Sporting the worst road record in the league, Troy Stecher and the Vancouver Canucks faced off against Dave Hakstol (Stecher’s coach in North Dakota) tonight.
While the end result wasn’t what fans hoped for, it sure was nice to see the power play putting some points on the board. Going into this game, Vancouver is the 29th worst team with the man advantage and had scored 6 times in the past 60 power plays.
I’m also happy to share pictures from Kate Frese at Broad Street Hockey tonight. She’s provided some great coverage from this game at the Wells Fargo Center, including some shots of the team preparing for what ended up being a very fast paced game.
The Flyers brought a solid combination of speed and forechecking to kick off the game. Vancouver was struggling to keep the puck out of their own end, let alone set up pressure of their own.
Play evened out as the game progressed. The line of Bo Horvat, Sven Baertschi and Alex Burrows had some strong shifts to keep Vancouver in the offensive zone
Six minutes into the game, Troy Stecher drew a double minor penalty after Brandon Manning caught him with a high stick.
With memories of Nashville’s game winning goal coming short handed on Tuesday, there’s no doubt fans were holding their breath when the power play unit came hit the ice.
With the Canucks already on the power play, Daniel Sedin took a nasty high stick from Michael Del Zotto in front of the net. With Del Zotto in the box, Vancouver found themselves with a two man advantage.
15 seconds remained in 5 on 3 play when Daniel Sedin put away his first goal in 12 games to open the scoring. Big props to Loui Eriksson with the great screen to set up this goal.
Draw the penalty, score the goal. Savage. pic.twitter.com/J0AZivjuve— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) January 13, 2017
It may have been due to some very fortunate back to back double minors, but I can’t argue with the results! Also, it sure would have been nice to see them do something with the other 7 minutes of power play time they had.
With about 7 minutes remaining the period, the Flyers were back to even strength and had a chance to do some damage after a Nikita Tryamkin penalty.
After receiving a cross ice pass, we got to see some slick skills from Dale Weise to control the puck and set up Travis Konecny’s tying goal. That’s some fine work from Dutch Gretzky.
Near the end of the second period, Brandon Manning got his second penalty of the period with a slash. But that’s not the only thing that happened a second time.
Daniel Sedin had yet ANOTHER high stick hit him in the face.
Not only that, but it was Michael Del Zotto AGAIN.
Could the Canucks also repeat their scoring ways on the 5 on 3?!
With the penalty’s carrying over to the second period, the Canucks went to work.
Just as the second penalty ended, a shot from the point generated a big rebound and Markus Granlund seized the opportunity to put Vancouver ahead once more.
This is when things started heating up. With a Loui Eriksson penalty just expiring, Pierre-Édouard Bellemare tied the game before the middle of the period after firing off a wicked one timer.
Holy Snipe Bellemare! pic.twitter.com/8Stv9HlTFm— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) January 13, 2017
18 seconds later, Sean Couturier got behind Alex Biega to bury a rebound into the net and give his team their first lead of the game.
Shortly after, Markus Granlund went ahead and scored his second goal of the period. This was Granlund’s 11th goal of the season, which puts him ahead of his highly touted brother, Mikael.
Puck into the net, Granlund into the net. pic.twitter.com/fejceb2vXX— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) January 13, 2017
Markus now has more goals than Mikael Granlund..— Blake Price (@BlakePriceTSN) January 13, 2017
After some chances going both ways, Jayson Megna entered the zone with enough speed to draw a defenceman off Brandon Sutter. Doing well to read the play, Megna then set up Sutter with a short pass to score and give the Canucks yet another lead.
That Megna pass:— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) January 13, 2017
That Sutter shot:
That 4-3 lead: pic.twitter.com/hdfeiHqK1Z
After giving up a few quick goals, the Canucks did well to stay collected and keep themselves in the game. But good golly does this power play look bad.
With the Flyers down a man for the majority of the game, this game shouldn’t have been this close going into the third.
As if to prove my point, Brayden Schenn put the Canucks on yet another power play to end the middle frame. This may or may not surprise you, but there were no goals.
The final frame got off to a rough start. With a minute left in the man advantage, Brayden Schenn tied the game at 4 apiece with this shot/somersault.
As the game progressed, energy went back and forth as both teams attempted to score without exposing themselves to a potential counter attack. Vancouver made a valiant effort to grab another goal but couldn’t seem to find a way maintain possession.
Nikita Tryamkin put Philadelphia on the power play as the third period hit the halfway point. Vancouver relied on a tight checking PK unit and strong, positional saves from Ryan Miller to keep the game tied.
After the penalty, the Flyers maintained a steady grip on the momentum of the game. The home crowd was buzzing and everything was going their way.
With 5 minutes left in regulation, Vancouver suddenly found themselves with yet ANOTHER power play. However, they failed to convert and ended regulation scoring on only 1 of 8 chances.
As the clock wound down, Ryan Miller was a steady presence in net and kept the visiting Canucks in contention. With Vancouver allowing chances from all angles, he showed off some great skill to ensure the team earned a point.
For the second game in a row, the Canucks found themselves in 3 on 3 overtime. The Canucks were looking to lock things down after giving up a shorthanded goal in the last game with 1.5 seconds left on the clock.
While neither team ended up with a goal, there a handful of chances for both teams. One of which came in the form of Jakub Voracek who was effectively neutralized by Troy Stecher.
Things were looking hopeful when Alex Edler’s shot snuck past Michal Neuvirth. The only problem was a quick thinking Shayne Gostisbehere.
With a lack of game winning goals in extra time, this game would end up going to a shootout.
Unfortunately for the Canucks, the goals continued to evade them. With all three shooters failing to score, Claude Giroux beat Ryan Miller to give Philadelphia the win on his 29th birthday.
Can always count on Claude! pic.twitter.com/h09lBGRdPJ— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) January 13, 2017
This was a far better effort than the one we saw in Nashville on Tuesday. However, failure to take advantage of the man advantage is continuing to cost Vancouver opportunities to walk away with a win.