After missing 5 games with an injury, Elias Pettersson seems to have picked up right where he left off, helping the Canucks defeat the Detroit Red Wings 3-2.
The Vancouver Canucks went 2-1-2 in the absence of Elias Pettersson. And as Sportsnet’s John Shannon points out, the Canucks are 5-4-2 in games without number 40 in the lineup. The Canucks held down the fort modestly in Pettersson’s absence, but a healthy Pettersson surely makes the Canucks’ lineup more deadly than without.
After an all-around rough second period for the Canucks, one where they failed to vacate their own end of the ice for the majority of the period, the boys in blue found themselves down by a goal heading into the third period, heavily out-shot. Enter Dekey Pete.
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It’s no surprise that Pettersson looked nearly just as amazing as he did before he went down with his injury, but there were some folks who worried that Pettersson may have trouble in the conditioning department after missing two weeks.
That didn’t seem to be the case, as Pettersson continued to back-check hard as he normally does, even making a sprawling save that arguably would have got past netminder Jacob Markstrom– who by the way, had yet another outstanding performance.
Entering the third period being down a goal, and being out-shot mercilessly, the Canucks went to work. As coach Green juggled the lines trying to get the offense going, Pettersson and Boeser found themselves with Bo Horvat as their center, albeit for a short stint, but long enough to see Horvat end his eleven game scoring drought, with Boeser and Pettersson both picking up assists on the goal.
With the win, the Canucks jump back into a playoff spot. It’s looking like it will be a tight race all the way to the finish line, but the Canucks are keeping themselves right in the race; for now. Here are the standings in the Western Conference at the time of this writing.
That’s just the question. How long will it last this time? With the Minnesota Wild and Edmonton Oilers just a point behind the Canucks, the team will need to play some of it’s best hockey yet. Which is why Elias Pettersson seems to have returned to the Canucks lineup at just the right time.
I’m just going to leave these stat lines here.
Boeser in the 5 games Pettersson missed: Two goals (one of which was an empty netter), and one assist.
Boeser in Pettersson’s first game back: Two assists.
As if we didn’t know it already, it’s more than clear that Pettersson elevates the play of everyone around him. Pettersson himself picked up two points in his first game back, helping the Canucks complete the comeback, besting the Red Wings by a final score of 3-2.
The Canucks will face the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday, and then enjoy their extra-long All Star break, playing next on February 2nd against the Colorado Avalanche.