Jacob Markstrom got the start tonight as the Vancouver Canucks kicked off their 6 game road trip in Nashville.
With the Nashville Predators sporting a 4-1-1 record in their last 6 games, the Canucks were looking to keep up with a team trending upwards. This was also their first match up against PK Subban in a Predators jersey.
Ben Hutton returned to the line up tonight after missing 11 games. It didn’t take him long to get back into the swing of things, playing over 7 minutes in the first period. It’s good to have him back.
Two minutes into the game, Sven Baertschi found himself on the receiving end of a head shot from Cody McLeod. Despite playing a shift following the hit, he would soon leave the game due to a concussion.
I’m thinking this definitely merits a look from the league. It also means we’ll be seeing Reid Boucher in the lineup against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday.
Coach Desjardins says after watching the replay of Sven Baertschi being hit, he feels Cody McLeod knew he was there before he hit him.— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) February 8, 2017
Nashville looked dangerous early this game but failed to score, despite outshooting the Canucks 5-0.
Choosing quality over quantity, Markus Granlund put his team on the board with their first shot of the game. Brandon Sutter made a great move to play the puck back to Granlund, who fired the puck into the net as he moved to middle of the ice with room.
A few minutes later, Calle Järnkrok blew past Daniel Sedin to lead the rush from his own blue line. After some quick passes from the Preds, the Canucks collapsed and allowed Viktor Arvidsson to pick his spot and tie the game.
God grief, is Viktor Arvidsson having himself a good year or what?
Later in the period, Colin Wilson’s shot from a crowd in front of the net found a way to roll past Jacob Markstrom. It was an awkward looking save attempt and Markstrom seemed to have a hard time tracking where the shot was coming from.
The final minutes of the first presented the Canucks with a power play opportunity. Unfortunately, Vancouver couldn’t convert and seemed unorganized at times. There were a handful of quality shots, but nothing Pekka Rinne isn’t going to allow past him.
Jannik Hansen found himself filling in for Sven Baertschi alongside Bo Horvat and Alex Burrows. While I would prefer to see Hansen back on the top line with Sedin’s, he’s making any line he plays on more dangerous and I’m still just happy to have him back.
Vancouver did well to drive possession in the second period. While still playing from behind, they were outshooting their opponents and putting the work in to tie the game.
Close to the 10 minute mark, things got a little chippy between Alex Burrows and Cody McLeod. No penalties were called, but the energy of this game definitely picked up after the scrum.
Chances were exchanged at both ends of the ice, with Markstrom and Rinne being put to the test. Jacob Markstrom had to step up his game when the Predators went on the power play. While Nashville created some great looking scoring chances around him, Markstrom was able to negate every shot he faced.
For a split second, Jayson Megna seemed to have tied the game after Markus Granlund batted the puck down with high stick and it bounced off a Nashville player. However, it was immediately called off due to the high stick.
The Canucks outshot the Predators 13-12 in the middle frame but still failed to score.
Both teams brought the energy from the second into the final period. A few minutes in, Vancouver found themselves with another power play and put together some great looking plays. Sure, they didn’t score, but at least I liked what I saw.
A few minutes later, Daniel Sedin found himself in the penalty box for hooking. Despite Vancouver holding Nashville at bay, the Predators regained their momentum and carried it in to their next man advantage when Luca Sbisa was called for interference.
With the extra man once again, the Predators would go on to score the eventual game winner after a good amount of speculation over Jacob Markstom’s glove and the goal line.
With the puck bouncing off of Alex Edler and into the crease. After review, the net cam shows Markstrom’s save attempt brought the puck behind him and into the net.
This was just ruled no goal in Nashville against Vancouver. What do you think? Looks over the line to me. pic.twitter.com/ebMTmXZc2Y— Pension Plan Puppets (@PPPLeafs) February 8, 2017
Shortly after Nashville’s second power play of the period, Vancouver got theirs. Sharing is caring after all.
Finally seizing the moment, Alex Edler sent the puck top corner to bring the game within 1. It was a well deserved reward after the effort the team had put in this period.
Thank you sir, may we have another? pic.twitter.com/fr1Ug7LWvg— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) February 8, 2017
This game really picked up as it carried on, both teams put a ton of pucks on net and remained aggressive as time went on. It was an exciting final 5 minutes as the Canucks showed off some slick passing and had some good looks on net.
With 2 minutes left and Markstrom pulled for the extra man, play reached a fever pitch as the Canucks buzzed around the Nashville net. Unfortunately for Vancouver, Pekka Rinne was putting on a clinic and made more than one fantastic save.
With a minute remaining, Troy Stecher bobbled the puck on the blue line and Mike Fisher made no mistake and put the game away with the empty netter.
Despite a determined effort, the Vancouver Canucks were handed their 4th consecutive defeat to begin their 6 game road trip. They also find themselves facing yet another injury at a time when they desperately need to be putting up points to remain competitive.
We’ll have to wait and see how they answer the call in Columbus to see if they’re down, but not out.