The Winnipeg Jets played in Rogers Arena tonight for the second time in 48 hours. In Tuesday nights 4-1 loss, they allowed the Vancouver Canucks to score three goals in third and were looking to get even.
That being said, I don’t think anyone expected it to be this even. The Jets mirrored the Canucks scoring pattern from Tuesday to perfection and left the building with their own three goals in the third.
This game was also another chance for the Canucks to win two consecutive games in regulation for the first time this season. I can tell you now, it didn’t happen. In fact, we might have to wait a while for this to occur.
Anyway, let’s get to the real highlight tonight. This was Captain Henrik Sedin’s 1,200th game and while the game itself could have gone better, we can still watch this highlight package with fond memories.
The game started off with a decent effort back and forth with both teams testing each other out.
Within the first 2 minutes of the game, Vancouver fans collectively sobbed when Chris Tanev went to the dressing room after catching himself with his stick. Jannik Hansen left for the dressing room seconds later. The Canuck faithful but both returned minutes later.
For just the 9th time this season, the Canucks scored the first goal of the game when Loui Eriksson intercepted a Jacob Trouba pass behind the Winnipeg net. From there, Eriksson set up Markus Granlund on the doorstep to put away the goal.
Nikita Tryamkin put the Winnipeg Jets on the power play after a high sticking penalty and the Canucks displayed solid penalty killing after not allowing a single shot. The special teams Daniel Sedin penalty after the first kill, the visiting team still couldn’t get around the Vancouver’s penalty killing unit.
Vancouver continues to seek improvement with the man advantage.
As the period entered it’s final minutes, the momentum began to alternate from team to team. The Jets and Canucks both had their fair share of chances with Vancouver blocking as many shots as possible.
Much like last game, the Canucks found themselves taking another late penalty to end the period when Nikita Tryamkin got called for tripping. The Jets would once again start the middle frame on the power play.
Winnipeg’s power play would be short lived as Bo Horvat drew a penalty after a fantastic effort to battle two Jets players for the puck in front of their net.
Unfortunately, the power play woes would continue as Vancouver couldn’t convert on their brief stint with the extra man.
After the special teams did their thing, Winnipeg put on some serious pressure to keep Vancouver on their heels. They were catching Canucks flat footed all over the ice and doing everything but putting the puck in the net.
Alex Biega has been getting physical this game and it’s nice to see him throw his weight around. He also shrugged off a solid hit in the first period and has shown some toughness.
The game started getting chippy after Jannik Hansen hit Josh Morrisey at centre ice. Shortly after, Patrik Laine hit Henrik Sedin while the captain was off balance and clearing the puck.
Minutes later, Mathieu Perrault tried to give Hansen a bit of payback with a late hit near the boards.
While Hansen moved out of the way in time, the attempt set off a skirmish near the Vancouver bench and the series of events resulted in a Vancouver power play.
I shouldn’t have to tell you, but while Vancouver had a few chances to increase the lead, they couldn’t find a way to make the advantage count.
The speed of play continued its quick pace as the period hit the halfway point. Winnipeg continued to use their speed effectively to create chances. However, Vancouver was neutralizing play in their defensive zone and showing patience to keep the Jets options limited.
With just over 7 minutes left in the period, Jannik Hansen left for the dressing room once again. This time it was with an apparent leg injury and he didn’t look likely to return.
Hansen will not return tonight after suffering a lower body injury. pic.twitter.com/bzPfeZUWOi— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) December 23, 2016
The ice tilted in Winnipeg’s favour as the period came to a close. There were countless failed clearing attempts from Vancouver and the home team seemed to be struggling to keep up with the Jets speed.
Patrik Laine put an exclamation point on the final minute of the period when he scored his 19th goal of the season to tie the game at 1-1.
The third period started with a dull thud when Henrik Sedin attempted a cross ice pass to Loui Eriksson. Nikolaj Ehlers was able to intercept the Sedin pass, lead a rush towards Ryan Miller and put away his 8th goal of the season.
Winnipeg continued to build on their mounting energy and kept Vancouver hemmed in their own zone for the first 5 minutes of the third. The Canucks hoped to turn things around when Jayson Megna drew a penalty, but the power play couldn’t get more than a handful of slim chances.
As the period progressed, the Jets held back the Canucks best efforts to generate offence. While there were a handful of decent looking plays, the Canucks seemed to have some confusion in their ranks.
This confusion was on display when the team drew a Too Many Men penalty with 8 minutes left in the game. Nikolaj Ehlers got himself his second goal of the period on the ensuing power play.
The Canucks did everything they could to step up their play after the goal but couldn’t seem to make anything work. Every good cycle ended with a bad bounce. Any attempt to rush with the puck ended with a poke check.
The game was firmly in the Jets grasp by the time Bryan Little pushed the puck past a sprawling Ryan Miller.
Despite a few challenges to determine the legitimacy of the goals, the goal counted and Vancouver fans were suddenly treated to a complete reversal of Tuesday nights game. In both of these games, the first team to score found themselves tied 1-1 going into the third and giving up 3 goals.
I’m interested to see how this group responds against a division rival tomorrow night when the take on the Calgary Flames. After a game where they saw their best efforts fizzle out in front of them, you have to hope their motivated to get a win.