Full steam ahead…then full steam backwards
Despite it being the Canucks best shift of the entire game, peppering Dan Vladar with seven shots and hemming Calgary in, Vancouver found themselves down by yet another goal.
The first shot of the frame from the opposition found the back of the net after former Canuck Tyler Toffoli managed to feed Elias Lindholm from his knees.
Vancouver did manage two more looks on a powerplay with no results. The powerplay looked heavily undermanned without the same power from the half-wall from Elias Pettersson, who has drawn into the lineup with the same nagging wrist injury that kept him out of a chunk of games last season.
Luckily for the Canucks, Calgary was also unable to extend their lead on the powerplay.
Not to say the penalty was without its chances. Tkachuk was robbed of his second goal of the night by no one other than… the post.
Although Demko made more than a few sensational saves and was left to his own devices on countless backdoor passes, I can bet he would have liked a few back.
NaturalStatTrick had Demko with an expected 2.86 goals against after two.
Let’s be honest, the highlight of the night was the dog race during the intermission.
Two for the good guys
Demko got the mercy pull to start the third. He finished the night 23 for 27 with a .852 save percentage. In an upcoming dance with the recently hot Buffalo Sabres in the cards tomorrow, this pull suggests that Boudreau is planning to run his starter back-to-back.
Which didn’t thrill backup Jaroslav Halak, basically confirming a spot on the bench for him tomorrow.
Halak played well, stopping 16 of 17 shots, including a beauty chance at the side of the net from Johnny Gaudreau who later netted one on the powerplay. Although Halak seemed to have lost his position on the post, he played as good as can be – most likely due to the low stakes of the game at that point.
If there is one silver lining in this Canucks loss, it was finally finding the back of the net. Matthew Highmore and his linemates gave the crowd something to cheer for after a great pinch by Brad Hunt allowed Juho Lammikko to fire a rolling puck on net for a Highmore tip.
Vancouver had a jump in their step from there on out, pushing for another goal.
They probably could have had one earlier if Brock Boeser would have connected on his empty-net opportunity. Boeser looked like bad omen on the night.
Leave that to Calgary defenceman Erik Gudbranson to fix. After his partner, Nikita Zadorov’s pass was picked off by Tyler Motte, Gudbranson was forced to take the tripping call to save a potential goal. Moments in on the man advantage, Boeser was able to tap in a loose puck from the blue paint.