Unfortunately for Bo Horvat, his return to Rogers Arena didn’t end the way he imagined. Although he found the back of the net, he ultimately blew his coverage in overtime, which led to the Vancouver Canucks’ game-winner.
The most noticeable line in this game for me was the Joshua-Blueger-Garland line. Every time they were on the ice, they were in the offensive zone generating scoring chances. If they didn’t have the puck, they quickly retained it on a heavy forecheck, putting pressure on the New York Islanders defensemen. As a line, they generated the most shots on goal and had the highest expected goals at 5-on-5, per MoneyPuck. Although none of them found the score sheet, they heavily impacted the game.
The Canucks came out bland to start this game, allowing four shots in the first two minutes with a save-of-the-year candidate from Thatcher Demko. Ryan Pulock beats Nils Hoglander down the right-hand side and finds Oliver Wahlstrom near the left hash marks for a one-timer. Demko tracks the puck and makes an unbelievable second effort to kick out the right pad to make the save.
This wasn’t one of Ian Cole’s best periods, as he took back-to-back penalties in the span of 1:36. Both penalties resulted in Islanders powerplay goals. Pierre Engvall scores his first of the season on a wrist shot from the face-off dot. Brock Nelson found the back of the net on his own rebound shortly after to go up 2-0. The Canucks were outshot 12-4 at the midway point of the first. They managed to outshoot the Islanders in the first but ultimately went into the intermission down 2-0.
This period would start better for the Canucks. Pettersson starts with an open-ice hit on Alexander Romanov, leading to a scoring chance for Mikheyev. The Canucks got a powerplay goal on their own shortly after a dirty Clutterbuck hit on Friedman. Pettersson finds Miller from one half wall to the other for a one-timer that beats Sorokin short side. Four minutes later, Barzal and Horvat play hot potato with the puck until Horvat finally shoots, and it squeaks through Demko.
At this point of the game, I noticed the Blueger line stepped up and took over. After a face-off loss, Joshua quickly pressures Dobson and beats him along the wall, leaving Dobson no option but to take an interference penalty on Joshua. This was the first of three penalties drawn by this line. On this ensuing powerplay, Miller found Boeser in the bumper spot for a quick wrist shot. Just like he made famous with Bo Horvat last season before the trade. It’s fitting how Miller connects on a similar goal in Horvat’s return. The Canucks even up the powerplay goals but still find themselves down 3-2 at the end of the second.
Kuzmenko made his impact on the game halfway through the period when he drew two penalties on one play, leading to a 5-on-3 down one goal. Unfortunately, on that powerplay, Kuzmenko was hit up high off a Miller shot and was in immediate pain. Hronek came on in relief and scored his first goal as a Canuck of a 107.9 MPH one-timer to tie the game up at three.
After conceding the lead, the Islanders put on the pressure, but the highest danger chance on Demko was self-inflicted. With just under seven minutes remaining in the period, Demko played the puck behind the net after a dump-in. With Nelson pressuring him, Demko tried to pass it to Hughes, which landed right on the tape of Palmieri’s stick with a wide-open net. Demko arrives in time to make the sliding save. Shortly after, Ian Cole redeemed himself from his two first-period penalties by pulling the puck off the goal line after a Lee shot got behind Demko. Tie game after regulation, we’re off to overtime.
Miller loses the opening face-off but gets the puck behind Horvat and creates an immediate two-on-one with Boeser, which he shoots high. Impressive instincts to create a scoring opportunity off a lost draw that quickly. The next few minutes were your regular song and dance in overtime, just playing the possession game until somebody makes a mistake. Horvat made that mistake when he let Hughes sneak by him. Miller catches that, contorts his body and makes an incredible pass to spring Hughes on a breakaway. Hughes makes no mistake, ripping a shot top shelf to end the game.
This win moves the Canucks into a tie with the Vegas Golden Knights for first in the Western Conference. Elias Pettersson, JT Miller and Quinn Hughes move to a three-way tie for most points in the league with 26 points.
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We swept our first-ever game-day betting article. The game goes over the total, ending with seven goals. Hronek extends his streak on his first as a Canuck to tie the game midway through the third. Quinn Hughes ends the game with six shots on goal. Mat Barzal continues his scoring streak in his hometown, finishing with two assists.
4-0 +3.32 units.