The Vancouver Canucks tried their hardest to screw up their improving NHL Draft lottery odds, charging back from down three goals in the second period to tie the game at 4-4 in the third.
The New Jersey Devils scored three goals in 50-seconds to take a 4-1 lead midway through the game.
Vancouver plugged away, getting some unlikely goals: Luke Schenn’s 3rd of the season, Curtis Lazar’s 2nd, and Phil Di Giuseppe’s 1st as a Canuck.
— Canucks forward Vasily Podkolzin played his first NHL game since late November after being called up coming out of the NHL All-Star break and delivered four hits and three shots on goal. Forward Nils Aman also saw action, playing just under 10-minutes.
Collin Delia started in net for Vancouver.
Canucks Goal Scorers
1-0 Canucks – Even Strength – Andrei Kuzmenko (22) from Luke Schenn and Elias Pettersson, 3:35
‘Koozy’ toe-dragged past Devils D-man Dougie Hamilton and ripped one top shelf on Vitek Vanecek.
4-2 Devils – Even Strength – Luke Schenn (3) from Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Conor Garland, 15:29
Schenn stroked a shot from the right point past a screen and off the short-side post and in.
4-3 Devils – Even Strength – Curtis Lazar (2) from Riley Stillman and Conor Garland, 19:33
Lazar one-timed a feed along the ice just in front of the net off a below-the-goal-line feed from a rushing Stillman.
4-4 Tie – Even Strength – Phil Di Giuseppe (1) from J.T. Miller and Oliver Ekman-Larsson, 6:02
After a cross ice, stretch pass from Miller, Di Giuseppe held the puck on a 2-on-1 on the right wing and wired a shot.
— In the end the Canucks would lose in overtime with Jesper Bratt scoring on a one-time slapshot during a 4-on-3 power play with just 42-seconds left on the clock.
— The Devils outshot the Canucks 34-30. Power plays: New Jersey, 1-for-4, Vancouver 0-for-1.
— With the overtime point earned, the Canucks now have 44 points on the season, moving into a tie with the Montreal Canadiens for the 6th fewest points in the NHL. Vancouver actually has a game in hand.
Canucks 3 Stars:
1) Oliver Ekman-Larsson – The veteran D-man used fresh legs to lead the team in ice time at 22:44 and add 2 assists.
2) Andrei Kuzmenko – A threat all night, he opened the scoring with a beautiful move and had four shots on goal.
3) Conor Garland – The only other Canuck with two points, Garland didn’t have a shot on goal but he did have two helpers.
Nucks are exploring trade options involving Thatcher D. and OEL in a package deal
with other teams. Lots of discussion.