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Game Recap: The Times They Are A Changin’

Detroit defeats Vancouver in overtime (3-2)

NHL: Calgary Flames at Vancouver Canucks Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

After trading Alexandre Burrows yesterday and sitting Jannik Hansen tonight, the Vancouver Canucks entered their game against the Detroit Red Wings with a new look. The late scratch of Hansen lead to Borna Rendulic making his Canuck debut tonight.

While the Canucks and Red Wings played on the ice of Rogers Arena, the biggest story of the night took place off of it when it was announced that Jannik Hansen had been traded to the San Jose Sharks.

In return, Vancouver received 21 year old Russian winger Nikolay Goldobin. Goldobin was a first round selection (27th overall) and has 15 goal (41 points) in the AHL this season.

The Canucks were also given a 4th round pick that will turn into a first round pick should the Sharks win the Stanley Cup. I know who I’m rooting for in the playoffs!

First Period

The Canucks were given a chance early when they found themselves on the man advantage within the first two minutes. While the power play failed to score, some of the best chances were generated by Bo Horvat and Reid Boucher. Boucher seems to be finding his rhythm lately.

Minutes later, Frans Neilsen opened the scoring after pinging his shot off the far post to beat Ryan Miller.

Petr Mrazek made a great save against Daniel Sedin as the Canucks attempted to rally back.

Brendan Gaunce showed a new gear this game and had a number of great scoring chances as the night went on. Vancouver continued to apply pressure as the period passed its middle point with Gaunce looking to make his ice time count.

Following a flurry of shots from the Canucks, Dylan Larking drew a penalty while on a potential breakaway, putting his team up a man for two minutes. While Detroit’s power play has been ineffective this season, they found a way to make it work when Frans Nielsen put away his 14th goal of the year.

After the lead increased to 2-0, Vancouver were on their heels for the remainder of the period. There were some valiant efforts from the likes of Bo Horvat and the Sedins but the team seemed to be out of sync after giving up the pair of goals.

With 3 minutes remaining, Luca Sbisa delivered a large pizza with extra cheese to Henrik Zetterberg right in in front of the net. Zetterberg almost increased the lead to 3 but couldn’t squeeze the puck by Ryan Miller on the short side. I know Sbisa’s not going to be traded anywhere tomorrow, but we can dream that this new Benning could maybe make this happen right?

Second Period

Two minutes into second period, the Sedin’s decided to show the Red Wings how to cycle the puck. They made some ridiculous stretch passes, including a beautiful bank pass from Henrik, before setting up Markus Granlund in front of the net.

Vancouver played with confidence as the period continued. Alexandre Grenier and Brendan Gaunce looked particularly effective together, setting up a nice give and go opportunity.

The Canucks continued to build on their strong play, sustaining pressure in Detroit’s end. A power play chance came and went at the half way point of the period but Vancouver couldn’t find a way to score.

Ben Hutton almost gift wrapped a hat trick for Fran Nielsen after bad giveaway. Lucky for him, Miller was on top of the shot and made short work of Hutton’s mistake.

The Red Wings were given a chance to build on their lead when Loui Eriksson held back Darren Helm with less than minute to play in the period. The penalty kill unit were in fine form. Bo Horvat even had a few looks

Third Period

Vancouver came out swinging in the third period, nullifying Detroit’s power play and generating chances around the visiting teams net.

The Canucks had their third power play chance of the game when Bo Horvat drew a tripping call from Niklas Kronwall. The Canucks put together some great looking plays, but couldn’t tie it up. Both units looked dangerous, they just couldn’t beat Petr Mrazek.

Both teams exchanged chances in final 20 minutes of regulation. Brendan Gaunce’s performance continued to standout and the fourth line as a whole was looking solid.

With 5 minutes remaining in the final period, news rolled in that Jannik Hansen had been traded to the San Jose Sharks for Nikolay Goldobin and a conditional 4th round pick.

Much like the Burrows trade, seeing Hansen go is bittersweet. The Vancouver fan base is feeling a lot of mixed emotion right now but ultimately, they know these moves have to be made for future success.

Speaking of the future, Reid Boucher continued to trend the right way while he played alongside Bo Horvat and Loui Eriksson tonight. With 3 minutes left in his ninth game sporting the green and blue, Boucher was rewarded for his effort tonight with his first goal as a Canuck.

The tempo of the game spiked in the dying minutes of regulation with both teams frantically trying to score. Both goaltenders made some incredible saves to keep the score even at 2.

Overtime

Brandon Sutter had himself one rough game tonight. He was barely noticeable on the ice and I think he’s still dealing with a nagging injury. His bad night had an exclamation mark thrown on it when he went to the box early into overtime.

On the ensuing power play, the Red Wings took advantage of the extra man for the second time to win the game. With 30 second remaining on the man advantage, Justin Abdelkader made short work of Henrik Zetterberg’s pass to beat Ryan Miller up close.

The loss stings, but at this point it’s muted by the moves being made by management. It’s been heartening to see assets managed effectively to get this team ready for the future. While the present is a little dismal, there seems to be some good things on the horizon.

Highlights