fine.
At this stage, the Canucks just need to find ways to score on the power play while cleaning up some of the sloppiness in their own end of the ice. But they’re getting offence from all four lines, which is nothing to complain about. We’ll see if Vancouver can bring a repeat performance to Little Caesars Arena on Sunday.