Remember last Tuesday? Remember that shorthanded goal in overtime? I wish I didn’t. But I do.
Since then the Vancouver Canucks have lost two more games in overtime and the shootout Despite a 6-1-3 record in their past 10 games, the Canucks needed a win tonight to get back on track against a team they’re battling against for a playoff spot.
Ahead of the game, Vancouver released some news on the injury front concerning Ben Hutton and Anton Rodin.
Hutton is set to miss 3 to 6 weeks with a fractured hand and Rodin has been shelved to work on an issue with his knee.
Injury update on Anton Rodin: pic.twitter.com/mgHb5Vpfwo— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) January 17, 2017
Both players will join Derek Dorsett, Erik Gudbranson, Philip Larsen and Jannik Hansen on the road to recovery.
But that’s not the only player news for you! With Jayson Megna coming down with the flu, Reid Boucher got the nod to make his debut for the Canucks tonight.
Megna felled by the flu, so Boucher makes his #Canucks debut with Granlund and Sutter.— Ben Kuzma (@benkuzma) January 18, 2017
Games against the Nashville Predators always seem to have a theme of little to no scoring. I wish I could tell this game was different. I really wish I could.
Nashville attacked early and the game was off to a quick pace from the opening face off. While both teams were getting their chances to score, the goalies were in fine form to begin the game.
Reid Boucher had a nice hit on his first shift as a Vancouver Canuck. We can only hope there’s more where that came from.
The quick pace continued as Loui Eriksson almost opened the scoring 2 minutes into the game. Unfortunately, his shot rang off the crossbar.
Filip Forsberg took an interference penalty and the Canucks were given a chance at redemption on the power play. There was some solid pressure in the offensive zone but ultimately, Vancouver’s power play woes would continue.
With 4:50 left in the first period, a failed clearing attempt ended with a scramble in front of the Vancouver net. With Ryan Miller fighting to keep the puck out and getting his blocker over it at times, it was eventually put through by Derek Grant.
Not so fast though. The officials got the call from the hockey overlords at Toronto shortly after declaring it a goal. After a lengthy discussion, it was ruled no goal due to “intent to blow”.
The Canucks actually played well to finish the opening frame. Bo Horvat, Sven Baertschi and Loui Eriksson were hunting for goals and looking tenacious in the final minutes.
Jack Skille found himself in Reid Boucher’s spot alongside Brandon Sutter and Markus Granlund to start the second period. Outside of his hit to start the game, Boucher wasn’t very noticeable in the first and this demotion wasn’t too surprising.
Nikita Tryamkin had a number of solid hits and stepped up his physical play this period. While he already uses his size effectively and continues to be a strong player for the teams depleted defence, it would be great to see more of this.
Play evened out as the period carried on with hits and shots going both ways. Each team was creating chances and generating some great looking odd man rushes. Despite 20 shots apiece, neither team could find a way to best the opposing goalie and the 0-0 tie carried on to the third.
Chances came and went as the third period carried on its way. The lack of scoring continued but it wasn’t for a lack of trying.
Nikita Tryamkin continued his physical play in the final period of regulation. This time around, Calle Järnkrok found himself on the receiving end of a solid hit.
There were some moments of excitement when Bo Horvat, Sven Baertschi and Alex Burrows strung together some dangerous shifts. They haven’t put up a lot of points recently, but look capable of getting back on track in the near future.
With 7:32 left in the game, Henrik Sedin put up his 999th point and 10th goal of the season when Luca Sbisa’s shot rebounded off the end boards, hit his stick and bounced off Pekka Rinne.
Ryan Miller seemed intent on protecting the lead after Captain Henrik’s goal. With Nashville on the doorstep, Miller looked collected as he made save after save.
With the Predator’s playing a more aggressive style, the Canucks found more space to create some chances of their own and had some odd man rushes to show for it.
With Henrik’s milestone in sight, there was a sense of tension whenever he was on the ice. While he couldn’t put away the 1,000th point tonight, there’s now a chance he could get it against an old friend.
"It would be a big deal for me to hit 1,000 points at home here Friday. Especially against Lu!" - Henrik Sedin— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) January 18, 2017
While Henrik Sedin may have scored the game winner, the real star of the game was Ryan Miller. With his second shut out of the season, he was crucial in this win and kept the home team in the game from start to finish.