Vancouver Canucks, J.T. Miller

Fun! Vancouver Canucks 4, Maple Leafs 1

On a crazy night of action, the game flipped on back-to-back shorthanded goals for the Vancouver Canucks in the third period on the same Toronto power play. It was the fastest two shorties, :44-seconds apart, in franchise history.

This one had a playoff feel, mainly because the bodies were flying early and the Vancouver Canucks have to grab these inspirational opportunities while they can. Beating the Maple Leafs on Hockey Night in Canada provides that opportunity for Vancouver, given there’s no real playoff games in the near future.

A win at Rogers Arena for the Vancouver Canucks against the Toronto Maple Leafs in not an unusual occurrence. In fact, it’s commonplace. The Canucks have now won six in a row in this situation.

Matt Murray picked up his first start in net for Toronto in more than forty days, while Thatcher Demko manned the pipes at the other end.

Canucks Goal Scorer:

2nd Period

1-0 Canucks – Power Play – Andrei Kuzmenko (29) from Quinn Hughes and Brock Boeser, 17:51

Kuzmenko got a stick on a point slapper from Hughes that ultimately went in off of Leafs D-man Justin Holl’s stick.

This match was exciting from start to finish. The crowd never had a chance to rest, the hits kept coming, and despite the lack of finish, the chances piled up at both ends. Nearing the midway point of the 3rd-period is when things truly turned.

3rd Period

2-1 Canucks – Shorthanded – Elias Pettersson (29) from J.T. Miller and Tyler Myers, 6:49

On a 2-on-1 Miller saucered a pass over to ‘Petey’ on the left side who cut to the net and tucked one five-hole.

3-1 Canucks – Shorthanded – J.T. Miller (23) from Elias Pettersson, 7:33

Petey found Miller with a long pass for a breakaway and Miller roofed a shot glove side.

4-1 Canucks – Even Strength – Nils Aman (3) from Brock Boeser and Phil Di Giuseppe, 12:34

A perfect cross-slot pass found Aman open at the left post for an easy redirect into the open net.

Shots on goal finished 37-24 in favour of Toronto. Power plays: Maple Leafs 1-for-4 while giving up two shorties; Vancouver Canucks 1-for-3.

Vancouver Canucks 3 Stars:

1) Thatcher Demko – Think not in a multi-goal win? Think again. He was the difference throughout. 36 Saves.

2) J.T. Miller – Goal, assist, five hits, five shots on goal and a blocked shot in 20:32 of ice time.

3) Elias Pettersson – Goal, assist, three shots on goal and four blocked shots. 20:58.

Rob Simpson

Rob Simpson has covered the NHL in five different decades. He’s authored 4 books on hockey and is a veteran TV and radio play-by-play man and reporter.