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Game Recap: Last Minute Upsets in Nashville

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Canucks lose in overtime after Sutter’s last minute goal

NHL: Vancouver Canucks at Nashville Predators Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Hoping to get back to their winning ways, the Canucks took to the ice in Nashville tonight. Loui Eriksson found himself on the top line for the second game in a row after a 3-1 loss to Calgary. Despite a few chances tonight, the line still hasn’t seen any real success.

Earlier today, Bo Horvat got a well deserved MVP nod. Coming into the game, Bo had a 7 game point streak with 25 points in the last 30 games. It was a well deserved reward for an outstanding effort this season.

First Period

The Vancouver defence made a number of mistakes to start the game. After a number of turnovers to Filip Forsberg appeared to have the first goal of the game when he deflected a puck into the net. However, his stick was over the crossbar and the goal was waved off.

Play evened out after the overturned goal and the fourth line had a brilliant scoring chance after a strong shift. The only problem was the slashing penalty Jack Skille took at the end of the shift, giving Nashville a second chance to get on the board.

Luckily, Vancouver didn’t allow a single shot on the penalty kill that followed.

The Canucks were yielding a lot of chances to Nashville as the period hit the midway point. Vancouver’s best chance to gain the upper hand was when Brandon Sutter’s shot beat Pekka Rinne but rang off the post.

Nashville regained control of the momentum shortly after Sutter’s shot. Mike Fisher almost had another goal after yet another turnover but his a post of his own.

As the period came to a close, both teams failed to find the back of the net. However, Nashville held a firm grip on possession through the opening frame and controlled

Second Period

Within the first minute of the second period, Nashville opened the scoring when Austin Watson found the puck on the doorstop after a fortuitous bounce.

After taking control the game in the first period, it was only a matter of time for the Predators to capitalize on the Canucks mistakes.

The Canucks had their best shift of the period a few minutes later. It may have come from the fourth line, but beggars can’t be choosers right?

It was more of the same as the period progressed. Vancouver’s chances continued to come from the perimeter and they struggled to maintain possession in the offensive zone.

After some offsetting penalties later in the period, the Canucks found themselves with a power play opportunity for over a minute. While they had a good number of chances, the biggest occurrence was Viktor Arvidsson blocking Alex Edler’s shot and appearing to injure his ankle (he would return later in the game).

Chris Tanev gave Vancouver fans a moment of dread when he collided with Ryan Johansen. Luckily, he returned before the period ended.

Henrik Sedin almost tied the game with a minute left in the middle frame but couldn’t get the puck past a sprawling Pekka Rinne.

The period ended with little changed in the scoring department for Vancouver. Despite pulling closer in shots, the Canucks couldn’t get anything past Nashville.

Third Period

The visiting Vancouver team began the third period down a defence man with the loss of Alex Biega near the end of the second period. For what feels like the hundredth time this season, the Canucks are playing with shortened bench.

Play evened out in the final frame as Nashville took a more defensive approach to preserve their lead. Vancouver took advantage of the extra room and had a handful of shots on net with potential.

As the period progressed, Alex Biega returned to the ice and made some good plays to keep the game within reach after blocking a Ryan Johansen shot.

Vancouver continued to pick up the pace as the game came closer to a close. Luca Sbisa had a great chance after a nice set up from Jack Skille but couldn’t beat Rinne.

Filip Forsberg put the visiting team on the man advantage with just five minutes left in the game. This would have been helpful if the Canucks could get a shot on net, which they didn’t.

With over a minute left in the game, the Canucks pulled Ryan Miller and looked like a completely different team. Vancouver was playing with a whole new level of aggression and with 49 seconds left, Brandon Sutter tied the game.

Despite a lack of control for the majority of the game, the Canucks were leaving this game with at least a point!

Overtime

The Canucks had a chance to win the game in the last two minutes of overtime when they were put on the power play. Despite some chances, the Canucks couldn’t convert and the game seemed destined for the shootout. That is, until Roman Josi blocked a shot and headed up ice.

With 1.5 seconds left in overtime, Roman Josi and Calle Järnkrok found themselves on a shorthanded, 2 on 0 breakaway. Ryan Miller was helpless as Josi passed the puck to Järnkrok on the opposite side.

While it was a disappointing result, I’m pleasantly surprised the team was able to snag a point. The Canucks were lucky to come out of this game with something after being largely outplayed by the home team.

Highlights