After an exciting come from behind victory against the Dallas Stars on Sunday afternoon, the Vancouver Canucks are hoping to continue their winning ways against the New York Rangers, a team the league best +29 Goal Differential.
Jacob Markstrom got the start against Henrik Lundqvist tonight and I have to say I’m a fan of his new mask.
Is one game enough to blame bad luck on a new mask? After tonight's game, I’ll let you decide.
The Vancouver Canucks played a solid first period, making sure to use their speed to generate chances against the Rangers and finish the frame with a 17-10 lead in shots on net.
Nikita Tryamkin had a few great shots this period and is looking more and more like the complete defenceman we’re hoping he’ll become.
The Canucks continue to struggle on the power play but it’s not for a lack of trying. Troy Stecher has really brought some energy to the first unit and seems to be picking up the tempo with his quick decisions on the blue line. Derek Stepan fell victim to one such decision and had to leave the game after blocking Troy Stecher’s one timer from the line (he would eventually return to the game in the second period).
Everything seemed to come off the rails for both teams in the last five minutes of the period. The majority of the play stayed in the neutral zone until the Canucks gained some traction in New Yorks end of the ice and had a number of great chances. Despite despite some prime scoring opportunities they still couldn’t find a way past Lundqvist.
With just a over a minute left in the opening frame, J.T. Miller continued his scoring ways after deflecting Mats Zuccarello’s pass through his legs, off of Luca Sbisa and into the net. With his 6th goal of the year, J.T. Miller’s 16 points is the most on the New York Rangers, a team where 10 players have over 10 points.
J.T. Miller with a crazy slick redirect pic.twitter.com/sfrPzWB1CG— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) November 16, 2016
The New York Rangers kept the momentum in hand to kick off the second period where they are outscoring their opponents 29 to 8 this year. The Canucks are getting their chances after some hard fought turnovers but can’t seem get establish a rhythm once they enter the zone.
To honour a true tradition from last season, we were treated to the patented Vancouver Canucks Too Many Men on the Ice™ penalty. That being said, this one didn’t quite fit the mold and Vancouver were able to kill it off to continue their strong shorthanded play thus far (7th best PK in the league).
Shortly after the man advantage, the floodgates started to open when Kevin Hayes earned his 12th point in 9 games with a slap shot to beat Jacob Markstrom.
Eight seconds later we saw the Canucks return to the power play with a new look. Loui Eriksson replaced Alex Edler on the blue line, leaving Troy Stecher as the lone Defenceman. Once more, we saw some great movement and sustained pressure by Vancouver but the best chance came at the end when Henrik Lundqvist made a great move to save a one timer from Markus Granlund.
The high scoring Rangers didn’t pull any punches on their second power play chance of the night and Brandon Pirri put away his 5th goal of the year after a number of chance on Jacob Markstrom.
The momentum in this game has continued to slide in New Yorks favour and the second period was not encouraging for the home team. Despite a strong push to finish the period, Vancouver couldn’t seem to connect the dots on their chances until Brandon Sutter found the back of the net with 40 seconds left.
The third period? I’d rather not talk about this period, but here we are.
In less than three minutes, Kevin Hayes and J.T. Miller had their second goals of the game.
Kevin Hayes takes Jacob Markstrom's ankles for a ride with a sweet forehand fake, backhand tuck on the breakaway early in the third! pic.twitter.com/68kuZdnXFS— NHL 365 (@NHLDaily365) November 16, 2016
Being down 5-1, the Canucks put up a good effort but play continued to be dictated by the visiting team. Henrik Lundqvist has been a brick wall tonight and denied more than his fair share of shots from all angles.
After a forgettable ten minutes of hockey, Markus Granlund made a thing happen when he batted down a puck in mid air.
Despite the Canucks goal, Rangers fans didn’t have to wait long for another celebration. Mats Zuccarello picked up his third point of the game after a few neat passes ended with him tapping the puck in from the front of the net.
The seventh nail in the coffin came in the form of Nick Holden’s goal a few minutes later on the power play. You don’t need to see it. Instead, here’s my reaction to the goal in GIF form.