Despite blowing a 2-0 lead in the third period, the Vancouver Canucks hung on to defeat the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 in overtime on Thursday night at Rogers Arena. Daniel Sedin scored the game-winner in overtime with the Canucks on the power play.
The Canadiens stayed true to form by showing up to play at the last possible moment, scoring their two goals in the final eight minutes to scrape out a point. Leading up to the goals, Ryan Miller had delivered another shutdown performance for much of the night, stopping 23 shots in all as the Canucks improved to 7-3-0 on the year.
The Canadians would be the first to go to the power play as Kevin Bieksa was sent off for a very delayed slashing call involving former teammate Dale Weise. Fortunately for the Canucks, Montreal has struggled on the power play (0-for-21) while on the road this season. A couple clutch blocks from Chris Higgins and Alex Burrows helped Vancouver kill the first penalty.
Derek Dorsett had a pair of good scoring chances early on, once while breaking free and beating the defense, and the other on a rebound opportunity during a 2-on-1 rush. Both times he couldn’t quite get his stick on the puck.
Montreal’s second power play wouldn’t fare much better, going without a shot again. During the opening period, the Canadiens went almost 10 minutes without registering a shot.
The Canucks had their best chance on net at the end of the first period off a rebound generated by Alex Burrows. Chris Higgins tapped it over to Nick Bonino, who couldn’t quite get the puck over a diving Carey Price as the game remained in a scoreless tie through the first 20 minutes.
Out of the Canucks first 10 games, this was just their third with a scoreless first period.
Montreal had some good chances early in the second, including a 3-on-2 in which Jarred Tinordi wound up taking the shot. Probably not who the Canadiens had in mind for a shot from the slot.
On Montreal’s third power play of the night, Ryan Miller was finally tested with a few tricky shots towards net, but the Canadiens would come up empty on the advantage once again as their power play woes this season continued.
After a poor pass from Alexi Emelin. Burrows came in and leveled the defenseman. Nick Bonino picked off the pass, and after some back-and-forth passing with Derek Dorsett, Bonino tapped the puck in for Vancouver’s first goal of the night. Burrows might have gotten away with a bit of a late hit that wound up creating the 2-on-1 rush leading to the goal.
Here’s a GIF of the hit by Burrows on Emelin.
During the broadcast, John Garrett was making the point the Emelin was off balanced anyway when Burrows came in to finish the check. You could probably call that one either way and the logical hockey fan would understand whichever call was made. Personally, it looked a little late to me and probably should have been a penalty. Alex Burrows has never been suspended in his career, but that might change after the league takes a look at this hit.
After a near goal off the post by Burrows, Brad Richardson delivered a quick wrist shot past price to extend Vancouver’s lead to 2-0. The goal was Richardson’s third in the past two games.
Just moments earlier, the Canadiens had nearly tied up the game when Brandon Prust delivered a wrist shot on net. After the rebound effort, the puck trickled over the top of the net, providing Vancouver with a lucky break they were able to capitalize off of.
The Canadiens would get their first goal in a controversial manner when P.K. Subban sent a shot on net that was deflected by Alex Galchenyu. In the crease, Kevin Bieksa and Brendan Gallagher got tangled in the crease as Gallagher and Miller made contact during the scoring play. Fans wanted a goalie interference call, but the play would not be reviewed.
Vancouver would get a power play late in the third period, but the struggles of Alex Edler nearly cost the Canucks dearly. After mishandling a pass, Edler went back for the puck and lazily dumped it away, nearly causing a shorthanded goal. Luckily, Miller was able to come up with a big stop.
After Radim Vrbata failed to come up with possession of the the puck in Vancouver's zone, Dale Weise was able to set up Max Pacioretty for the game-tying goal with just 2:33 left in the game. Vrbata had the chance to get the puck out of the area, but couldn't come up with it after spinning around a few times. Miller attempted to make a diving save, and the cheers were so loud I thought he had stopped the shot. But then I remembered that Rogers Arena was filled with 10,000 Canadiens fans during this game.
50 seconds into the overtime period, the Canucks would go to the power play as Tom Gilbert was sent off for interference. On their last rush of the power play, Henrik Sedin drew every Canadiens defender towards him, leaving Daniel wide open. After one quick move to switch the puck from his backhand to his forehand, Daniel beat Price to deliver the game-winning goal. Game-winning Sedinary is my favorite Sedinary.
The Canucks finish the month of October with a 7-3-0 record after a three-game winning streak. Vancouver will look to continue their recent hot streak into November on Saturday night when they take on the Edmonton Oilers for a quick, one-game "road trip."