After a flat first period the Vancouver Canucks showed determination and plenty of feisty behaviour against the Pacific Division’s first place Vegas Golden Knights.
In the end it wasn’t enough.
Vegas moved two points ahead of the LA Kings in the race for a divisional title and potentially home ice throughout the Western Conference playoffs. They’re four points ahead of the Central Division leading Dallas Stars who lost in overtime at home 5-4 to the Seattle Kraken.
At Rogers Arena, after a first period that saw the Canucks outshot 14-5 and fall behind 2-0, the BC Boys made a game of it. J.T. Miller scored in the 2nd period on a penalty shot, shorthanded officially, and then again on the power play.
Despite his efforts, a much better performance from the team, and a 14-9 shot advantage in the stanza, Vancouver was still down by two, 4-2, after two.
Jonathan Quick and Thatcher Demko were the netminders.
Canucks Goal Scorers:
2-1 Golden Knights – Penalty Shot (shorthanded) – J.T. Miller (27), Unassisted, 7:57
Miller cruised in slowly and roofed a backhander after a deke around Quick.
3-2 Golden Knights – Power Play (4-on-3) – J.T. Miller (28), from Quinn Hughes and Elias Pettersson, 12:42
Miller stepped to the left wing circle and wired a wrister top shelf, stick side, post-and-in past a Brock Boeser screen.
— Miller continues his red hot play since the hiring of Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet in January and the trade of captain Bo Horvat six days later. Don’t discount the modified chemistry in the dressing room. Horvat was itching to go.
4-3 Golden Knights – Even Strength – Phil Di Giuseppe (4) from J.T. Miller and Quinn Hughes, 11:43
Di Giuseppe lifted a backhander past Quick after finding a loose puck off a rebound in traffic.
— Vancouver outshot Vegas 35-27. Power plays: Vegas 0-for-3, Vancouver 1-for-2.
— In the race to the bottom of the NHL, something Vancouver will not win, the Canucks are 8th worst in the league and at this point would have a 6% chance of winning the NHL Draft Lottery on May 8th.