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Canucks End Panthers' Win Streak, Like A Boss

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It was all about Florida pre-game. Their 12-game win streak was a franchise record and the 10th-longest win streak in NHL history. A lot of talk by Willie Mitchell, bashing the Mike Gillis regime for its treatment of Roberto Luongo in his tenure in Vancouver. Luongo, when asked about it all took the high road, saying he had grown up and that a lot of things were going on at the same time back then. So you know, shut up Mitchell.

I caught the Panthers' feed for this game. Quite entertaining. When Jussi Jokinen scored only 1:20 into the game after a Jacob Markstrom giveaway, the love affair was on.

The Canucks stuck with it though, outshooting the Panthers by a 13-7 margin in the first period, but Luongo was steady, and even gave us a trip down memory lane with this larceny on Bo Horvat:

Yea, I miss you, Lou. Great save. To make matters worse, with about 33 seconds left in the first the Panthers did this. The dreaded Jagr-Barkov-Huberdeau combo strikes again. 2-0 Panthers after 1.

It's hard to hate Jagr now, isn't it? Surely a big hill to climb for the Canucks.

I found the middle period to be boring. I may have even fell asleep for some of it. But I did catch Daniel Sedin pulling the Canucks within one goal just over 5 minutes into the period with this devilry:

Wow. That is magical right there. He is now one goal behind Markus Naslund's franchise-leading 346 goals. The rest of the second is a blur for me.

I was awake for the third period though. What I saw was the Canucks pushing to tie it but really not getting anywhere because the Panthers were putting on a defensive clinic. If the Canucks made any mistake the Panthers pounced on the puck and would nearly make them pay for it. They couldn't do that though, why? Because Jacob Markstrom decided to put on a goaltending clinic, that's why. It was rinse and repeat with this format the whole period to the point where it looked like Florida was going to defend this one-goal lead and pull off win #13. Not so fast. With under 3 minutes left and a faceoff in the Panthers' zone, this beautiful sequence of events happened, starring Jake The Snake Virtanen:

OH MY! That happened so fast. What a presence of mind by Virtanen to pull that off. Wow. I keep watching it over and over again. The kid is alright, hey?

The Panthers outshot the Canucks 11-8 in the third. With the Canucks having a 3-1 advantage in power plays.

The Canucks have a lousy record in shootouts this season (1-8). The Panthers were 1-3. Either way I wasn't feeling so optimistic about this. Could the Canucks stumble their way to a shootout where their record there is 3-2 (ahem, but the Panthers are 5-1?!)

Somewhere early in the shootout was another excellent stop by Markstrom. Then there was a speedy end-to-end rush by Emerson Etem. As he was blowing by everyone to charge to the net, Jagr put his stick on him, hardly impeding him, but the refs called the interference penalty. The Panthers play by play guys were pissed. I wasn't. Power play! Let's get it done boys! And wouldn't you know it...the Sedins, who have been relatively quieter in recent games, pull this off immediately after the ensuing faceoff:

Woo! The streak dies here!

I have no idea what prompted the exchange between Derek Dorsett and Al Montoya after the goal, but it was "on like Donkey Kong" after that. A big pushing and shoving matchup that lasted a long time. Was it actually captain Hank that skated by the Panthers bench first and said something? That would be quite unlike Hank. Perhaps there was some game-long jabbing going on between the two teams. Hank had only this to offer post game:

But really though...this is the new NHL. Pushing and shoving. No fisticuffs so...who really cares???

Back to those Panthers play-by-play guys: yea, their homer work tonight was terrible. No emotion, except uber-sadness when Virtanen and then Dank scored. And then this during the scrum:

I don't usually care about this kind of thing but I care tonight. Why? Because the Canucks just pissed all over the Panthers parade. They persevered and came from behind to win it too. A job well done by our boys. Panther tears taste good, so a middle finger salute to these guys.

Great job by the Panthers team to accumulate that streak. Damn, this team looks scary moving forward. The pieces are really coming together there.

QUICK STATS

-Huh, so the Canucks had 4 power plays to the Panthers' 1. Yay!

-The Panthers won 40 faceoffs. The Canucks won 26. Vey had the best Canucks faceoff win % at 58%. The rest sucked.

-10 Canuck giveaways to the Panthers' 3. Yeah that happened.

-Alex Biega's 6 hits was more than anyone from either team. Love it!

-Florida's Alex Petrovic and Dimitri Kulikov blocked a combined 7 shots...more than any other player on the ice.

-3 Stars: 1. Dank, 2. Huberdeau, 3. Virtanen. I would have made Markstrom star #3. Gad he was good!

Daniel Sedin is now tied with Markus Naslund in franchise goals scored at 346. Congrats Dank!

This has to feel good for Markstrom, who was given up on by the Panthers and then traded to the Canucks in the Luongo deal.

Game Highlights:

Good times! Enjoy these moments, folks!

Enjoy Jagr's sad face, even though he's doing a hell of a job:

The sad body language of Lou and Mitchell:

A special message from Roy Orbison:

Good night!