Despite a rough two periods, the Vancouver Canucks battled back to defeat the Nashville Predators 5-3, while Daniel Sedin also reached 1,000th career points.
The Vancouver Canucks had to overcome a lot on Thursday night. A bunch of questionable officiating calls, a fury of shots from the Nashville Predators, and more. But when the final horn sounded, it was the Canucks who escaped with a 5-3 victory.
This was a statement win for the Canucks, who handed the NHL’s best home team just its third loss at Bridgestone Arena this season. Brock Boeser is now tied with Alexander Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby in scoring with 25 points. Loui Eriksson stayed hot, and some guy named Daniel Sedin reached 1,000 career points. No big deal.
It was an all-around feel good win for the Canucks. They get by far their toughest road trip of the season out of the way, finishing with a 3-2-1 record. No more visits to Nashville this season, it’s all out of the way.
With the victory, Vancouver moves to 12-10-4 on the season. They are tied with the San Jose Sharks for the eighth seed in the Western Conference, and just one point behind both the Dallas Stars (for seventh), and the Calgary Flames (for third in the Pacific).
Here are three takeaways from Vancouver’s thrilling comeback win in Nashville.
Anders Nilsson should be No.1 goalie
At first glance, you may think Anders Nilsson didn’t have his best game — allowing three goals on 32 shots. But without his effort, the Canucks could have been blown out of the water. Nilsson stood tall — literally and figuratively — making a handful of big saves in the second and third periods to keep the Canucks in this game.
That includes this beauty, an early candidate for the save of the season:
With the win, Nilsson moves to 6-2-1 on the season with a 2.68 goals against average, 9.22 save percentage and two shutouts.
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Those are superior stats to Jacob Markstrom — who is just 6-8-2 with a 2.63 goals against average and .909 save percentage.
Though both goalies have been instrumental in helping the Canucks win games, Nilsson has been better by quite a few margins. He stole this one for the Canucks, and has made his case as this team’s No. 1 goalie.
Right now, the goalie-by-committee approach is working for head coach Travis Green.
But if and when it comes to deciding who the No. 1 is, it’s safe to say that Nilsson has presented his case more. An effort like this against the defending Western Conference champions on the road shows it.
Offence all around!
I’ve said for a while now how the Canucks needed more offence from the bottom-nine forwards. Unsurprisingly, the Canucks won after getting plenty of secondary scoring. Each Sedin twin finished with three points, Loui Eriksson continued his hot streak with two goals while Nikolay Goldobin even added an assist in his season debut.
Of course, Brock Boeser led the way again with two goals and assist — putting him in a tie with Crosby and Ovechkin for points. Boeser had the Canucks game-tying goal in the first and the eventual game-winner, because of course he did.
The Sedins may not be point-per-game players any more, but they can still take over games the odd time. Eriksson is finally rediscovering his old form, and it contributed to a huge win Thursday.
Obviously, this can’t be a one-off. If the Canucks consistently get more scoring from their second and third lines, they’ll be as dangerous throughout the season as they were in this game.
Daniel reaches 1,000
A major congratulations to Daniel Sedin, who reached 1,000 points after notching a goal and two assists on Thursday’s win. He chose the right time to do it, tying the game up mid-way through the third period on the power play:
Daniel and brother Henrik are now both members of the 1,000-point club, and put yet another stamp on his lock for the Hockey Hall of Fame.
There have been plenty of great moments for the Sedin twins, who each have an Art Ross Trophy and Olympic gold medals on their resume. But reaching 1,000 points is a feat in its own, and the ever-classy Daniel deserved it.
Congrats, No. 22.