With their 4-3 loss at Rogers Arena to the Seattle Kraken, the Canucks lost at home in regulation for the first time this season. The Kraken beat their northern rivals for the third straight time and moved to within one game of .500 on the season.
The Canucks scored the lone goal in what was a fast paced first period.
J.T. Miller took the NHL scoring lead with his 28th point of the season when he raced through the crease and backhanded in a loose puck just before Kraken defenceman Will Borgen could clear it away. It was initially waved off, but upon video review it was shown the puck crossed the line.
Philipp Grubauer for Seattle and Thatcher Demko for Vancouver stayed busy in their respective nets, particularly with point shots through traffic. Both teams did a nice job of congesting the area around the goal crease.
The only power play of the period belonged to the Kraken and they failed to generate a Grade-A chance.
The Kraken controlled much of the possession and threats through the first half of the period, but it was actually a sloppy Canucks line change that led to the Kraken’s tying goal.
Jamie Oleksiak stepped off his bench, took a bump from Elias Pettersson who was headed to his, and was able to jump into a Seattle rush as the trailer and rip home a slapper from the high slot. The goal came at 5:43.
Seattle picked up the lone power play of the 2nd period and this time they’d almost succeed with the man advantage. Following the 2nd video review of a goal on the evening, it was determined Jordan Eberle’s stick was not above the height of the crossbar when he deflected in Oliver Bjorkstrand’s point shot. Seattle took the lead at 13:04, one second after Teddy Blueger’s hooking penalty ended.
The league’s best defenceman this season, Canucks captain Quinn Hughes, picked the top corner gloveside on Grubauer with a slapper from the left point. He tied the game at 15:48 through a Ilya Mikheyev screen.
Vancouver forward Nils Höglander had two glorious opportunities in the closing moments, once hitting the crossbar and then shooting wide on a half empty net.
Seattle started the period strong and didn’t take long to capitalize. After sustained pressure, Yanni Gourde’s hard work was rewarded with a tip-in from the crease on a centering feed from Will Borgen at the 4:19 mark.
The Kraken continued to be the better team.
After Miller took a frustration slashing penalty and Seattle’s Kailer Yamamoto went off for tripping 21-seconds later on a make-up call, the two teams skated four-on-four. During the sequence, Eberle won a puck battle in the right wing corner and found Matty Beniers alone headed to the net. Beniers made no mistake going top shelf with a wrister to give the Kraken a two goal lead. He has goals in back-to-back games for the fist time this season.
Höglander scored with nine seconds remaining to make it a one-goal final. He missed the net with a chance to tie the game with four seconds remaining.
Shots on goal finished in favour of the Kraken 26-24. Power plays: Seattle 0-for-3, Vancouver 0-for-2.
Based on the number of huge hits in the game and the pace, the northern Pacific rivalry is alive and well.
Canucks 3 Stars:
1) J.T. Miller – A goal, 3 hits, 3 shots in close to 20-minutes. Played ornery.
2) Filip Hronek – Logged 29 plus minutes with an assist and a consistent 200-foot-game.
3) Nils Höglander – In less than 11 minutes of ice time, had a goal and three other golden chances to score.
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